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I firmly believe that travel can transform travelers, places they visit, and that traveler’s home life once they return. It’s much more than a transfer of knowledge and ideas. It’s a way to shake up your routine and depart from the ordinary. This week, I’ve been laid up with blood clots while Jenn pressed forward with our romantic, adventurous weekend in Sevierville while I’ve had my feet propped up on the couch, hoping the blood thinners work before the clots break free. I wish I were there with her instead, but the universe is trying to tell me something, and I’m listening.

I miss Jenn. I miss her kisses, but I also miss the hundreds of little things she does to keep the house flowing. I look at my sloppily made bed and stack of unopened mail and realize how she makes my world a clean, well-lighted place. Without her routine, her light, I find myself drifting into the darkness.

messy bed

The Power of Perspective

Routine is powerful in shifting mundane tasks to background processes. The problem is, you can put your life on autopilot and forget to wander the bodegas and bars to discover what lurks in the shadows. Travel shines the light of discovery into new places, but, in the middle of a pandemic or serious injury, you can get there from the relative discomfort of your couch. Trust me.

It takes more than dancing with the demons and divas of your mind to change your world. You need to listen to their whispers, which fade to a faint murmur in the daylight. Discovery is nothing without action.

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The Power of Routine

I look at my leg propped up on a pile of pillows and think of how I can keep this from happening again. I took to the internet and found USA Today article – How NOT to die from sitting all day.  It says that people who sit still for more than 12.5 hours a day have the highest risk of dying from any cause, and I have to try to move every 30 minutes.

You’d think my ADD would help with this, but, unfortunately, I have been practicing training my hyper-focus. I have been trying to extend my work periods longer and longer, which seems to be killing me. The only way I am getting over this is finding a new normal—one where I work when I’m sitting and think when I’m walking.

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The Power of Perseverance

My leg pulses with a deep internal pain. In a way, I’m lucky for this. If it didn’t hurt like hell, I probably wouldn’t have insisted on seeing a specialist. I had one ultrasound that said I was ok. There is a reason DVT is known as the silent killer. I can’t be mad at my pain; it may have saved my life. I also can’t be mad at the misery because of the perspective it gave me, but fuck, I want to live a joy based life. Besides, the carrot is more powerful than the stick.

I’ll need help to accept the wisdom the universe showing me about changing my routine. You’d think pain and fear of death would do the trick, but humans are pernicious. Keep calm and carry on was the response to a summer of German air raids and imminent invasion. I don’t want to carry on; I want to change. I want to travel the world, explore, discover, adventure, and live. I need to channel my love of traveling to effect permanent change.

male backpacker via Canva
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The Interplay of Light and Darkness

My condition only affects 1 in 1000 people. It’s not rare, but it’s not universal. However, the transformative power of not traveling is for everyone. It doesn’t matter what you discover in the interplay between light and darkness. Everybody needs perspective, routine, and perseverance. You need demons, shadows, and pain as much as you need love and a clean, well-lighted place. There is a time to travel and a time to not travel, and wisdom and beauty in both.

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Cat sitting on suitcase

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