Traveling Man Can’t Have Everything but the WorldI woke up one morning with the startling realization that I cannot have everything that I want. This struck me as a sort of odd relevation, as I am the type of fellow who has the impression that they can get anything they want if they try hard [...]
I woke up one morning with the startling realization that I cannot have everything that I want. This struck me as a sort of odd relevation, as I am the type of fellow who has the impression that they can get anything they want if they try hard enough. But I now know that if I wish to continually travel the world, then I can’t have everything I want. If I wish to seek horizons then I oftentimes need to leave friends, family, sweet loves, and almost everyone that I meet behind. I cannot travel the world and have my family with me too. I cannot have everything that I want.
There are benefits and drawbacks to every lifestyle. If I stayed put at home with my family – or if I began a family of my own – then I would have many of the subtle joys that I am now missing. But, I would also be missing out on the wondrous substance, excitement, and knowledge earned through continuously traveling the world. I have chose my path, and I wish not to stray from it now. There are disadvantages to every lifestyle, the trick is found in learning how to accept them.
in JFK Airport, New York City, USA- Early June 2008
Song of the Open Road — Travel Photos
I wrote to Andy some of the thoughts that were peppering my mind, and he curtly let me know that I am thinking too much.
“Walk slow,” he said.
My own words were delivered right back upon me, but I have never heard them used so suitably before. I do need to walk slow, and realize that I cannot always have everything that I may want at any given moment.
And to realize that this is alright.
A path must be chosen, and I know not of any path that goes everywhere at the same time. Now, I travel the Road of the wanderer; so I take both the joys and the sorrows of this Road equally. It is OK to sometimes be sad. It is OK to harbor light regrets. It is OK to miss people. But I should keep walking my Path.
“If you start out north, keep going north. Do not go east, west, or south,” the Javanese say. This northern route is good, and I want to walk it through.
I just had three great weeks with my family and friends in Upstate New York, and I have traveled with Mira for no less than 600 of the past 700 days. I am happy that I have shared such great joys with these people who are close to me. I am happy that I can look back on the times that I have had with Mira and still smile deeply.
I no longer think of all of the things that I use to get upset with Mira about, and, from this distance, I can no longer find any faults with her character. She seems to be the perfect woman from my vantage point at the JFK airport, as I sit outside of the Aerlingus gate waiting to board a flight to Dublin. I am happy because I miss Mira.
To be with someone I do not think that you need to be with them all day long. When Mira and I were together, we were together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We needed endurance to do this for nearly two years on end. No, we needed love. Love is what keeps people together through hard times, love is what makes people miss each other on long journeys. But love is also why I know that I can take these trips away from Mira.
You cannot leave a woman who does not love you.
She will not be there when you get back.
I can leave Mira and Mira can leave me (as she is going to do in September). I could not be with someone who I could not occasionally be away from.
Sometimes people need to grow and develop along their own Path. Mira knows that I need to walk on my own for a while, and she allows me to do so because she loves me.
I am a happy man.
I once did not realize that occasional bouts of dissatisfaction are a normal ebb in the flow of every happy life. I could not see the total package for the smokescreen of the parts. There are drawbacks to any lifestyle.
And the traveling man can’t have everything but the world.
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About the Author: VBJ
I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. VBJ has written 3657 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
VBJ is currently in: Astoria, New York
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