I picked this up from my friend’s blog:

J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote: “Not all those who wander are lost”. This has become something of a mantra for my life which brings me to the question: Can wanderlust be in your genetic code?

I had forgotten about that quote from LOR. Just reminded me of my thoughts that I am an eternal seeker…

Speaking of wandering…I returned from my Poland trip yesterday.

Clay’s Travel Trip #47: Check the times of your flight!!

Friday was the first time in all of my travelling life that I have missed a flight. I wish that some out of the ordinary thing happened, like rescuing a cat from a tree or waking up from an all night party in a place you have no idea where you are, but the simple truth is, I didn’t check and re-check my flight time. I thought I knew the time of the flight – and the key word there is thought!

All is well that ends well…as a result of missing my flight from Poznan, I was able to take the train to Berlin (which I have never been to) and spend the night there.

I am having one of those lazy sunday afternoons where you just read and surf all day. I should however be writing the outline for my workshop next week, or packing for my week in Poland.

Details…

“The edge…there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who know where it is are those who have gone over.” – Hunter S. Thompson

I have returned from a 6-day trek in the Pyrenees following the Camino de Santiago. I have been going through my notes and hope to get some stuff posted on my experience on the Camino.

The return home is always manic. So many things to catch up on. Emails being one of them.

Billy Joel sang that “Life is a series of hello’s and goodbye’s.” For me, life seems to be a series of pack and unpack. I am only home for a couple of days. I’m off to Poland on Monday for a week to deliever a teambuilding workshop at the Negotiation Days III conference. So unpacking from one trip to pack for another.

Another clear blue sky…I think this must be some kind of record for England…anyway, I am down in Bristol for Rosemary’s 65th birthday party. The party was a success.

One of the more interesting characters I met at the party was a 48 year old lady named Nicola. She went to nursing school with Rosemary. I met Nicola on my very first night of my very first trip to England back in Dec of 1992. I had just graduated from the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course and was on a break before going off to Ranger School. We were invited out to play Skittles. And that is where I first met Nicola. Of course, I don’t remember meeting her in particular, but she remembers meeting me.

Nicola reminds me of a hippy chick who still believes the hippie movement is alive and well. Though I would admit there is a bit a of counter-culture revolution thing going on that incorporates some of the hippie ideas, but for the most part that revolution is long gone, dead, and buried.

Whenever I run into someone who is passionate about what they do, I go into reflective mode and I wonder what am I passionate about and how does my passion manifest itself? I mentioned to Ruth that I didn’t know what I was passionate about and she said I am passionate about a lot of things like the outdoors and books. The little light bulb in my head brightened. She was right. My three great passions in life are the outdoors, books, and travel. What is it about those three things that I like so much as to be passionate about them?

In the outdoors my passion stems from the way I feel when I am outdoors. I feel alive and at one with myself whenever I am in the presence of some beautiful spot in nature or in some remote place where there are no signs of the concrete jungles we live in. The environments that bring out the best in me are the mountains and the sea.

Books. I have always loved books from a very early age I fell in love with books. I love to read them. I love to look at them. I love to hold them in my hands. I love to be surrounded by them. As a kid, the library was my sanctuary. During summer holidays, I would walk the 8 miles to the library on Post and spend the whole day there wandering amongst the stacks. The subject matter was not important. I could be found anywhere in the stacks, from botany to physics, to poetry and history. I spend a lot of time in bookstores now. I can spend hours in these mega-bookshops drinking coffee and wandering the stacks and inevitably spending a small fortune. Books are like stray pets to me. I see one and I want to take it home with me.

My other passion is for travel. I love the open road. I don’t even have to have a particular destination in my mind. Just the simple fact of being on the road going somewhere is enough for me. One of my favourite travel passions is to wander around big city streets like a ghost or a man with no name. It’s funny because one of my fears about dying is that I will die in obscurity. And yet, when I wander city streets it the very fact that I am anonymous that makes the streets exciting. I could happily give up all my possessions and walk the earth like Kane.

I want to pursue these passions without no other aims other then the pure pursuit itself. I want to climb a mountain for the sake of climbing a mountain, or seek knowledge for the sake of seeking knowledge, or travel with no other aim other than travelling.

And here comes my catch-22…how can I sustain myself in a world built upon obligations and responsibilities and still pursue my passions?

I woke up this morning wrestling with a sore throat and trying to decipher the meaning of two omens. I went into the garden to quiet my mind and listen for the answer. Most of us have forgotten how to read signs and omens. We tend to treat out of the ordinary occurrences as coincidences. But I firmly believe there are no coincidences. And yes there is always the danger of assigning the wrong meaning to an event; however, if you are truly in touch with your intuition, you will be right more often than not. Where we go astray is when we try to rationalise the experience – to deny what we know to be true.

I finished my work contract last Friday, so I spent yesterday catching up with the business end of my business. Well that is what I was supposed to be doing. What I ended up doing was meeting a friend in town for a coffee. We had a right good catch up on things. She also runs her own business (same line of work actually, so I was conversing with the enemy – not really!). We used to work together when we both still in the corporate salt mines. One thing we did agree on and that is life outside of the salt mines is a hell of lot better and neither of us would go back.

And of course, since I was in town, I had to pick up some things “I needed.” I had to pick up a few things for my Pyrenees adventure next week like a couple of pair of trail trousers, a belt, a water sack, new head torch, some headphones, a map of Northern Spain, and a book called Neutral Buoyancy, Tim Ecot which is about scuba diving (don’t ask me how that is related long distance hill walking).

Oh yeah, I did do some work later in the afternoon.

If there was ever a time when I needed to really go out and DO the things that I want to DO with my life, now is that time. I have been playing around and playing around and coming right back to the same place. So now it is time to figure out how to make happen what I want to happen. I know there are ways that I can do that. So let us not play anymore. Go for it my friend. Go for it.