Wandering: Going Without Arriving

Woman crossing the bridge in Portland’s Japanese Garden.

A good traveler has no fixed plans,
and is not intent on arriving.
~ Lao Tzu

Going is important, not arriving. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

We left today for a long-awaited journey with our new (to us) 29-foot travel trailer. We will be out two-weeks, but our whereabouts during those two weeks are uncertain. We will have a road map, of course, but we expect to lose our compulsion for a known itinerary. It is the unexpected that is the hallmark of our most enjoyable travel.

Thus, our plans are loose. Head west, then south. Follow the coast. Or not.

When we do not plan too tightly, and are not fixed on a route or a place we feel destined to end up, we leave ourselves open to wander.

In wandering, we slow down. It is always the present moment. Our habitual mind-set is disrupted, and everything around us becomes a surprise, new and fresh. This heightened way of seeing—happy, relaxed, unconcerned with self, attentive—is full of delight and expansiveness.

Traveling like this offers so many opportunities to see—the roadside, vehicles that pass by, iconic signs and structures, the landscape, people, buildings, and critters of the place, even ourselves as we become part of what we see.

I love this relaxed way of going, seeing, and of making photographs. It is always the present in photography.

While traveling, I may not have reliable internet access. But check in to see if by some chance I have managed to post something. In any case, I look forward to sharing our discoveries when I return.

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