Turn around and take a step forward

Travel Stories

As the closing song fills the screen of “180 Degrees South,” several quotes come to mind. I grab my old book, “Buddhism Plain and Simple.” As most of my other inspiring books, it too, has passages underlined with notes in the margins. I find the few I am looking for.

From the film, Yvon says, “The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life, it’s so easy to make it complex. But what’s important is leading an examined life…” I smile slightly. I know this quote. It’s the quote of so many wise people. Of Thoreau. Of Emmerson. Of Buddah.

“If we’re not careful, we make our lives busy, complicated, and unnecessary…. Our minds become complicated by petty details and wants, and we become ever more confused.”  - Buddhism Plain and Simple.

Every traveling spirit I’ve ever met has said this out loud. Or lived it out loud. I’ve written promises to myself of this very nature, filling dozens of journals from my twenties. “To live simply.” It has always been a common theme. A theme I’m reminded of.

It is not selfishness that prompts seeking, although it is self actuating.

“People say you can’t go back but what happens if you get to the cliff and you take one step forward. Or you turn 180 degrees and take one step forward…. Which is progress?” - Doug.


We’ve traveled this road as a family, as individuals, to this place. This end of the road, in a way. This place, the end goal, the space we’ve never talked past. This. In a way, it is the edge of our cliff. Our proverbial cliff.

What now?

It is time to step forward by stepping back. It is time to simplify. Change.

“We are a cross between our parents and hippies in a tent.” -Spring Wind.

“I can still turn back. But I will not. I will go over the edge and step into whatever is beyond.” -Beyond the Sky and the Earth

I think about the things I worry of. Ridiculously silly, actually. Bills tend to get paid, however late. People will be disappointed from a forgetful, unorganized me. People forgive. It is this cycle that I live by daily.

I find love in spite of myself.

“If I don’t get on that boat, I know exactly what I’m going home to. If I do, my future is unwritten.” - Jeff.

A good friend recently told me I had an obvious traveler’s soul. “But I haven’t traveled enoughhhh,” I groaned. “But you will. Or you have, maybe in another life. You have the spirit. You say yes. You say yes to adventure every.fucking.time.”

It is both the most loved, and most hated, quality I possess, depending on who is asking the questions.

“The best journeys answer questions, that in the beginning, you didn’t even think to ask.” -Jeff.

I’m ready for the journey. I’m always ready for the journey.

“I know its been hard to take and I know you wanna run. We hope you will stay in one place, and dance before it’s done.” - Coconut Flakes.

Now, it is just finding the proper journey to take. Which way is progress: forward.

Or back.

“Here’s to turning around and taking a step forward. 180 degrees. Here’s to Now.”.

**Photo props and suggestion of the movie goes to Ashley. Frankly, most of this whole post does, including the quote about my traveling soul.

**Photo is of me at our climbing wall. Next up: Surfing. Kayaking. And a real.honest.to.goodness.wall. This summer will not be boring. Booyah.

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