"The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all." ~ Meg Cabot
I have a trip coming up.
It’s to a place that is not advertised on television. They have no tourism board, promoting the family friendly beaches or the all-inclusive meal plan. When I tell people I am going there, people tend to react with a wide-eyed, perplexed quality.
“Why would you go there?” they ask.
I’m going because there is a plane that will take me there.
People have ideas about this place. Ideas that are no longer valid, yet they remain strongly held. Ideas about who the people are that live there and what they are like. I should qualify that this is not a war zone. It was once, but no longer. Sure, there are bad things that happen there – just like the rest of the world.
I sometimes struggle with my deep-rooted desire to travel frequently to far-flung places. Should I worry about my safety? And the safety of my husband/travel buddy? If not from terrorism and natural disasters, then from bed bugs and ringworm? Shouldn’t I just stay home where there are no militants and the sheets are vermin-free?
But then I remember something that is both unnerving and incredibly comforting.
I’m not safe anywhere.
I could slip in my shower or get in a fatal car accident driving to the grocery store. I could have a brain tumor or breast cancer. I could choose to wrap myself in a giant cotton ball and never leave my house and I would be in perpetual grave danger.
I want to live with intention and passion not with fear and anxiety. I want to see the world before it changes too much and becomes completely awash with McDonalds and KFC. I want to be out of my element. I want to see things that rock my world and turn my ideas on their heads.
Maybe there are some things that require safeguarding. My inquisitive nature, my open heart, my desire to learn more about others and myself; maybe those things need to be cared for. Maybe the fact that I am entirely comfortable being The Other needs to be protected. Maybe my sense of curiosity needs to be watched over.
The best way for those things to be safe and nurtured is for me to get out and see the world, while my fragile little body and me are on this earth. Those are the things that are unsafe and neglected by my everyday routine and comfort.
That’s why I go there.