In the post Multiple Choice Life, I did my best to explain some of my desires for my life and their competing nature. I want to have a family, but I also want to travel. Perhaps those two aren’t as mutually exclusive as I see them now, but I see what I see. If the reality is far removed from my perception of it, my perception still stands.
Regardless of the accuracy of my perception, there are several reasons why I want to travel. Some of them are obvious. I genuinely enjoy seeing new places and having new experiences. I’ve met some great people during my travels in the past, and I hope to meet more. I’ve seen a lot of growth in myself during my time as a wanderer, and it often comes about more quickly than in the normal day-to-day. Given that I’ve done almost all of my traveling alone, I’ve learned a lot about myself and how capable I am. When there’s no one around to hold my hand and tell me exactly where to go and how to get there, I’ve realized how self-reliant I am.
During my first trip abroad, on the Camino Frances in 2014, I really started to notice the ability I had to take care of myself. I never in a million years thought I would get to the point of picking up and doing something so bold. It wasn’t until I actually stepped out in faith that I realized my boldness and self-reliance. I’m thankful that I took that step.
It was also on during that trip that I really started to see things about myself. Specifically, I saw who I can be. For the first time I can remember, I was unashamedly myself. I was bold in regard to my faith. I allowed my personality to shine through without care or concern for others would take it. I put myself out there for others to see.
When I did this, a strange thing happened. People responded well. Of course they didn’t necessarily know the extent to which my personality shined through or how I’d had difficulty being myself in the past. All they saw was the person in front of them. They saw me for who I was, and they liked who they saw.
Many of us hide a lot about ourselves in our daily lives. Granted, some of this hiding is necessary. It conceals pain and saves embarrassment. Furthermore, it’s simply not possible to show each person every aspect of who we are. There’s not enough time in the day, nor would it be practical. Thus, we open up to a select few to the best of our ability.
Yet even in opening up to these few, we often fall short. I know I do. In many ways it’s easier for me to put my thoughts and desires out onto the Internet in this space than it is to say them to those closest to me. Though I am getting better at expressing myself to those around me, it’s a work in progress.
And yet, despite any positive steps I’ve taken to open up and become more of myself, I feel as if my life consists of fractured selves.
This travel would be an honest attempt, among other goals, to unite these fractured selves into one cohesive whole. I don’t want to go from ‘Server-Brett’ to ‘Photographer-Brett’ to ‘Son-Brett’ to ‘Writer-Brett’ to ‘Friend-Brett’ and so on. I want unity. I saw glimpses of unity on the Camino. Although I don’t necessarily want to recreate that experience (nor do I think that such a recreation is even possible), I want to feel the acceptance and unity of myself that I saw during those 5 weeks in 2014.
And so I’ve started taking steps. On Friday September 22 I leave for Salt Lake City, Utah to visit a friend. From there, I’m taking a trip back to Las Vegas for a friend’s wedding and to see some of the others I haven’t seen for over a year. After that, New York. I realized that I’ve seen a lot of the great cities in Europe, such as Madrid, Barcelona, London, Paris, and Amsterdam, among others, but I have yet to see New York, an obviously big and important city in my own country. This is a fault I want to change. After a few days in New York, I’m planning to make a stop in Boston.
From there, although I have yet to make a definitive choice (i.e., I haven’t yet bought a plane ticket as of this writing), I plan on heading once more to Europe. I have a general idea as to where I’ll start and the places I’ll visit. For anyone interested in following along on this journey, I plan on making regular posts here. They’ll consist of locations, updates, changes, thoughts, ideas, and anything else about which I decide to write.
I don’t know exactly where this journey will take me, but it should be exciting.
A pilgrimage is an intensely personal journey, but it is not one that a pilgrim undertakes alone. I don’t want to ‘talk’ into a vacuum. I want to hear other voices, too. What I’m trying to say is, I want feedback! Have I spoken something to you? Is there something you think I should know? Do you have a question about something I said? Please leave a comment below or contact me at Pilgrim.Brett@gmail.com.
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