Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Travels and the life well lived

I was speaking to someone who just returned from a three week cruise that including visits to a number of really amazing cities. She was mostly bored - not entirely by the cities but by the rhythm of travel. Her real life was on hold and three weeks was too long. I confess to some sympathy with the idea that real life happens where we have real relationships.

On the other hand, my son set off for eight weeks of backpacking in Europe precisely as a way to live his life, to discover not Europe but the parts of himself that wake up in the presence of new places and new people, and in the presence of old, old thoughts. I encouraged his trip because I believe that he will be living his life as he explores.

Paradox is a big part of thinking about what it means to live our lives well. It's possible for our "real" lives to be in the place where our closest relationships happen and it's also possible that our "real" lives are carried inside our skin and go with us wherever we go.

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