Travel Like A Five-Year-Old

“Yesterday is ashes; tomorrow wood. Only today does the fire burn brightly.” – Eskimo proverb

As I said in a previous post, I was in Atlanta visiting family. On Friday night, my sister  Donna and brother-in-law Matt and I were sitting on their deck enjoying a nightcap. They had just put my nephew Jackson and niece Lily (who are five and two and-a-half, respectively) to sleep. We were talking about Jackson, and Matt commented, “This is a really fun age. He is so stoked on everything right now! It’s like, whatever you’re doing, he’s into.” For instance, all he could talk about for two days was their pajama party! Jackson and Lily covered their playhouse in blankets and could hardly conceal their excitement about the pajama party. They were crushed when it was too late to have the party on Thanksgiving. On Friday morning, the first thing either of them brought up was the pajama party!

As I sipped my scotch, I began to think, my God, isn’t that the point of it all? Isn’t that what the Zen masters teach? If you are truly in the moment, you will always be content with what you are doing. This thought flowed into how traveling puts us into the moment. I contemplated for a moment how my life could be even richer and even more full of joy if I approached all of my travels this way.

My girlfriend and I have started a small travel company (More on this later; we don’t even have a name yet!). On December 28 we are taking a group of young adults to Costa Rica. When I think about this trip I feel excited, anxious, and a little bit listless. The latter only because this will be my fifth trip to Costa Rica. And though I will be visiting old friends, making new ones, and showing off some of my favorite and richest parts of Costa Rica, it feels a bit ho-hum.

But, when I approach the trip like a five-year-old might, it becomes very exciting. If I focus all of the knowledge I have of the community where we will be spending half of the trip, and speaking Spanish, and being immersed in a culture that I love and know very well, the trip becomes almost unbearably exciting. That in addition to the fact that I will be getting paid to travel, working next to the love of my life, getting to know some super cool young people, and probably getting in a morning surf session or two, well, heck, I think I might know how to travel like a five-year-old.

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