As travelers, we often live with the hope that we will have time to see and do everything we want. That if we miss something on this trip, there will always be later or next time. This simply isn’t so. It is an illusion of time because we can’t imagine that time is finite. That our time on this earth is finite. Having just flown the same path that Air Asia flight 5801 crashed on just a couple of days earlier brought this to perspective. Life is finite and time passes quickly. As cliché as I know it sounds, there really is no promise of tomorrow.
A month-long trip can seem like a long time while you are planning it, talking about it and thinking about it; but once you’re on it, it goes by in the blink of an eye. The same is true for everyday life. You can mentally plan to go somewhere, someday, and before you know it 5 years have passed and you’re still thinking of someday and haven’t taken action. The fact is, if there is something or somewhere you want to go, now is the only time you know you’ve got for sure. Now is the time to set your plan in motion to do whatever that something or go to that somewhere. If you don’t have the funds, save that extra $5 from skipping Starbucks and make saving for your plan a priority. Last year, Jason and I had a dream wedding and month-long honeymoon envisioned and had no idea how we would get there. We sacrificed our usual weekend trips, cut down on evenings out and cooked more at home. We felt like poor hermits but every dollar saved got us closer to what we wanted and in the end it was all worth it. The wedding was everything we’d hoped it would be and the trip was a dream come true. The year and some of saving and sacrificing was all worth it because now was the time for it. When else would I be able to negotiate a month away from work? Working in America, it’s unheard of. As much as I would love to travel for longer periods and live on the road, it just isn’t an option for me right now.
This last trip to Asia I tried to be as present as I could to enjoy it but even as it were, Jason and I kept thinking “next time” whenever we found out we had missed something worthwhile. And although I hope there is a next time, there is no guarantee that there will be. There will always be somewhere else we want to go or something else we want to see or life events that put everything on hold, which will prevent a trip back to a place we’ve been. But we still hold on to that illusion that there will always be time to go back.