Mark Twain Twenty Years From Now


Over a decade ago now I was packing up my bags and preparing for what I imagined would be the adventure of a lifetime.

There were two things that gave me the drive, the excitement, and the courage to travel to the other side of the world. One was the words of my youngest brother—who always seems to know the words to say when I need to hear them—the other was the words of a literary genius. The very words you read above. I wasn’t going to be sailing, but I was off to explore, dream, and discover. I saw my trip to Chilgok, South Korea as a journey that would change who I was, fire up the nomadic yearnings that were smoldering within me, and ensure I was living a life I would never be disappointed with.

The trip did all those things, in incredibly different ways than I expected it too. I learned a lot about Korean culture, a lot about people in general, and most importantly, a lot about myself. One of the key things that journey taught me was that life is life wherever you are and you don’t need to sail away in order to have your adventure. Every day of our lives can, and should, be viewed as an integral part of our life’s journey. Tweet It!

Sometimes I forget that, but, thankfully, life reminds me. An article I read today was one of those reminders, urging me again to see my life, even when I’m not feeding the nomad inside of me, as an enriching journey.

The past months I’ve been having quite the journey right from my own little home office. I’ve published my first novel—taking a route to do it that I hadn’t even considered a year ago—and I have two more in the works. The process has brought many qualities and lessons to the surface:

INSPIRATION – I can write, even when the muse doesn’t seem to inspire me.

DETERMINATION – It is possible to just stick my butt in the chair and write even when it seems hard, and pointless, and it’s difficult to believe that I’m not following a misguided dream. AND the raw material I produce in these times is often very good work.

TRUST IN MY POTENTIAL – The editing process was long and overwhelming and challenging. I know I’m a better writer because of it and am excited to see how much better I’ll become with each subsequent book!

STRENGTH – There were several times when I needed to stand up for myself in this process, and at first these moments terrified me. Standing up for others I can do easily, standing up for myself is harder. But I did it, and the results were beautiful.

HUMILITY – Some things I just cannot do, or at least cannot do well enough to make the effort worthwhile. Recognizing these lacks is awesome, because it frees me up to focus on and further develop the skills I excel at.

The list could go on and I could write a similar list of the experiences I had all those years ago when I ventured away from my safe harbour – Two entirely different experiences that equally contribute to the person I continue to become.

For all those would-be travellers out there – whether you’re on your journey in new lands, or sitting in your home, with familiarity around you – take a moment and contemplate the most recent phase in your journey. I bet you’ll be encouraged to see the amazing things you’ve been discovering along the way.

Is there something you’ve recently learned or discovered on your life’s journey? Scroll down to “Join the conversation!” 

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