Sheryl and I recently took a trip to Victoria, B.C., to wipe the cobwebs off our dashboard GPS map, and to fulfill one of the original intentions of our embracing simplicity almost two years ago, now.
For those who are not familiar with our story, it was that first trip down the California coastline back in May of 2013, that spurred the changes in our lives, the selling of our over-sized home, the elimination of 85 percent of our belongings, and the start of this blog, Simple Life Reboot, which has allowed us to share our decision, and our journey, with all of you. (See, The Trip That Changed Everything)
The recent trip to Victoria included many of the same aspects of the California trip, minus the life-changing revelations. Hanging out in Victoria did not bring about a sudden awareness that something needed to be changed in our lives, but rather helped confirm the changes that we’ve made, the simplicity lifestyle we have embraced, has been working.
The Necessary Ingredient
But there seems to be a specific ingredient that must be present in the extended trips we take (more than 3 days) for the full “perspective” benefit to be realized. See if you can identify the common ingredient from the list below.
1) Travel unfamiliar territory
2) Stay overnight in an unfamiliar place
3) Speak with many unfamiliar people
4) See many unfamiliar things
5) Hear many unfamiliar voices
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with returning to that familiar place that acts as a balm to your soul; that cabin on the beach, that meandering river through the forest, or mountain trail that slips behind the waterfall. Return there…and be soothed. (see, Deep Living in a Shallow World)
But if you are in the mood for something new, experiencing unfamiliar territory does not so much soothe, as it informs. It forces the brain to recalculate. The internal map of ourselves automatically compares what it is presently experiencing to what it has just left behind. The positive or negative aspect of the new experience is not so much the key ingredient, but that the experience is unfamiliar.
Certainly, traveling away from home for a time can be beneficial whether the destination is familiar or not, but for Sheryl and I, going someplace new is like being let out on recess, whereas the cabin on the beach feels more like God giving you a hug.
A Refreshed View of Your Life
If you desire to gain a refreshed view of your life, travel someplace unfamiliar for an extended stay, a place where all the blanks are not already filled in. The brain will be forced to pay attention, and by being in the moment, attentive to your surroundings, you will re-discover the significance of the path from whence you came – aka “perspective”.
Originally posted on http://SimpleLifeReboot.com