Should I stay or should I go?: Freedom vs security
Intrepid travel is uncomfortable, risky and bloody hard work. Lost passports, stolen wallets, dodgy food, bed bug infested mattresses, frigid nights spent waiting for trains that never come and backpacks full of dirty clothes that you have been wearing for the past three weeks …
Sometimes it makes more sense to stay home but it’s a profoundly lost opportunity when you do. How many vivid holiday memories are made from the comfort of the couch?
When you look back on how you spent your annual leave, will you reminisce about watching Season Two of True Blood or will your mind travel across continents, through wilderness, over clouds and plunge down into distant waters?
Years ago I went to a presentation by well-known Australian author, Bryce Courtenay, that really struck a chord in me. He was saying that people spend their money on things that don’t make them happy; material things that effectively form a prison of debt and weight and responsibility – all of which do not add up to a joyful existence.
Those words changed me and ensured that my bank account will always remain pitifully empty.
So I say spend your money on experiences – good, bad, wild, wonderful … whatever. Just go and do something!
Here is a beautiful poem about the security vs freedom conundrum …
Dove that ventured outside
By Rainier Maria Rilke
(To Erika, for the festival of praise)
Dove that ventured outside, flying far from the dovecote:
housed and protected again, one with the day, the night,
knows what serenity is, for she has felt her wings
pass through all distance and fear in the course of her wanderings.
The doves that remained at home, never exposed to loss,
innocent and secure, cannot know tenderness;
only the won-back heart can ever be satisfied: free,
through all it has given up, to rejoice in its mastery.
Being arches itself over the vast abyss.
Ah the ball that we dared, that we hurled into infinite space,
doesn’t it fill our hands differently with its return:
heavier by the weight of where it has been.