Why I Really Dig Traveling Now, Even for a Funeral

I’m in Florida this week attending the funeral of my great-grandmother. I didn’t know her that well and, if I’m being honest, I came more to see the rest of my family than for the funeral. As bad as it sounds, the funeral is just a good excuse.

I’ve really begun to love traveling. It used to fill me with a certain dread. The idea of having to pack all of the things I might need and schlepp that around the airport. Going through security and feeling panicked because I wasn’t sure if somebody was going to run off with my laptop and I’d have to chase them in my stocking feet with my pants around my ankles. The uncomfortableness of sitting next to somebody on the plane who might (God, no!) start a conversation with me.

In my ideal world, I would’ve transported myself from one safe haven (home) to another safe haven (relatives). That was then. But now, I’m stoked at the chance to have these experiences and make the most of them.

With minimalism, I’ve been able to pare down everything I might need to everything I do need. If I’m missing something, well I can pick it up later. TheMinimalists 20/20 rule works well. Now I’m able to go with just two small bags which makes me lighter and more mobile.

Security is easier too. With less stuff, I don’t have as much to track and, with proper planning, I can breeze through with minimal stress.

When I take my seat on the plane, I get excited because I can’t wait to find out the story of the person that’s going to sit next to me. Maybe they’re a world-traveler making a short US stop. Perhaps an executive at a well known company. Maybe a student on their way to visit some family. Who knows? But I do know that, just like me, they’re a person who’s had their own share of experiences in life and that, by default, makes them unique and interesting. (What’s up for debate is how long that interest lasts…)

Each new experience that comes our way in life can be seen as something unwanted and disruptive. Or it can be seen as an opportunity to learn and grow by experiencing life outside our small comfort zone. Great things happen when we step off our well-worn paths and into something unknown.

Nobody wants to hear the story of how you stayed home and did the familiar. The uncommon is what’s interesting. Those are the stories that are shared for a long time.

Fun fact: I wanted to work the word obsequy in here because I think it’s great, but it just didn’t flow. I suppose I could have said I’m attending the obsequy of my great grandmother… but who says that? If I were attending multiple funerals I would’ve felt more comfortable using the plural: obsequies. But then I’d be very sad because, really, who wants to attend many of these things?

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5 Responses to Why I Really Dig Traveling Now, Even for a Funeral

  1. Adam Lasky March 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Love traveling. It’s such a sense of adventure, especially if you’re going someplace new. There’s a bit of fear in the unknown. I recently went on a trip to Prague. Didn’t know the language or anyone there. Went by myself. It was amazing. Traveling is definitely a process that can really open up horizons. And not just international travel. Road trips with others are awesome. There’s so much “life” in those trips. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Taylor March 18, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

      I just finished reading On the Road by Kerouac. Awesome book that makes me want to travel even more. I have been outside the country a few times, but I always brought my safety bubble with me. To go someplace without that net must be exhilarating.

  2. Beth March 16, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    Traveling is a wonderful way to break free of your comfort zones. To see another culture and savor the history and architecture that was made there. I have serious wanderlust. It’s one of my goals in the next year or so to tour Europe and bring my trusty Nikon d80 to make the memories last a lifetime. I’d love to go backpacking in the Alps. And, even if someone’s passing is the catalyst of this trip, you can use it as a reason to savor all the life ahead of you.

    • Taylor March 18, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

      Do it! That would be a trip of a lifetime. You only live once and then you’re dead and that’s it!

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