Some Travel Lessons: Trusting Yourself and the Universe

I became a huge fan of the universe in recent years after receiving a wall post from an admired travel mentor that said: “Sometimes the universe conspires to give you what you want.”  It was said in response to my fit of incredulity that a social event in New York City could possibly coincide with the exact time I would be visiting the city.  This was before I set about traveling South America and after contemplating that statement I reflected back on some of my major life events.  I noted with some amusement how a couple of the more positive moments in my life were preceded by some perceived disastrous event, an event which often times making the pivotal decision all the more easier.

This newfound discovery about how the universe could in fact be on my side didn’t exactly send me running out the door to buy lottery tickets, but it did give me the confidence I needed to “trust the journey” as I was traveling and worry less about what I do in the future.  There was always some uncertainty about how I would proceed with this journey, how I would end it, what I would do afterward and the list goes on.  At first I was very concerned about all of these factors and often appeased my woes by setting timelines for where I would travel and when.  As I progressed with my travels though, I obviously learned more about myself and discovered myself settling in to this philosophy of “trust the journey” which I view as having faith in yourself that you’ll make the best decisions you can in each moment with the information you have.  I would say so far it hasn’t let me down, except of course with that stupid mugging incident tarnishing my track record, and over the course of traveling I have become a more patient woman.

This philosophy is gearing up to becoming another lesson in practice as I’ve recently found myself in multiple closing and opening doors in regards to what I should do with myself after South America.  At first, there was the botched attempt at securing a hotel work assignment with a very nonsensical volunteer program director.  After that fell through and I had already made arrangements to fly back to the U.S., my good friend Elisabete approached me about creating a photography project on Kickstarter.  I thought once again, the universe had conspired to work in my favor and I was giving my gratitude.  Now however, it seems the likelihood of our project becoming a reality is circling the drain and we’ve begun discussing how we move forward.  Our plan for the moment is to take a step back and think about how we can change the project and ultimately try again in the future.  However, concurrently with this realization, yet another work opportunity presented itself to me.  This one was made possible by both my high school friend and my new temporary location in Fort Collins, Colorado.  I was amazed at how I was now traveling through my 3rd door in the game, “What will Lisa do for the next 6 months?”  It felt very “Inception”esque.

Though my life right now is very far from what I had imagined it would be a year ago or a couple of months ago or even a few weeks ago, I am very pleased with the current headings of my journey.  I’ve learned well and put to use the lessons taught by “trusting the journey” throughout my travels and even now when confronted with negative remarks about what I’m doing with myself these days.  Of course there may still be some booby traps here and there, but at least now I feel confident I can find that 4th door if need be.


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