Have you ever been on a never ending long journey? You have to get the miles done so you keep on driving until you arrive at your destination. Once reached, your day, activity, family outing or work can commence.
But what if you stopped along the way? Took in some beautiful sights or went to a tourist attraction or popped in past to visit someone or just stopped at a coffee shop or restaurant for a beverage or some lunch?
If pushed for time you are unlikely to stop and if you are like me, then you want to get to your destination as quickly as possible and not spend time fannying about en route!
What have I missed if I choose not to stop? Perhaps the opportunity to take a photo of a stunning waterfall or a visit a museum with a new exhibition. Maybe the chance to say hi to a friend or relative I’ve not seen in years. What about a delicious burger made from local beef? By not stopping have I missed out on meeting quirky characters in a local village?
I’ve always been about getting from A to B as quick as possible but enjoying the journey as well as I can, noticing the world around me. Such as the drive up to Inverness in the autumn when the leaves are beautiful reds, yellows and gold. It could also be listening to great music or a funny podcast or if am with someone, having great conversation and munching on some sweet treats as well as commenting on the scenery before us. Even on a plane looking out the window can be intriguing depending where you are flying over.
Is there anything wrong with taking the quickest direct route and not stopping?
We are currently watching a programme at the moment called Tempting Fortune – 4 episodes in. If you are already watching it, then you will know what I am talking about. But if you aren’t here is a quick synopsis. A group of 12 people are in South Africa, making their way on foot to various camps. The prize fund on offer is £300k. Which will be split between those that finish. However, along the way, temptations will be on offer, such as having a coffee for £200 or having a massage for £1k. If they take any temptations, the money is deducted from their total prize fund. They do not have to do any temptations and equally they could do them all.
In other words you could be good, avoid temptations, follow the rules and then take home your prize fund. Spoiler alert. Those choosing to do this are not enjoying the journey. Their aim is to get to the end, this is their only goal. They are all miserable, unhappy, and disappointed in those who have partaken in the temptations, thereby reducing their prize fund and how much money they will get.
In contrast, those who have chosen to do some of the temptations, despite feeling a little guilty, are all happy and enjoying their journey. Their view is the journey is more important than the destination. They will never be in this situation again.
When I first started to watch the programme I was very much on the side of getting to the end with no temptations, get the most money you can. However, one contestant made a very good point. She said she can have some fun on the way and take home a smaller amount of money. She wants to enjoy the experience and will do what she wants to make this happen.
So, have the team who are focusing on the end destination, missing out on the journey? Just like I might be when I don’t stop on my long journeys?
Should the journey be part of the goal? Imagine your life and all you did was go from A to B with no deviation. Are the deviations or temptations making the journey to the destinations more exciting? You may never get the chance again to experience something as you do in that moment. So is it better to take the less direct route?
Twist and turns in life happen, they take us off the path. But are we missing out intentionally by always taking the direct route? In the TV show, perhaps those who are not indulging are mad at themselves for not taking the opportunity to do so.
So the next time you are on a long journey, maybe sitting on a train or driving to some far flung place, why not hop off at the next station to explore or stop at the next wee village or tourist attraction and take a look around. You never know, it may make your trip that extra memorable.
Have a great week and enjoy your journey.
Take care and look after you.
Love Emma xx
2 thoughts on “Journey Or Destination?”
The programme you describe, Emma, sounds similar to one I’ve been watching – Race Across the World. The key point being the one you make that the people who get most from the experience are not necessarily the ones who win the money or the race but the ones who pause to enjoy the adventures along the way. And I totally get that. Like you, I used to be an A to B kind of person and mindfulness really helped me learn how to slow down and enjoy the moment. I love watching the pairs racing across Canada (which is this seasons location) and the debates they have with themselves about whether to push on to the next stop or divert and go to see an amazing sight or do a once in a life time activity. I remember when I first started learning mindfulness it became apparent to me really quickly that I was living life in the future and at some point I’d be in a wooden box! That quickly helped me reframe the importance of living life in each moment.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi Susan, thanks for your comment. I’m watching Race Across the world as well and the experiences some are choosing to do, will really cement their journey and make it highly memorable.
It’s great to hear mindfulness has helped you to take the time to be in that moment / journey. I know I can sometimes rush ahead or want things to be over so I can get to the next. But you’re right, this is future living rather than being in the now and experiencing the positive (or perhaps negative) of that moment. Thank you for reminding me of that and I will be more aware of it now.