The week, the day, and the hour before you leave on a trip is always full of anticipation. For some it is nervous fear-based anticipation, for others it is excitement, and for many it is both. Either way, as we are planning and packing, we are creating a story full of expectations.

Last night I left for my very first non-work solo travel trip. I have been dreaming about this for months, just me, my duffle bag, my podcasts, books on audio, and well-thought out playlists. What could go wrong? Right?!?

24 Hour Travel Recap

  • Night Driving for the nocturnally challenged.  Leaving three hours late and driving high mountain passes in the dark until 10:00 PM
  • Death by music. Discovering the execution to your new playlist is full of…why the “f” did I think that made sense? (…skip…next….skip)
  • Old does not equal vintage. Arriving at your cool, quirky vintage motel and realizing it’s just a motel…not cool or quirky.
  • OMG officer, I had no idea. Flashing lights and a speeding ticket, a tricky speed limit change from 65 MPH to 45 MPH for 500 feet and then back to 65MPH….are you kidding me with that?
  • Damn you global warming. Thinking you are leaving the snow behind for spring break and headed to flip flop and shorts weather and you end up driving for five hours in an Arizona blizzard…WHAATT?!?
  • Who is that old dirty hag? Unpacking and realizing you left a good portion of your everyday toiletries behind. Heading to the desert without moisturizer and cleanser is always a good idea.

Choose The Light

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.
— Captain Jack Sparrow

In our efforts to get out there and discover, we plan, we dream, and we check-list. Sometimes the dream of our journey gets a healthy dose of reality. Once we feel our disappointment and frustration we have a choice. The choice is to embrace change and be the flexible and resilient human we were born to be or get stuck on the “this is not the life I ordered” train.

As luck would have it, my wiser subconscious self, had the forethought to anticipate my journey with all of its beautiful flaws and thought to download the book, Bliss More, by Light Watkins. As I am listening to the book and recalling my series of unfortunate events, Light throws down the acronym: EASY (Embrace, Acceptance, Surrender, Yield). He uses this in the context of meditating, but I started to think about how this could work for me as I reflect on my last 24 hours. Below is my interpretation and adaption of the Bliss More, EASY approach:

Embrace: Allowing the existence of all your thoughts and experiences. Don’t try to pretend it’s not happening, to check the box on your version of how things were to turn out.

Acceptance: The attitude that whatever is happening should be happening. All of it: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Surrender: Be willing to surrender the idea of how you feel things should have happened.

Yield: Control what you can and accept the rest.

Sometimes the hard way is a great choice for the purposes of learning and growth, but sometimes the hard way is, just hard. So, the next time you are planning a big adventure, be sure to take it EASY when your story unfolds differently than you planned.