Whether losing ourselves in the ‘Penetrable’ experiential sculpture at LACMA in Los Angeles, or in the heart of the ferny bush in New Zealand, or in the tiny steep laneways of Bellagio in Italy, it’s the losing part we enjoy the most.
Walking down cobblestoned laneways, arriving at corners and stairways, and at diverging paths, we choose a direction, our hearts feeling light, and each new lane and opening brings a new choice with new and exciting vistas, sounds, smells, feels. We’re on an adventure. The sun glints through ahead and we follow it, until it’s fully on our faces. And then we stop awhile and marvel at how wonderful that feels and how good it is to be alive, with our only task being our next choice, a choice that takes us from moment to moment.
We decide which way to go, when to linger a little longer, and when to turn around. There’s a feeling inside us of an immense connection, like we know…we know that everything is alright; that we are alright, that everyone is alright, and that the world is alright. And more than that, we know that the world is full of magic and if you trust it, you don’t even need to make choices anymore, you just need to follow the flow and trust that it’s right.
These are the moments we chase and give in to when we travel and when we explore – these moments of euphoria. We don’t tend to take quite as much notice of the history, or the details of the places we travel as we do the way it feels to be there.
As a child I remember exploring the New Zealand bush on walks with my family, and I liked to be either far ahead or far behind the group, so I could make these choices myself. Stop when it felt good to stop, hurry around the next corner when curiosity was high, and listen to the music of the bush or bask in the stillness that it sometimes offered. Fully immersing myself in the place and the day. I still explore like this.
It requires a kind of joining, this sort of adventure, a joining of ourselves with everything around us. But most of all, it requires us to get lost – to lose our ‘selves’, and to gain something so much greater. We find that we forget the things that niggle in our brains, the things that tense the muscles in our chests, and the things that narrow our eyes and tighten our shoulders. We forget what we have planned for tomorrow, or what we should have done yesterday. We lose ourselves completely in the moment. We are lost and we love it. And what makes it even more wonderful is that we are lost together.
I see this reflected in many travellers. I can’t say how I see it. Maybe it’s their friendliness, or their physical posture, or the way it’s easy to be around them. It’s as though without us ever discussing it or fully understanding the process, we know the same magic. It makes us incredibly grateful and opens us to the world. Or at least that’s what I see.
This is why Mark and I travel – to connect with the world, to discover new places, new people and new ways, but mostly to lose ourselves in the world. When we lose ourselves, we lose our problems. When we lose ourselves, we lose our tension, and our impatience. We lose all those things that make us painfully human. We lose our negative judgments, and we slip into the flow.
If this resonates with you, we’d love to hear your thoughts.