1 year of traveling — On being chosen
(Don’t dream our life. Live your dreams. — German writing in Byron Bay, Australia)
We live our lives making careful decisions. We try to be smart when we come to a conclusion, and then act. We take our time.
The real hard choices are not made by us. Any life-changing and heart-wrenching decision is made for us. We didn’t have a choice, we were chosen. It might feel unsuitable but it’s so powerful and uncontrollable, we just have to hand over the controls. Maybe a well-lived life is knowing when to take control and when to let go.
Albert Camus said “Life is the sum of all choices.” I would add that the art of life is surrendering to the choices that were made for us. The biggest regret you can experience is when you were called upon and you felt an unknown power rising inside of you. And you gave it neither power nor time.
The biggest decisions in my life were made for me, I just executed them: I had no choice when leaving my hometown, when changing careers, when moving to the US, when getting married, when having a kid. It was meant to be and I had to surrender to the choice that was made for me.
When we packed up our stuff and moved our lives into one suitcase each, I never had a doubt. When you have no choice, why bother doubting that non-existing choice? We heard many remarks during the year, calling our travels courageous and crazy. For me, not taking this step would have been courageous and crazy.
When a choice is made for you, is it divine intervention, is it the Universe calling you or just a deep-seated intuition that knows more about your well-being than your conscious mind does? Smarter people than me will have the answer one day. What I know is that we need to have an open heart and mind to accept the choices that were made for us.
My daughter was homeschooled throughout the trip, she worked many hours weekly on her math, read a gazillion books and more than half of the Nancy Drew series, she went to 2 German schools for a month each and she almost never watched any TV. A productive year.
As a bonus, she did all that while meeting new people every day, eating strange food, being awed constantly and learning to appreciate how small this world really is. A special year.
After all is said and done; when she looks back at this year, when these million moments are compressed into one thought, I just hope that she remembers it as the year where she learned that when you’re called upon and you feel an unknown power rising inside of you; you give it all your power and your time.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? –Mary Oliver