It is a spider web with me in the middle and it is time to evaluate the catch.
The internet has definitely turned into a Net of gems for me. Although space usually is the final frontier, I have managed to create my own personal micro cosmos within the Net. A place where I have discussed with great people, wonderful minds. Where stories were told that shaped my view on the world, personal development and (no surprise) the true meaning of travel.
Now it’s time to evaluate the catch.
Catch doesn’t have a very positive connotation, but the opposite is true. How would I have been able to learn and share experiences and knowledge in such a short time without social media and the blogosphere? Two years of online presence has triggered my IRL (In Real Life) migration, gaining a clear understanding of a person’s journey to self-realization, a new view on time and the sheer importance of the things we love to do.
How we will travel
Our family is used to traveling. Before and after our two lovely children were born we traveled the world to learn and discover. Traveling acts as a teacher to our children. For me, travel memories are the connection between then and now. They keep the travel spirit alive and ignite further discoveries. Because I need to go further. Through traveling I have found a way to (temporarily) pull back from the city, from the chaos. Traveling prevents life from seeping away into a Groundhog Day setting where every day is the same. The spider webs catch provided me with insights into other ways of traveling.
Sometimes only one moment is needed to change a life (-style). My wife said goodbye to her corporate career after working for the same company for 16 years. She is now evaluating and thinking about ways to fulfill her dreams. Within the whirlpool of daily life, being captured by the daily requirements to succeed and fulfill a corporate role, something has now changed. This sudden change has opened up a pool of opportunity as you start thinking differently about how you want to move forward in your life.
Traveling this new road of opportunities, a junction has appeared. A junction that combines family life, travel and post-corporatism. Travel ensures a sense of education of our kids and allows our family’s bonds to grow stronger. How can we let travel guide us further?
A long road. Travel. Beauty of nature. Wildlife. Chronological versus qualitative time. A small town with people. A shack next to a care home. Helping and volunteering. Caring.
2012 will be the year of our first New Travel Experience. No itinerary. No tour packages. Only a ticket and one or two volunteering projects. I am now collecting ideas from my online travel friends. If you know of any great volunteering experiences (preferably in Asia and suitable for families) please let me know. And 2013? Probably we will build on these upcoming experiences, let’s see what happens.
I mentioned it before, it’s stories that matter. The stage of wanting so see all the landmark buildings and other must-see places you read about in guidebooks has passed. The era of factual guidebooks has ended (more about that in another post on this blog), we need other ways of fulfillment. We want to enrich ourselves with stories that matter. Slow travel and authenticity is what we are looking for. The true meaning of travel.
Life goes on
Life continues. A merry go round, a rollercoaster. We work, breathe, live and socialize. It’s never enough. We are making the same mistakes. Living the same experiences. It’s one giant story. But it’s you in the middle! You decide how the story develops. (use the Net and) Catch what you love to do, it’s so much worth the effort.
The earth is turning. We stumble further. We ride our daily train to temporary destinations but forget to look out of the window. We travel by night to save time but to see nothing. I think I know my way. Now I would love to hear about yours.
Also read: Texture of a good travel life (or why we take our kids along)
Stories are everything. Or should I say the ways in which find our stories are everything. The experiences. I think it is all about finding ways to put yourself in the position and being able to embrace what comes your way. Of course, we all have our limits and preferences, but allowing ourselves the moment is crucial to travel. Crucial to experience.
My best travel experiences have happened with people during everyday circumstances. The key is being physically and mentally their, especially when you have kids. It takes a lot of work to get there. You need some financial security, balance, etc… But the best travel surely happens when one’s priority is not a schedule, work, or agenda, but simply the moment.
Great comment Justin, spot on! Once we have taken the first hurdle (finance, preparations, packing, flight) and arrive at our destination we can look around and let serendipity do the work. “..finding ways to put yourself in the position to embrace what comes your way.”, well said.
This sounds very exciting! I know there are some volunteer opportunities working with wildlife and coral in Indonesia. If that sounds interesting, check with Conservation International and WWF (and others). I would love to have the chance to delve into this conversation more because I think about slow travel and living abroad a lot, especially now that I have my children’s lives and education to think about. I still think the roots are important. I love that you are looking at ways to grow their wings that will benefit all of you, you guys as a family, and the people and places you visit. A beautiful combination.
Thank you Jenna! Let’s do that and talk more about other ways of traveling. Ways that give you rewards on a completely different level. Great comment Jenna, and nice to see you repeat the roots and wings approach.
I like what you said about travel giving rewards on a different level. I often think that traveling can be so much more than the usual (but also very enjoyable) vacation.
Totally agree with you: stories matter. I don’t take picture anymore (my wife does though but more from artistic point of view). Anyway we can get pictures of pretty much anything or anywhere now (thank you google maps) so what is the point?
Several people asked me why we were not taking pictures of what we were doing. I answered: I take pictures with my brain.
Once we are liberated from trying to remember through pictures or any other souvenirs we get a lot more time to enjoy the places where we are and the people who are with us.
Just sit anywhere for 10 minutes, observe the world, take pictures with you brain and you get your story.
Great piece Emiel! I look forward to reading about your future travel experiences.
Thank you Manuel. That is also the reason why we want to go and travel for a longer period of time. We don’t want to be rushed: arriving somewhere, taking pictures and go is something we have to avoid. Love your expression about “taking pictures with your brain”!
Thank you Harumi. I loved writing it although it was difficult at first to translate feelings into words. But I did it and I am so glad you are thrilled about it!
Wow!!!! I’m just thrilled, “Serendib” at best!
Wow Emiel, that’s some travel dreaming come true there! Are you planning on still keeping your (illuminated) home base, travel for a couple of months and then come back?
Keep us posted, the internet is indeed a big web full of stories. And I’m sure you & your family will have a few great ones to add next year (and don’t forget the photos!)
Thanks Esther. Dreams are there to be developed, so we will have to look how possibilities can turn into reality. You know we are quite limited here in the Netherlands by Education Laws (for the kids), so first of all we take the maximum out of what is possible.
Our illuminated 🙂 home base is important but addiction can take you everywhere…