Trips…short or long…have some commonalities.
There is the booking, and then the planning, and then the packing, and then the journey.
You then have the “to-do” list, the free breakfast (which you do complete justice to), the good food overall (hopefully), the mandatory long bath (not your water after all) and then the wrapping up, packing, settling (a hopefully small) bill, and then the return journey.
Staycations are the same, only that you mostly travel by road. And the roads in the UAE are world-class, so no complaining there. This was our first actual foray with the little one outside the 4-mile perimeter of our house, and so there was quite a bit of apprehension on how it would play out.
Turns out that junior is quite cooperative, even though he isn’t a big fan of the car seat. So all went well.
Came back and spent the dwindling hours of my short break re-watching “Queen”, which is one of my favourite movies, also involving a journey of a different kind. I thought I had written about it back in the day, but apparently I had not. And now it is too late anyway.
But it isn’t too late to think about a lot of other matters.
Journeys are meant to be enjoyed, rather – experienced. There is a to-do list in life, all of us have an ambition, big or small, about leaving our (hopefully) enduring mark on family, and society at large. We want to enjoy material comfort as well, the things we collect…hoping to squeeze out as much as we can from the little time that we are here.
Where we do a very poor job is hone wrapping up. The bill is almost never settled, and the return journey is seldom enjoyed. We fear it rather. The toll that we take on our families and society, is never repaid.
Yes, we leave behind possessions and inheritance for our loved ones, but that is not settling a bill. The people we wrong, the injustices that we commit, the wastefulness, all goes unpaid. We leave as unkind and unruly guests, our towels strewn all over the floor and our dustbins overflowing.
When we checkout of a hotel, we tip the servers and fill out feedback forms and are so courteous with the staff (I hope so), but while checking out from this world, we leave many words unsaid and many deeds unfinished.
At the end of it all, we always think about ourselves, and no one else. As humans, we are taught to rein in our thoughts so that we can fit into a civilized society, but deep down, our instinctive emotions do not lie. Brain research has shown that we are not emotive beings – we are pattern recognisers and we react based on the patterns that we detect subconsciously. This is how we feel anger, sadness, happiness and even love.
This journey is very complicated. Actually, it is simple, but we have made it complicated by filling it with a lot of baggage, and then complaining about the weight. Research has shown that humans are happier when they earn less, but contribute to the community in a meaningful way, when they have meaningful interactions and a more wholesome life experience. Yet, we end up trying to earn more to live better later, and this later never comes, until it is too late.
If only we treated life like we treat every other journey of ours!
Think about it:)