While I was in the middle of writing the last series on the Disney Cruise Line, I got an e-mail from one of the bloggers whose site I read on a regular basis. She was putting together a feature on How to Make Travel a Reality in your life (here's a link to the article), and asked if I would be willing to contribute my thoughts on the subject. Now I usually don't have to be asked twice to offer up an opinion (although sometimes I have to double check with my wife to find out what my opinion is), but my thoughts were to be part of a collaboration on the subject with 20 other bloggers, all of whom know much more about travel than I do. I hesitated a little, thinking that whatever needed to be said about the subject would be more than adequately covered by the more experienced writers involved. Then, in the course of doing something else, a cutesy idea came to me that I thought might look somewhat intelligent alongside the other submissions, so I sent it in.
Ever outsmart yourself?
If you look down the list of submissions there's my "beat around the bush, try and tell a story so you look smart" thoughts and 19 other people getting straight to the point. Now I'm not saying this to criticize my writing. I like to tell stories, and despite being a little long winded sometimes (I often wonder if Unbrave Girl and I are related somewhere along the line) there usually is a point to the tale I'm telling. What's different about this case is that, while I was weaving a story in to my answer, the other 19 writers were telling me exactly what I needed to hear.
Now this will make a lot more sense if you've at least skimmed the article (Here's another link in case you skipped over it the first time. Go give it a look, it's full of good advice....and one rambling story.) but essentially what the other people were saying in their answer was "Don't make excuses, just go". It's funny because in my own wordy way, I was trying to get the same sentiment across, but I never really got the point of my own submission until 19 other people repeated it back to me without hiding it behind a story (Actually it was more like 30 by the time the commentators piled on.)
I've had a trip sitting on my "to book" list for the last little while now, and I've been arguing with myself as to whether or not to pull the trigger. I've been using the standard excuses of "It's too expensive/I'm too busy/Who'll feed the fish?" to avoid actually clicking the purchase button. To be honest I didn't really have a good reason not to book the trip, but I think I was being distracted by other things in my life. Then yesterday, the article comes out, and every single submission tells me to get moving and make traveling my number one priority. I got the point, and the trip is booked.
Traveling is never going to be the top priority in my life. My God, my wife, and my kids will always take up the top three spots on that list. I don't know the other writers well enough to know if they have any of those three in their lives, but I don't think their intent was to displace family or faith. I think they were merely trying to tell people that if they want to travel, all they have to do is go and to not let the excuses get in the way. I don't know how many people are going to get the point of the article, but I did, and I'm grateful for it. Thanks Ruth.