Just Go…

I am a teller of tales.  I come by that honestly though, my dad has the same skill for spinning a yarn or hyping hyperbole.  Despite our 376795_182665425199441_1055111367_nreputation for telling tales, the reality is that we have honest-to-goodness stories to tell.  My dad has lived (and continues to live) a good life.  His fishing stories truly involve fishing.  His hunting stories are based on his experiences.  The truth of the matter is that while he and I have the gift of gab, the stories we tell are true.  And the simple fact is that we have stories to tell…unlike so many others.

Since I was a youngster, I’ve had an almost insatiable  sense of “Wanderlust.”  I first encountered the word while reading The Dragonlance Chronicles where I met Tasselhof Burfoot, an innocent, childlike, vagabond who constantly traveled the fictional realm of Krynn.  127585
Tas is incapable of sitting still for long, with a strong desire to explore and see the world.  And while, as a reader, I related to other characters more, Tas’s concept of “Wanderlust” stuck with me.  I was lucky enough to have parents who were adventurous.  After all, what else do you call tossing two boys into a camper for a cross country trip from South Dakota to Michigan to Tennessee to North Carolina and back to South Dakota?  Camping trips to the Black Hills, road trips to Minneapolis, family vacations to Alaska, I was blessed to have the opportunity to see a bit of the country before I even graduated high school.  This taste of the world only whetted my appetite for more.

In the intervening years, I have taken opportunities to travel abroad, visit big cities, speak at large conferences, and witness unspeakable beauty.  Every year I try to do something wonderful or go somewhere beautiful.  And every year, someone asks me how have I been to so many places or done so many things.  The answer is simple.  I’ve said “yes” to a lot of opportunities and “gone” wherever they’ve taken me.

Recently I had a conversation with my friend Zane about his general dissatisfaction and how he wishes he had “done more stuff” in his life.  It occurred to me while talking with Zane that many of my students, and indeed friends, feel similarly.  They listen to my stories with crooked grins and give each other knowing looks of disbelief or incredulity.  They tolerate my digressions, but at the same time bemoan their inability to cultivate
their own stories.

zaneZane is young yet.  He still has time to “go.”  To experience beauty, adventure, to see the world.  Last year, I took him to Yellowstone, and we explored this amazing and beautiful place.  He saw Old Faithful, hiked to the bottom of Yellowstone’s Little Grand Canyon, and watched a thunderstorm roll through a mountain valley.  And now he has a story to share.  This year, we’re hoping to road trip to Yosemite National Park and add another story to our collection.  Why don’t more people?

Why do so many people listen with jealous ears while others share stories of beauty and adventure?  My friend Devin makes beautiful pictures wherever he travels (which is a lot), and his friends comment how jealous they are of him.  And I wonder why people don’t “go” more?

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Photo by Devin Wagner

There is so much beauty, so much adventure, so much to witness and experience in the world that it is a shame to miss it because we don’t “go.”  And rather than live vicariously through others’ Facebook accounts or Instagram posts, we need to do a better job of putting down our phones, turning off the game systems, finding a friend and “going” somewhere to do something.  To “go” means “to proceed without delay and often in a thoughtless or reckless manner, to embark on a journey” (Webster Online).  Sometimes if we think too much, we miss the opportunity to do something memorable, to see something beautiful, to write another chapter in our story.

They saying reads: “Go big or go home.”  I say, “Just Go.”

No Regrets:

Jason

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~ by archangel66 on December 19, 2016.

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