the subjective perspective of an analytical optimist

Falling In Love With Experiences

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September 6, 2013

Everywhere I go, I fall in love. Not necessarily with anyone, or anything. I simply experience this overwhelming sense that everything is right in the world. That I belong precisely where I am. That everything is perfect. I feel that now. Here, in Costa Rica. In the place I will call home for the next nine days.

My wanderlust is a fiercely burning ember, and trips like this remind me of, and reignite my dreams. I must travel. I need to see the world. I don’t believe I can fully experience life until I’m immersing myself in new cultures.

I must repeatedly fall in love this way. I need to leap fearlessly into uncertainty and allow the net to catch my fall and send me swaying into a state of beachfront bliss or summitting splendor. I need to act with reckless abandon every now and then, to seek out novelty and revel in nature’s subtle nuances. Lest I forget how it feels to be alive, and in love.

It’s different, you see, from romantic love, or familial. It’s different from loving dogs and ice cream and the 4th of July. It is deeper, more profound.

It provokes a sense of aliveness, unlike anything I have ever known. It is a place where solitude feels refreshing and I don’t need to socialize or linger online to feel connected to something more. Listening to the drizzling and pouring and cleansing rain is like giving my thoughts space to to be, to become. It grounds and centers and aligns.

The quite, nameless space in which I now reside feels like where I am supposed to be. There are no worries, no concerns. Nothing but the here and now. My brand new, yet ruggedly adventurous journal, my brightly colored pens, the fresh tropical air, and a strange new city–my temporarily beloved home–lit up like a summer lawn of dancing fireflies.

I suppose, more than anything, I fall in love with experience. I love travel because every moment is novel and engaging. I love meeting new people and diving into deep, intimate conversation because everyone has a compelling story. I love writing because the process itself is always an unfolding, a source of new insight.

These things are all novel and fun–yes–but even more so, they are a reminder that I am alive. Right here and now is all there is. Every moment is precious, every experience is a treasure.

And the shortcomings are forgivable. My 15 years of Spanish failed me a few hours ago and I have no clue how much I paid my taxi driver for my trip from the airport to my hotel. But it’s okay, because I am here, and I am happy. I trust the universe and its processes. This is worth whatever the cost.

Three hours spent writing on the balcony of a luxury hotel in a foreign country feels valuable and worthwhile. Being here, so joyfully aware, forces me to reexamine how I spend my everydays. I’ve been without internet for only a few hours and I already feel more productive, efficient, and happy. I am beginning to believe our constant need to connect is a great source of our perpetual anxiety.

I think I need to schedule stay-cations, uninterrupted time to ponder and write into my life. Perhaps I need to write not only when I feel like it, but also when I am lacking inspiration. Perhaps I need to provide myself a sanctuary in which to fall in love at home, to find novelty and bliss in my everyday routine.

Because I would like to feel like this more often. Alive. Purely alive, and carefree.

I want to sit in solitude, overlooking new places, with a pen in hand or a blank screen before me, and know that this is where I am meant to be.

Anywhere.

Everywhere.

I want to seek out the thrill of chasing the sunset, approaching the summit, tasting new cuisines, seeing unreal animals, and meeting people who will absolutely change my life. I want to go places and do things that inspire new words and metaphors and emotions. I want to discover and develop my dream life with each passing day. I want this to be my everyday reality, as opposed to the occasional taste of ecstasy.

I think that love is less singular and elusive than we are led to believe.  Love permeates and saturates every moment. It lies ready in every place we choose to wander with open eyes. We’ve just misunderstood. In truth, all we need to capture the intangible is a dream, some initiative, and an insatiably-eager open heart.

5 Responses to Falling In Love With Experiences

  1. lserf13 says:

    Oh how I love this especially the last line. It says it all “…insatiably-eager open heart.” So beautiful!

  2. Naik nawaz says:

    As usual i would say i love the way you impressed and inspired me and readers ! Great specially about love ,feelings and thoughts !

  3. Anjali says:

    Never met anyone so able capture my love of traveling and reasoning to being open to new experiences the way you have. Well written and very interesting. Happy to know there are others out there!

  4. Thank you very much Erin for sharing your travels. I have often wanted to move about and see more of the world and what is out there. Always there was a reason not to go, or perhaps later on. Now I look and see there are only so many later ons, and if opportunity comes you need to go. Today I am taking my first small step, flying to Texas, where I have never been before. I think that love is in each moment and the choice between love and fear is a constant companion. I think your journey, and your travels have been inspirational. All the best. :-)

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