The Not Yet: Your Future Travels

May 23, 2013 View Comments by

The Not Yet: Your Future TravelsHave you ever ridden in Istanbul? No.

Have you ever ridden in Ireland? No.

Have you ever ridden in Italy? No.

Have you ever found yourself in one of these conversations? Being asked question after question about rides you haven’t done and destinations you haven’t been to? Do you find yourself replying—“No?”

If you do not, congratulations! If you do, perhaps this story will be of some assistance.

Recently I had the pleasure of heading down to Arizona to participate in a presentation by speaker/photographer Steve Uzzell. On the screen behind him was a young girl wearing a tiara. He went on to explain how he had just finished taking pictures in a swamp filled with snakes, turtles, lizards, and other slimy creatures of interest and how he was showing these photos to her. Were they topics for a faint-hearted princess? Perhaps not, but this girl was no ordinary princess. Here is the short but poignant conversation that took place.

Steve: “Have you ever been to a swamp?”

Princess: “Not Yet!”

He then switched to a slide of the princess with the most optimistic, and a bit devilish, smile. From this one picture you could tell this little girl was destined never to just go anywhere . . . but to go somewhere! Had it not been for my superior nasolacrimal ducts, I may have leaked. It was so simple and yet so powerful!

Children so commonly respond to adults by saying “no,” sometimes subconsciously. I know I did every time my mother asked me to take out the trash. I said “no” while I simultaneously did what she asked, some type of rebellion I suppose. Over time I realized that the word could turn into an attitude. It grew from telling others “no” to persuading myself that I could not do things, often before even trying. While I learned to ignore others who told me “no,” the doubter in my head had my full attention.

“Not yet” . . . It’s such an affirmative way to view the world of possibilities that surrounds us all. As adults, many of us lose our sense of wonder and possibility; we trade it in for work and responsibility. This approach, eventually hurts are health, our hearts, and the relationships we have with our family and friends. I have learned many times over that I can only sacrifice for so long before the cracks start to show. Of course, this is much easier to view in hindsight. I have the scars that show progress and I have also lived to tell about it. Long, repetitive conversations between the doubter in my head and me continue, but they are worth it for every time I prove the doubter wrong.

It may sound a little goofy, but one way I recaptured this sense of wonder was by creating a destiny list. I turned my travel dreams into destinies that needed to be reached regardless of the obstacles that blocked my path. Converting dreams into responsibilities forced me to create a plan and to take action. Among other things, I have used the list to ride my R 1200 GS ADV to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and to cross the Atlantic Ocean by sea. How it works is simple. I pick an item off the list and approach it just as I would any other responsibility or chore; like paying bills, feeding the kids, and occasionally showering. My latest use of this approach is my 2013 attempt to ride the Trans American Trail (TAT). For years it had just been a dream. I kept making excuses and my doubt and I kept discussing all the reasons that it could not be done.

In 2011 my dream was nudged a little closer to reality. My wonderful wife, seeing that I was not moving much on my TAT plans, secretly purchased me the maps. This was the push I needed to move the ride from my dream bucket into my destiny bucket. I started planning immediately. It took nearly two years to pull everything together, with some setbacks thrown in for good measure; but now, I am weeks away from beginning my adventure.

I do not know if there is a second time around on this third rock from the sun. I do know that I want to take in as much as I can while I am here. Sometimes a goal takes a long time to accomplish, but not starting guarantees failure. Waiting is the only thing standing between you and doing something. As corny as it may sound, I would rather try and come up short, than to never have tried at all, and I have come up short plenty of times. I refer to these as “changes to the adventure.”

I encourage you, the next time someone asks, “Have you ________ ?” Don’t say, “no.” Simply smile and say, “not yet!”

What would you put on your destiny list? What specific steps can you start planning today to make your dream a reality?

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About the author

I am an introvert posing as an extrovert. I love travel in all forms, but prefer 2-wheels. I created AdventureHermit as a way to share my adventures and inspire others to find joy through discovery; writing for RoadRUNNER is a dream come true!