Letter 032: Ruins to Ruins
Today, I have to spill the beans. As a traveler of all the great worlds, I can safely say there aren’t enough words in any dictionary to begin to scratch the surface of the wonders I’ve seen. From the sparkling inverse peaks of Atlantis to the soaring forests of the Wildwood to the impossible selection of the candy aisle of just about any grocery store I stumble into, there aren’t many great sights I haven’t seen.
But there is a secret: I don’t remember where I first started getting an inkling of something more—it may have been in transit somewhere just west of Stella Polaris, or braving the bitter cold of the perilous peaks. But I began to realize that no matter where I went, no matter what great sights I was seeing, I was seeing them with the same pair of eyes. And no sweeping landscapes or brilliant sunsets could change the fact that I was the one watching them! And the inverse was true. Because the same pair of eyes, hands, and feet that had travelled to the greats parts of the world were the ones I was stuck at home with, the ones that did the dishes and cleaned the bathroom and went through the most ordinary, boring parts of life imaginable.
See, that’s the secret. The secret about traveling to the most beautiful places in the world with the best food and history and most photo-worthy backdrops: you bring the person you left at home with you. And no matter how dazzling the views, no matter how delicious the food, no matter how rare the experience… I’ve found what really makes the difference in how much you enjoy your time has less to do with the place where you find yourself and a lot more to do with the person you find yourself with: you.
But that’s also the good news: because it’s true for the inverse as well. Too often people do what Emerson called “bringing ruins to ruins”, where people spend their entire lives chasing exotic places and experiences as a way of fulfilling their dreams. Instead, if you find yourself at home, stuck inside or caught up in the most mundane circumstances, remember: you’re in the same company you would be in any of the world’s most beautiful locations, the most prestigious parties, the most epic showdowns. The same company you’ll be in for the rest of your life. And if you’re willing to do the work of getting to know that person, I’m sure you’ll find that company is very much worth keeping!
May the road rise up to meet you!