When I was eighteen I went on my first road trip. I drove, hitchhiked, rode buses, flew in airplanes and rode trains. It lasted nearly three years and left me with the conviction that everything will be okay.
I began my journey with a car, a few hundred dollars and only an idea of where I wanted to go. My money quickly ran short, while my list of places to go grew.
By the time I was ready to quit traveling and settle down – I had learned to trust that I would be okay. This adventure was a learning experience that was scary at times. I wasn’t always sure how I would get somewhere; if I would be able to earn some money somehow when I got there; or even where my next meal was coming from. Sometimes I would go a couple days without eating much – once I ate nothing but oranges for a week because I found a place I could pick them. I spent two days walking in the desert in Arizona along Interstate 10 because I couldn’t get a ride hitchhiking.
I found that as long as I had a goal – somewhere I wanted to go or something I wanted to do, and did what I was able to toward it – the details worked themselves out. Many times it was just a matter of realizing what I had; the time I ate all those oranges I realized I was able to pick enough to sell and got enough cash to get me going again. Once I was in San Diego, California and wanted to go to Portland, Oregon. I was going to hitchhike but wanted to get out of the city first to make it easier. I got on a city bus and the driver told me I could make it all the way to LA. I wound up riding the city bus all the way to Malibu for $1.25 – about 150 miles! On occasion adjustments had to be made and I needed to be flexible, but in the end everything always worked out.
My life since then has been a testament to my belief that everything will be okay. There are fewer instances now, when I don’t have a pretty good idea of how things will happen. My life is less flexible – I am married, have children and other responsibilities. I plan more and risk less. Still there are times of uncertainty, sometimes I will take an opportunity or a chance even when the details are unclear. I always know that everything will be ok.
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