Lifestyle + Wellness Love The Journey Travel

How to trust the journey… even when it sucks. [LTJ]

The thing about traveling (and life) is… it’s unpredictable. Yes, you can book a flight and a rental car, and plan out your itinerary. But if you’re the type of person that goes into every day with their heart and mind open to what’s out there? Get ready for the ride. You will never be able to plan for who you will meet, and how you will feel along the way. We are out in the world at the mercy of our environment. We have no idea what to expect.

Let’s get real. Would you really want to?

It’s the unknown that’s exciting. The risk, the fear, the mystery. It’s exhilarating and intensely addictive. That’s what we’re here for.

So why the topic ‘Trust the Journey?’

It’s the greatest lesson I’ve learned in my travels.

It’s not always a walk in the park. Shit happens. I’ve spent days and weeks out in the world fighting anger and frustration and sadness. It’s hard. But I’m committed to making the most of life in every way I know how. For me? That’s traveling. I’m not going to run home and hide under the covers in the bed that I grew up in when things get hard. Fuck that. I choose to keep going. I make every effort to choose positivity, and happiness, and to believe that there is beauty in not knowing. It’s exhausting. And it’s worth it.

Lyle, Washington. Self-portrait by Crystal Veness.

Every time I’ve been asked if I’m planning to write a book to share my story, I laugh and brush it off. How can you write a story when you don’t know the ending? And then I remember that that’s the point. That is why we exist. Because we are on this quest of growth and knowledge and epic experiences, and we don’t know what’s on the other side. We’re just opening ourselves up and allowing everything and everyone we encounter to teach us something about life and ourselves. We are trusting the journey.

How do we do it? How do we trust? It would be pretty simple to say… ‘just do’. But I’ll make it a little easier and share a few insights that have helped me. If you’re out there on your own journey and are lost and hurt and confused, I hope these words give you some relief.

Lyle, Washington. Photo by Crystal Veness.

Comparison is the death of creativity.

Stop judging yourself by what others are doing. Right now. It is an incredible waste of time and energy.

I’m guilty of contributing to this issue. My Instagram and Facebook feeds are full of beauty and joy and positive messages. Because that’s what I want to share. Sure, there are hidden messages of hurt reframed in a positive light, but that’s part of my story. I choose to focus on positivity in my life, and share it with those around me. The really tough stuff is my own to experience in private or amongst my near and dear.

Assume that everything you see on the internet is seen through a happy filter, like those awesome sunglasses that make everything look yellow and bright and fun. That’s social media. That’s not reality. The world isn’t always yellow and pretty and shiny. But you can certainly make it look that way if you try!

Your self-worth should not be measured by how it stacks up against those around you. If you switch all of that off – the comparisons, jealousy, insecurity – do you love who you are? Are you happy with what you do, and what you have, and what you know? Would you be proud of what you’ve accomplished? Forget everyone else, and do you. For you alone.

Seattle, Washington. Photo by Bianca Wakeford.

Every obstacle is an opportunity.

I know, right? Stop it with that new-age, kooky psycho-babble! Obstacles are obstacles, let them be. Well, I used to feel that way, until I started testing those beliefs. I get it now.

Every obstacle is an opportunity. Every time I’ve experienced abject failure or had my little heart stepped on or crumbled in the face of challenge, I’ve grown. I’ve come out stronger on the other side.

Don’t be mistaken. When I say stronger, I don’t mean tougher or harder or that I’ve stopped failing or falling… I mean I can handle it. I can fail and not stop trying. My heart can be bruised but it will never break. And I run towards challenges instead of shying away.

Choosing to overcome an obstacle instead of letting it overcome you is powerful. You will learn. You will grow. Get excited about those opportunities, even if they scare you. Trust that those challenges and failures will make you stronger. They will.

Vancouver Island, Canada. Photo by Crystal Veness.

The future is unknown. Enjoy the now.

The least satisfied I have ever been is when I’ve been so laser focused on what comes next, and needing to know what lies ahead, that I forget about now. In those moments, I’m totally missing out on just being present. And you can never get those moments back. I do my very best not to allow regret into my life, but recalling those lost moments are when those tendrils of regret sneak in.

In those times when you’re stressing about the future, or crying about the past? Stop. Let it go. Be here now. Life is not meant to be controlled, it’s meant to be lived. The past happened a long time ago. The future doesn’t exist until you create it. So sit back… inhale… exhale… live. And if you’re on the downhill track of that roller coaster? Hang on. It’s coming back up again, and it will blow your mind!

Que sera, sera. Whatever will be, will be.

It was almost a year ago when I first heard the words ‘Trust the Journey’. Or possibly, when I was first able to comprehend them. Thank you to my absolutely inspiring friend Cierra for sharing that message. Those words have stuck with me ever since, and I hope you find value in them too.

Trust that the journey will take you somewhere worth going. Bainbridge, Washington. Photo by Crystal Veness.

Every day has the potential to be an exceptional day, no matter what you are going through. When I see myself falling into darkness, those words lift me out. It’s a beautiful reminder that this is all part of it. A tale without drama or challenge or loss or pain to overcome is simply not one worth telling.

Whatever we are experiencing today, this is all part of our story. And it’s gonna be a damn good one! Trust.

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