Travel Open Hearted

Traveling to new places has a way of changing us if we open up our minds and hearts and allow it to.

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As a female wrestler, do you find that when you travel, you often focus on the itinerary rather the important lessons you will learn along the way? So often the first step to change, even minor ones is to recognize behavior or thinking that should be altered.

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.…..Confucius

Frequently when I have covered female wrestling events for Female Competition International (FCI), afterwards I will interview the competitor and ask the where and what regarding her travel experience. Where did she go and what did she like about the place visited. Those are both very good questions but what I have too often left out and will be sure to include in future interviews is the question asking what life lesson did they learn from the trip?

Based upon my own experiences as a youth when my parents took me by car across the United States, I should know better. One of the reasons I prefer traveling by car as opposed to by plane, even knowing that it consumes far more time, is the invaluable experience of watching how mile by mile, town by town and person by person the landscape and country changes right before your eyes.

It’s so powerful and penetrating that it’s hard to put into words.

It was as though regions had personalities and similar to an ant hill, the next major city was like approaching the Queen Bee’s hive. You previously traveled for hours seeing rolling hills, mystical deserts and green irrigated farms but the moment you read the sign, Big City 30 miles; it was as though you could feel that city’s power and effect. Suddenly there were more cars and more energy. Before you know it, in the distance like centurions thrusting towards the sky, you could see the skyscrapers. Partner that with some great driving music and you have one dynamic memory.

To this day I still remember cities that I saw for the very first time based upon the song I was listening to, even though it was decades ago. The first time I traveled past Sacramento’s skyline heading towards the San Francisco Bay Area, Neil Young’s Heart of Gold really moved me.

When I approached Portland’s skyline at no more than twelve, Donovan’s Mellow Yellow was thumping. When I was leaving Portland as a young adult in my twenties, searching for love, Laura Branigan’s Solitaire sent electricity through me.

Please allow me one more.

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As an adult when traveling through Japan with friends and family they wanted me to see as much of Japan as possible but after a while, I began to think once you’ve seen ten temples and five lakes, how many more do you need to see? I want to have fun so instead of going on the go everywhere and get extremely tired tour, I said the heck with that and used my First Class JAL pass and traveled to Tokyo over and over and over and over by Bullet Train!

With most American cities I would say 30 miles out is about the distance you can feel the tentacles of the major metropolis approached beckoning you. Tokyo is different. Within 50 miles everything started to change and like the most beautiful woman you have ever seen and began to fall in love with, her magic begins to engulf from a great distance.

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Tokyo is an incredible, powerful, energetic and engulfing Mega City.

I would say that I sense most female wrestlers have already figured this out but the back of my mind tells me that this is a generational mindset. Since most modern day travelers fly, I can’t say enough how taking a road trip is an entirely different experience.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century once stated, Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

As Fem Competitors probably already know, when you travel the only baggage you should bring are the ones made of fabric that you carry in your hand, over your shoulder or roll along. The other kind inside of our heads, we should leave at home.

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Even if temporary, travel is a way of starting out with a clean slate.

One of my favorite motivational speakers Mr. Robert Chen took two months off and traveled the world. What life lessons did he learn? Many. He shares one here.

“Having returned from my trip, I realized that I spend a lot of time in the present thinking about what I’m planning to do tomorrow or what I did in the past. I rarely get to enjoy what’s happening in the present. Knowing that, I’ve tried to focus more on the present through meditation. I now meditate 10 minutes every day and I notice the difference. I am more self-aware and attuned to my thoughts.

Living in the present doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan or reflect on your past. Both of these activities are very important. Just make sure that you’re consciously carving out time to do it so it becomes an activity in the present. What you don’t want is to drift into the past or future when you really should be living your life in the present.”

Fem Competitors can I make a suggestion?

Please take a moment and reflect back on your travels and remind yourself of some of the most important life lessons learned and how you can once again apply them in the present.

Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.…….Mary Ritter Beard

We can all learn from great minds around the world. When it comes to travel Cesare Pavese, an Italian poet, novelist, literary critic and translator, widely considered among the major authors of the 20th century in his home country wisely expressed, “If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.

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