We live in an age where we have a non-stop look into other people's lives. It's often easy to forget that what we are looking at-- the posts we are viewing, liking and commenting on-- are highlight reels.
I was thinking back to when my friends were putting together their high school football highlight films for college recruiting season. Jam packed with their ace moves, these films were all stud and no dud. Quite obviously, you didn't see the times they got hit and didn't get up, times they came limping off the field, or times they just straight-up wiffed.
Traveling often gets romanticized by those with wanderlust (or maybe it's wanderenvy). In many ways, travel is a constant dance of sacrifice and celebration, of chaos and tranquility, of excitement and disappointment, of adventure and boredom. And ultimately, it's a huge lesson in adaptability. I wanted this blog to not only be a "hey look how awesome I am! I'm traveling!" kind of blog, but also a place where we could share the ups and downs, ins and outs of our journey.
Admittedly, it's hard to share the grittiness. There are no instagram-worthy, like-collecting images. There are no filters that make it easier to view, or to make your hair look better. Some days, it's just a feeling. Other days, the reality doesn't live up to your expectations. It is hard to fight the urge to settle, to get comfortable, to stop pushing.
Self exploration is a complicated thing. What makes you happy -- what WILL make you happy-- is sometimes diametrically opposed to what feels most comfortable or easy. It is almost like these forces are magnetized against each other, pushing and pulling you in all kinds of different directions.
When you are out there on the road, out of podcasts, without a 4G signal... shit can get real. You miss your friends back home, feel disconnected from their lives. Back in Marfa, I saw this hanging on the wall of a bar, and if I could I would hang it on the wall of our car:
But this -- all of the highs and lows, bumps and bruises-- build our character. We went on this trip to spend more time together and see the country, yes. But we also are learning about ourselves and who we are as a family unit: what is important to us, what's maybe not so important.
The journey is the lesson, and each destination is the reward.