What does it mean to live well?

This banner hung outside of our room at the Rupa Wasi Lodge in Machu Picchu Pueblo in May 2005. It says:

"In the end what matters most is
How well did you live
How well did you love
How well did you let go."

I often wonder what it is deep down that gives me such a strong urge to travel. I'm often not content with a weekend drive in the mountains. I feel compelled to visit far-away places. I want to immerse myself in another environment, another culture, another life for weeks at a time. When I'm not traveling, I scheme about traveling. Where will I go next? When will I go next? How can I spend more time there?

I never feel more alive than I do when I travel to far away places. I suppose that is at the heart of my desire - when I travel, I am aware of everything around me. I am fully awake to life. The more new, different, or strange my surroundings, the more heightened my awareness. In my mind, this is what it means to live fully - to be fully present to each moment. I love the suprizes that pop up - this banner, for example, which gets to the heart of everything.

But despite the relentless urge to explore exotic places, I always reach a point in my travels when I want to come home. A point when I'm tired and long for nothing more than to crawl into my own bed and wake in familiar surroundings. There is always a fine line between the desire for new, different, and daring, and the desire for comfort and familiarity. (Although, after a long trip, the familiar often feels strange - I always wake at some point during my first night home in utter confusion - for a brief moment, I have no idea where I am, and nothing looks familiar).

But how can I be more awake to life in the comfort and familiarity of my own home? I can't always be galavanting across the globe in search of adventure - and, in truth, I really don't want to be. Maybe I can find a balance in seeking out adventure in my own backyard.


Blogger Eric said...

Nice to see that you're updating your blog! And it looks better too.

Would you be willing to add me to your blogroll?


6:56 PM  

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