Maybe writing is a pressure valve that allows me to exist sanely.
Three years ago I was commuting in bumper-to-bumper traffic when I saw a duck in the grass and felt jealous of its freedom. Yesterday my office was a cafe near the Sydney Opera House. Today I went off-roading in "the Australian bush", visited the largest deep space radio telescope in the southern hemisphere, and walked among wild kangaroos. Think outside the box. Release preconceived notions of reality. The heart can only stretch if the mind is willing to let go.
I have what feels like the entire earth to myself, this huge open expanse inviting me to come play, to run, to sprint, to feel the sand between my toes and the warm breeze on my skin.
But I don't run. I stroll. I feel the lukewarm water lapping gently at my feet and watch as the quiet waves roll in softly and ripple across the infinite sandy expanse.
I close my eyes and inhale deeply, taking into my being the pure energy that surrounds me. It's intoxicating. I cannot breathe deeply enough. It's as if the air itself is so full that my lungs are unable to capture it. My body tingles with overwhelm.
I look up at the stars and exhale a sense of immense gratitude and contentment. If peace itself could be captured in a bottle, this must be what drinking it feels like.
With all the places in the world to visit -- with all the places that my freedom allows me to go -- I suddenly feel no desire to go anywhere, no sense of urgency to see a new place, or to relocate, or to even explore.
What more do I need? Where else will I go? What more could I possibly ask for in a destination?
What was it about this beach in Florida? Was there some energy here that my being was connecting with? Or was this experience perhaps more superficial, more related to the warm weather and the never-ending sunshine?
For the past few weeks I have gone for a walk on this beach near Cape Canaveral almost every single day and incredibly this experience has followed me each time.
I arrive about thirty minutes before sunset and spend two hours or so walking and/or running until the sun goes down and the stars come out.
Each night before leaving I stand in the ocean and look up at the stars, picking out planets and constellations and watching for satellites and shooting stars.
With the ocean before me and the stars and planets above, I can feel my infinitesimal size.
Why am I here? What am I doing? What is my purpose for traveling? Why do I need to go anywhere?
I ponder these questions over and over while simultaneously feeling certain that I won't stop asking them, just as I feel certain that I won't stop traveling. (After all, none of us really do stop traveling. We're in constant motion, whether on this planet or through time itself.)
I'm reminded by these experiences that my travels are not a method of 'searching'; I'm not trying to fill a void or figure out what's missing. Everything I need, everything I ever will need, is already here; I'm already complete.
What travel does is help me strip away all the social conditioning, all the preconceived ideas and expectations that I create for myself. It helps me release all the bits and pieces of identity that I, and others, have plastered all over me in attempt to create a definition and a design that can easily be grasped onto.
Embracing change as a constant requires embracing detachment and movement as constants as well. Letting go is part of moving forward, just as moving forward is inherent in letting go.
Travel helps me rediscover what's already here, what goes with me from place to place, from moment to moment unchanged. Just as the ocean washes away my footprints, so does each moment wash away the previous, leaving behind only what was already here.