Travel Now, Not Later, Now!

I sat in the hard plastic chair eating my breakfast

at the long table filled with strangers

who transformed into friends

thirty days of adventure through China

the end coming near

attempting to swallow that hour-old fried egg

travellers milling around the buffet room

sharing experiences

making plans

offering suggestions

crunching that cold crusty bread

taking it all in.

One more day

twenty-four short hours

ticking away

too quickly

washing it all down with the far too sweet orange juice

tuning into the conversations surrounding me

focusing on the elderly Alaskan man

having travelled  to hundreds of countries

offering advice to our group of new-found travellers

stopping

pausing

pointing

at me

me, taking my last bite of juicy pineapple

looking around

confirming his intention

me, he is talking to me

“You need to travel now. Not later, now!”

confused

lost

my perfectly paved future plans

shattering

slowly

then

quickly

as those words encircled me

TRAVEL

NOW

NOT LATER

NOW

How does he know

the questions running through my head

repeating

throughout this trip

He has given me the answers

Travel

Now!

A nod

acknowledging

his advice

Travel now, not later, now!

I wish I could speak to that Alaskan Man one more time. Two months after our brief interaction, I signed a contract to work in Vietnam. Six years later, I am still living overseas and travelling as he recommended.

He was right; travel now, not later. 

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9 thoughts on “Travel Now, Not Later, Now!

  1. I have such fond memories of our time in China. You had a big decision to make and I was so happy for you when you went for it! Thank goodness the wonderful random (destined) encounters we have and the everyday people who inspire us to dream big!

  2. I am so sorry to hear that JMJD, I hope that you have been traveling since you have gotten your passport, I bet he is still by your side as you travel now 😀

  3. What sage advice. I only got my passport when I was forty. My husband and I always planned to travel, but then I lost him to a heart attack at thirty-nine. Live while you can. So glad you followed his lead.

  4. You had the courage to follow the advice. I am envious of the travel and adventure of living abroad. I don’t know if I’d have been able to pull up and do it. What a life you have!

  5. A great example of how simple words can stay with you and guide you. I wonder what words of wisdom you have said to others that have stuck with them. Great piece!

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