Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Truth of Our Choices.

Atlantic Byron Bay
@Byron Bay, Australia February 2012

"It is our choices, Harry, that shows us what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Travel at its core is a person or group of people making a lot of choices.

Choosing destinations. Choosing lodging. Choosing modes of transportation.
{trains, planes, automobiles}

Choosing w/whom your travels will be spent.
Choosing urban versus rural. Choosing souvenirs. Choosing guide books.
{Lonely Planet =)}

Choosing clothes to be stuffed in your pack. Choosing shoes to comfort your feet.
{as they pick up particles of life on every road you take}


  Analyzing the choices I made in Australia has been an interesting process. The choices I made are concrete evidence of my preferences and biases. If I want to understand who I am and what makes me come alive, I cannot hide from these choices.

One choice I've reflected upon was my decision to avoid "party" hostels.

During the first week of my travels I stayed in Melbourne, and crashed with friends. While traveling alone outside of Melbourne, I chose {subjective to my ideals} cozier accommodations. 

One example would be my stay at Atlantic Byron Bay. This hotel sells a few shared rooms for the same rate as hostels, but is adorable and quiet. No late night disruptions. And my roomies were women just a bit older than myself. One from China studying yoga in the area. One from Germany on a two week vacation mostly involving reading. I absolutely loved this arrangement.

The choice on the surface seems simple. I either wanted to party or I didn't. Right? But I am also a person who enjoys recommendations and getting the inside scoop from those who have gone before me. This led me to discover opinions mostly pointing to one essential component of visiting Byron Bay; party hostels. 

I mauled over the decision for a few days. I scoured the internet reading hostel reviews. I asked more people's opinions. 

"Why am I struggling so much with this decision?" I asked myself. I was struggling because I wanted to go against the dominant advice. My being wanted nothing to do with the "party" hostel. My being wanted quiet. It wanted the beach, the sun, and the ocean. It wanted a massage. It wanted a novel and pen to paper. It wanted trail running, and flora and fauna.

My being wanted a glass of wine {or two} coupled with live music at the end of each relaxing day. For the record, I am not inherently opposed to evenings of debauchery. {Just ask my friends.} But for me on that trip at that moment; it wasn't the experience I was looking for. 

So I chose what I yearn to do more often. I honored my inner voice. I discovered a piece of myself. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

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  1. That sounds like paradise. I agree, sometimes you don't want all the noise, you just want time alone with your thoughts. When I was living in Philadelphia, I got sick of going out night after night. I started getting alone and getting quiet, and it helped me grow. I feel like I know who I am now.

    Getting that peace in Australia makes me jealous :)

    1. "I started getting alone and getting quiet." ---Love this. So key in the culture that we live in now where there is sooo much distraction from ever getting to know yourself. Thanks for your thoughts (as always) Lizzie!!


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