As we reflect on recent weeks, we've come to realize that (except during our time with Pete and Natasha), our overwhelming sensation has been one of fatigue. We've found it telling to recall that, quite often, we've been more invigorated by the discussion of our future plans than we have been by the present moment. When we do focus on the now, on the incredible gift that is this trip, instead of excitement and wonder, we're left feeling sort of stretched, as Bilbo would say, like butter scraped over too much bread.
For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.
Because almost everything —all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure —these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.Steve Jobs
It is both unsettling and liberating, coming to the realization that this mammoth, all-consuming project which we've been working on for so long is no longer what we want to be doing. The last two years have unquestionably been the most fulfilling of our lives, but we're ready and eager to pursue new goals, to reconnect with family, to find a place to call home, and most of all, to learn and grow in ways that aren't travel-related.