For our anniversary this year, my wife and I went on a cruise through the Caribbean. If you’ve ever thought about going on a cruise, do it. I highly recommend it. The size of the ship and the beauty surrounding you while sailing is stunning and worth every penny.
While on the ship, my wife and I were walking down a hallway when we overheard a lady say to the man she was with, “Why did you wait until you were 53 to do this?”
I’m not sure if this woman was the man’s wife, sister, or friend. She didn’t ask this question rudely or harshly; she asked it with a genuine, sincere desire to understand this man’s decision.
The man didn’t have a clear answer for the lady. It sounded like this may have been the first time he thought about this question. From what I could observe, it looked like this ladies question got him thinking. I could feel regret in the conversation.
This is one of the many reasons why traveling is so important. Travel causes us to stop and think. Traveling causes us to step outside our normal routine, and evaluate our decisions, goals, and life.
One of my friends recently returned from a trip, and while traveling, he started to dream again. He put it this way, “When I travel, I just think a lot. It’s really good for me.”
I love how the late Earl Nightingale opens his book, The Strangest Secret:
“I would like to tell you about the strangest secret in the world.
Not long ago Albert Schweitzer, the great doctor and Noble Prize winner, was being interviewed in London and a reporter asked him, ‘Doctor what’s wrong with men today?’
The great doctor was silent for a moment and then he said, ‘Men simply don’t think.'”
Many of us have a similar problem: we simply don’t think enough. We’re constantly in “go mode,” checking our Facebook newsfeed, text messages, or distracted by something else. Because of this, we don’t take enough time to stop, think, dream, pray, or set goals for our lives.
Which leaves us with regret for decisions we’ve made, or decisions we haven’t made – like the guy on the cruise ship who waited 53 years to do something he loved.
Did you know that Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings takes at least six weeks of vacation each year? He does so because he believes substantial vacation time is vital to the company’s success:
“You often do your best thinking (when) you’re off hiking in some mountain or something and you get a different perspective on something. I take a lot of vacation and I’m open about it internally to try to set a good example.” – Reed Hastings
We need to take more time to stop, think, dream, pray, and evaluate our decisions, otherwise, we risk coasting through life on autopilot making unconscious decisions that bring us to destinations we don’t want to arrive at. (For example, the man who gets up and goes to work every day, only to realize at age 50 that this isn’t what he wants to be doing.)
Travel helps prevent this. When you travel, you’ll discover that your thoughts and dreams have room to breathe.