“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” – anonymous
Every New Year, many of us make resolutions. The top choices are always relating to getting healthier in some manner – losing weight or stopping smoking or the like. While getting healthy is certainly a worthy goal, the next highest goal is the one I want to speak on: enjoying life to the fullest. Hellen Keller said “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Similarly, Mel Gibson’s character in Braveheart said, “Every man dies, not every man truly lives.” These quotes are good examples of why enjoying life to the fullest is a resolution. We all know that we spend most of our time not really living, but only existing, and we long for something more fulfilling.
Think back over your life and consider what your top ten moments are. Don’t use obligatory answers like when you got married or a child was born. These certainly are important moments in our lives, but we can’t produce a new child every year or a new marriage (I hope!). Have you got the moments in your mind? Is it hard to come up with a worthy list?
Much of our lives are spent working and doing chores and our free time is often spent looking at screens. As if television and computer screens were not enough, we now have smart phones and tablets of all sizes to further occupy our time. Do you have any fond memories of the time spent before the screens? Do they offer a life truly lived?
Spending more time with loved ones and paying attention to the wonders of the world in our immediate vicinity can increase life enjoyment, to be sure. But perhaps a new experience, a new adventure, is a more sure way of adding a fresh, memorable moment to our lives.
If you are a regular traveler, then I encourage you to make sure you do something excellent this year. Avoid the routine and find something that will stick with you. If you are not a regular traveler, then what is keeping you? Money obviously could be, but if you are able, put back something to allow for a new experience. If money is taken care of, then you likely need either motivation or inspiration. The latter should take care of the former.
Let me give you an example. When I find a picture of a place that makes me wistful, I make it a point to figure out where that place is. Sometimes it takes a little digging to get the answer, but
it is out there. Last year, I saw a great picture of mountains reflecting in a lake that I didn’t recognize. After some research, I found out it was the Maroon Bells near Aspen Colorado. Six months later, my wife and I was standing on that lake shore at 5:30 am along with about 100 other photographers to capture the moment. I would have preferred to be more alone, but the quantity of visitors there was testament to the experience. Watching the sun rise and paint the mountains purple showed all too clearly where the Maroon Bells get their name. It was a moment we will never forget. The inspiration of seeing that view provided all the motivation I needed to make it happen.
I encourage you to spend a little time on this website or others like it and find a trip idea that will lead you to a few moments that will take your breath away. It is easier than you probably realize.