journey vs destination

I’ve had a perfectly lovely conversation with my dad about the journey vs the destination.

This was based around a couple of things: Dad wanting to visit European capitals and also do a fundraiser around walking across them, and my long-held desire to bike across America.

I’ve been working on myself on that topic, because even in concept, it’s hard to not think about the DESTINATION as the GOAL: getting each leg of the journey done, biking however many miles a day is necessary to accomplish that, etc. I am in many ways a very goal-oriented person, and it’s really, really hard for me to think of something like a massive trip like that as anything less than Accomplishing The Thing.

But what I *want* is to allow myself the freedom to take a side road and to see the world’s largest ball of twine or some random cave system or whatever local thing is there, a thing you’ve never heard of but it might be neat, which is anathema to The Destination As Goal. The side quests are gonna slow down reaching the destination. And that’s what I want to try to embrace, which is difficult.

I mean, like, it’s difficult even in concept! My brain’s natural tendency is to go “but DESTINATION!” Like, I’ve been talking about this for a very long time and people have said “you don’t even have to do it all at once!” and while intellectually I agree with that, it’s only very recently that I’ve actually started thinking that hey, I wouldn’t have to do it all at once. Not doing it all at once would make it easier, in theory, to *allow* myself to make the journey itself the destination, because, like, if you’re going to bike from Homer, Alaska to Key West, Florida all in one go, then like it or not, you’ve got to consider the weather, and that starts putting limitations on your ability to make the journey ABOUT the journey and not the destination.

Part of the reason I’ve been thinking about this is that there are more and more electric bikes around, and that would obviously be easier and faster in terms of Biking Across America. It also seems like it would also be *much* more difficult to take side roads, because it is faster and easier and therefore Reaching The Destination would be a lot easier than metaphorically, or literally, stopping to smell the roses.

And similarly for Dad, the idea of going to explore capital cities (or not capital cities!) is really kind of a separate concept from doing a fundraising walk across them. One is really goal-oriented, and the other is much more ‘go where the wind takes you.’ They’re both valid, but they’re trying to accomplish different things, and one shouldn’t get in the way of the other.

Anyway, this is something I really *have* been working on myself regarding, and as I’ve been typing this it’s struck me that I, too, might have two different projects in mind: an exploratory across-America bike ride, and the Homer to Key West Destination Is Goal ride. REVELATIONS ABOUND!! :D