“In that moment, I felt I had no history, no reputation, no expectation, and no obligation to be who I had been yesterday.”
How far would YOU travel to meet yourself?
For me, “far enough” was Australia.
The year was 1996. I was 20 years old and on a 16 hour flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia, when, in an instant, I was moved to tears by a realization, sparking a profound sense of personal freedom: NO ONE, in the entire country that I was on my way to, where I would spend the next 6 months, had any preconceived notion of who I was.
Forty thousand feet in the air, this was a time-stopping awareness for me.
And seeing as the woman seated next to me on the plane ALSO had no preconceived notion of who I was, I allowed myself to simply feel the profundity of this unexpected realization.
I was caught off guard as tears of relief streamed down my face and a warm opening was happening in my chest. Sitting on that airplane, I was struck by a sudden and life-altering realization of a new kind of freedom.
I grew up in a really small New England town where everyone knew everyone. Every trip I went on up to that point, was with people I knew. Some high school classmates went to the same college I did. Not bad things – but up until this singular moment on the plane, I had never known the experience of not being known.
In that moment, I felt unleashed … from history, from expectations, from obligations. Nothing required that I be who I had been yesterday.
It was a freedom I had never known before.
There I was, traveling solo, luggage in tow, enroute to a new land, for a 6 month journey.
I had never before known the experience of others not having any preconceived expectations about who I am. I suddenly had – and was – a blank slate. Free of expectations or preconceptions, I could be just me – whoever that was.
I traveled far enough to meet myself. I was FREE.
I wiped my tears and smiled at the lady in the seat next to me.
Little did I know, she would end up hosting me, opening her home along with her family of five, for a full week during a visit I’d make to Brisbane that December. She even invited me to stay for Christmas, insisting that I should be with a family. I was touched, but I declined, having made plans to meet my “framily” of other international students who’d agreed to meet on Bondi Beach in Sydney for Christmas (think: Christmas in a bathing suit, with a santa hat). 🙂
All this to say ….
If you want to get closer to the truth of yourself: travel.
And travel plus coaching is a truly life-altering combination!
It really can’t be understated: the combo of the two is the ULTIMATE opportunity to grow and to meet yourself: as an individual, as a citizen of the world, as a nomadic soul.
The possibilities are boundless.
So, here’s a question to seriously consider: Who do you think YOU would be, if no one knew who you were?