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If it’s one thing that traveling has taught me it’s that you can’t do it all. Not even in a lifetime could I see and do everything I would like to. Not even in my own city. Think about your life at home. Have you been to every museum, restaurant, shop or neighborhood in your city, state, province, country? I lived in Washington, DC the capital city of the United States for 6 years and I never visited the White House. I could have, but I was busy living my life. So there you go. No harm no foul.
But spending money and time to see another part of the world sort of puts the pressure on to take advantage, right?
We’d traveled a long way so figured I needed to find a way to efficiently take it all in. Obviously I knew I had to pick and choose wisely. My kids didn’t really have an agenda or a “to do” list. But their mom is a list maker, a planner to the Nth degree. And this was my baby, this trip I’d so methodically planned.
Blissfully, if somewhat reluctantly, somewhere between Wat-something-or-other and street food stall number 17 I let go.
A calm washed over me.
I remember our first day out in Bangkok began with an early morning ride on the MRT and BTS to meet our food tour group. We left a full hour before we needed to be there because I knew it might take that long to figure out how to get to there. It was nice not to be rushed. We needed the time to navigate. On the tour we spent all morning walking in the heat, eating and learning, socializing with new people. Then we had to turn around and go back to where we started, find the grocery shop, buy stuff and carry said stuff back to the condo.
By the time 4pm rolled around we were totally spent! All the kids wanted (and needed for that matter) was to get into the pool. I started laundry, took out my notebook and began writing. None of us was all that hungry after the food tour, but I figured they would want to eat eventually. When I brought up the subject, almost in unison they said, “Mom, we are not going out again! We can have yogurt for dinner.”
“Fine by me!” I exhaled. “Breakfast for dinner it is!”
I really enjoyed giving myself permission to let go. We didn’t need to be looking at TripAdvisor for the latest and greatest. Some of our days were well planned and very full. But other days we didn’t do much, which is exactly what we needed to do.
Smell the lotus flowers.