“It’s the journey, not the destination” is a common phrase that’s applied mostly to life in general, but I think it’s also important to keep that in mind when making a literal journey. It’s so easy to start viewing a trip as a series of specific locations that you want to see. Paris, London, Copenhagen…. and forget that you’re going to make all of the memories on your way to your checklist items.
In Paris the Eiffel tower was stunning, but the story I tell is about how my friends and I misjudged the distance between it and Notre Dame cathedral and wound up walking three miles at night in Paris, and maybe getting a little lost too.
In London it felt like all of my dreams were being fulfilled when I stood at platform 9 3/4 with my friends and took several photographs, but it was the flawless way we had navigated the Underground to get there without “adult” help that we were proud of.
And today I leave for Copenhagen. I’m dreading the journey. It will take me over 16 hours on trains to reach my destination. I will sleep in a train, squished in a little compartment with 3 or 5 strangers. There couldn’t possibly be anything good about that, right? How can I have a positive attitude? But I just need to remind myself that I’ll probably create some wild story in the course of this trip, or when the sun rises I will be treated to wonderful views of the Danish countryside. I can’t judge the journey before it happens and I need to remind myself that without the journey, there is no destination.