Previously published by Elizabeth Levine on Elephant Journal.
“It’s through traveling you make the great journey into yourself, and it’s the clarity of extremes in traveling that forces you to meet yourself like you’ve never met yourself before.” ~ Carew Papritz
“You can travel anywhere you want, you just need a companion,” they would all say, as if they had forgotten I was a grown woman with a wild sense of direction and adventure.
Blame it on my past. My family traveled. Enveloped in my sense of wonder and in my hurried pace, always ahead of my family on trails that led to imaginary worlds, I had my first taste of wanderlust.
And my appetite had become insatiable.
I suppose they instinctively knew the general plan was aimless the last few years during my mania-fueled adventures. But it was for good reason. A little thing they didn’t see was that was why I had this wild sense of direction and adventure. If you realize all roads connect, know that the journey is the key, understand that ‘home’ is where you are, and never set a destination … you can never be lost, frustrated or lonely. If I hadn’t traveled on my own, I would have never met the Lakota Sioux Native who shared this sentiment with me during our private pow-wow in the sunrise over the plains of South Dakota.
To those that fear, I would say, “I would love nothing more, but if I wait for the perfect partner, I’ll be waiting for the rest of my life.”
And it’s true.
More than true.
And I do not wait.
And I will not wait.
If we fell victim to the fear and the cries of concern from those that assume they know us best, we’d never meet the Mother of All Muses – Ourselves.
And maybe their fear speaks more about themselves, than it does about us. Maybe they are afraid of meeting the deepest corners of expansive brilliance within themselves.
I know enough of love to know by now that, in the end, it’s not just a matter of loving another; ultimately, we are looking for a companion that shows us how to fall in love with ourselves. We are longing to see our reflection in another soul.
Face to face — in the reflection of those we meet along the way, in the vastness of nature that mirrors our innermost desire and need for freedom, and in the sifting through ‘Cliff Notes’ of stories we weave in our minds upon our initial exchange with the fullness of life, love and new friends.
In the midst of endless and enormous mountain ranges, empty roads, and traveling alone, I realized the absolute fascinating reality of my own mind. It is expansive. It is terrifying. It is addictive. It is truly the last frontier. The unknown.
Therein lies the mysterious companion they speak of, with whom I am supposed to be traveling.