Carpe Diem, Seize the Day, was a phrase made popular by a widely seen film of the 1980’s, “Dead Poets Society”. Since then the phrase has been a staple in the American lexicon. However, what is well known is not always regularly practiced. Most people tend to live their lives as if something better waits for them in the future, almost guaranteed. Intellectually, we all know we will meet the reaper in the end and sometimes sooner than expected. In fact, there are no guarantees, in a sense all we have is today. Every day is a gift for those who are grateful.
I feel, more and more, that we all have been subjected to a great ruse. That society has programmed us to believe certain things are important, when in the end they are utterly meaningless. Instead of bolstering individual growth and awareness, what I feel is the true meaning of life, we are misguided to believe that comfort and wealth is synonymous with happiness. Instead of facing the difficult task growth, a craving develops for immediate gratification and pain avoidance through a myriad of distractions.
“Life moves pretty fast, if you blink you just might miss it.” This saying too was made popular by a 1980’s movie, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, right before embarking on one heck of an epic day. The routines of work, shopping and entertaining oneself are comfortable, but tend to speed up life into a succession of days barely distinguishable from the prior. Weeks turn into months, months to years and before we know it, life has slipped away with little more to show for it than drudgery, interspersed with a few milestones, some recreation, and even less excitement.
Not wanting to miss out on life, and to try to seize each day was a primary motivation for heading out on our RV full-timing adventure. Intentionally putting ourselves in places and situations that are new and uncomfortable have promoted new insights and growth. We have found that life moves much slower when not routine and each day is unique.
There are not many full-time RV’ers in their 30’s and 40’s, but most of us are looking for something different than the life commonly prescribed. Many of whom, mention an awakening that has occurred or is occurring within them. All acknowledge that the simplicity of the lifestyle is freeing. Also, by regularly being in touch with nature, this opens up a space for spirituality, perhaps not previously known. The newness and fresh experiences challenge beliefs and set the stage for personal growth.
Full-time travel has allowed us to take a step back and look at things more objectively. Now that we are no longer intimate or embedded in one area with a particular style of politics, culture and values, we can see a larger picture. This also allows us to question our beliefs and see the country as a whole not just a region. This has had a tremendous impact on our outlook, and over the past 15 months we have begun to notice these changes. While the physical travel through the country has been rewarding enough to justify this endeavor, it is the existential journey that has been the greater bounty.