As a writer and photographer I travel between my life in Toronto, my life in Antigua, and anywhere else my wanderings may take me ... writing my books and enjoying local arts and adventures along the way.

Travelling for Personal Growth Part I

On the Ledge About to Jump

A scene in the movie Forest Gump finds the character Jenny on the ledge of skyscraper. She is high from trying to dull childhood pains and still bruised from a recent beating. Despite repeatedly starting anew in different cities the hurt of her childhood has never gone away. Worse still, new violence and new degradation seem always to follow just around the corner for her. More than just worn down, she literally teeters on the edge of hopelessness that her life can be different, or that she is worth any more than what she has seen of life so far. Meanwhile in the background soundtrack a gravelly voice lifts itself over the testimony of an electric guitar and adds to the tension with the words “Lord knows I can’t change”. The rising notes of the guitar leave the forcefulness of those words in naked isolation. She is a beautiful girl with a good soul and we empathize with her. Together the urgency of the words and music erase any pretension that any of us can offer anything but to share in the basic human condition that none of us is in complete control over our own nature. But the mood communicated by the music isn’t a submission. Something about it rings true and truth is always power in itself. As a consequence, in the music and words we don’t bear witness to a defeat, but to a celebration of the power that comes with acknowledging one’s powerlessness. In the movie, the character Jenny steps down from the ledge.

We All Want Change

Few of us wouldn’t change something about our lives if given a magic wand to do so. But too many of us are literally driven to that ledge from being unable to. You might have concluded by this point in your life that those things you would change are your fault or someone else’s fault, or that they are simply the hand of fate, depending in general on which part of the world you were raised in. Regardless of which of these you believe this article will tell you how to change ANYTHING about your life that you would have improve for the better.

This Series of Posts

This series of posts accompanies an article I wrote for eHow.com called “Ten Steps to Change Absolutely Anything about Your Life”. I was inspired to write that article and this series of posts by the challenge of changing some circumstances that initially seemed tantalizingly preventable but proved to be almost intractable. The specifics are less important, they are the seemingly preventable circumstances that surround all of our lives. Whether they are recurring illnesses in one’s family that we believe might be addressed with a simple lifestyle change, or whether they are all-too predictable patterns of interactions that we watch play themselves out over and over between family members without pause, these circumstances beg the question of whether any one of us knows the difference between what we can and cannot control even in our own behaviour. In the particularly philosophical posts to follow I’ll reflect on that question and eventually come round to showing how travel can be part of the answer.

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2 comments on “Travelling for Personal Growth Part I

  1. Quickroute on said:

    Have to agree – Travelling shapes who you will become – no better education in life

    [Reply]

    AndyEWilliams Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Quickroute. I wonder … if travelling educates us … then does the choice of WHERE we travel impact the quality of that education? Or is the destination irrelevant … with the only important thing being that one travel with an openness to seeing new things?

    [Reply]

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