Last week I took a road trip down the west coast of the USA and it was the best thing I have done for myself this year. Going from Seattle where I had an amazing time at CreativeLIVE down through Portland to Highway101 along the entire coast of California. The time off from work was much needed, but this trip was far more than a vacation. On my journey I rediscovered myself and learned some important life lessons.
I am going to share with you what I learned along the way and why I will be taking trips like this one every year. Alone.
Enjoy some pretty pictures, all taken with my iPhone.
Sometimes You Can’t Pass the Problem, Let it Pass You.
Driving down Highway 1 along Big Sur is a breathtaking experience. The view is phenomenal and the road is one long stretch of curves. For someone who loves to drive fast like myself, this was heaven.
I took it upon myself to ignore all those signs that tell you to take a curve at 35MPH, and even made it a challenge to see how much faster I could go. I was having a great time blatantly disregarding the speed limit when I was met with an RV going 15MPH less than the speed limit. Passing is not really an option on this road, and the fact that I now had to follow the slowest car in the world was starting to piss me off. All I wanted to do was get around them or force them to speed up.
I decided to do something completely different, I decided to stop my car, get out and take in the scenery. All of the sudden instead of my enjoyment being based around driving recklessly, I was enjoying the amazing view that I was in such a hurry to race past. My point of view completely changed, and it no longer bothered me that somewhere up the road there was an RV going 15MPH.
I took a while to enjoy Big Sur and then got back in my car to head south. I was still going to drive fast, but this time the RV was well out of my way and I was able to go at my own pace again. I didn’t pass the problem, I let it pass me.
Sometimes in life you will be met with a problem that is out of your control. Take a break and enjoy life, the problem could pass you by.
You are Small
You are much smaller than you think you are, and your impact on this world will be much less than you think.
I had always heard of the redwood forests, but to be honest I was not prepared for how they would affect me. I have spent much of my life traveling, and I can say without a doubt that this is the most beautiful place on earth I have ever been.
The pure scale of these trees is unbelievable and you can’t help but to feel insignificant in the middle of it. In that moment the universe comes together and you understand that you are part of something much bigger than yourself.
This was church to me.
Some of these trees have been around before Christ walked the earth, and will outlast everyone reading this. In another part of California, Bristlecone Pines live to be over 5,000 years old. Our lifetime is just a blink of an eye to these trees.
In the world of smart phones, Twitter and Facebook where everything can change in the blink of an eye it is important to remember that in some places of the world things don’t change. Don’t look for meaning in a piece of technology that will be obsolete in 6 months, look to something that has remained unchanged for thousands of years.
Our time on this planet is short, enjoy what little time you have by filling your life with the things that make you happy. Visit the redwoods before you die, they will help you to remember what is important in life.
On Vs. In
There is a big difference between working on and working in. Let’s take a business for example. Working on your business includes things like creating goals and planning the future of your company. Working in your business includes things like answering emails and making a product. In general upper level managers work on a business and lower level workers work in a business.
The problem that most small business owners (photographers) face is that they don’t have enough staff. This means they are working as both the manager and an employee. There is so much to do working in their business that they never take time to work on their business.
Getting away from it all means you don’t have the ability to work in your business. You can’t exactly answer emails in the middle of the redwood forest. This will free up all of your time to work on your business, one of the most valuable things you can do. I am not saying that you should spend your vacations working, but you will probably find yourself solving problems that you wouldn’t have if you didn’t take the time off.
If you are not spending time to work on your business or life, you are not growing. Now is the time to get out there and figure out what you really want to do with your life. Take some time off work, I promise it will be there when you get back.
Try going on the trip alone, it helped me see life in a new way and allowed quiet reflection time when I needed it.
Go searching for nothing and find yourself, I will see you on the road.