Do you know the difference between a traveler and a tourist? The traveler sees what he/she sees; the tourist sees what he/she has come to see. The theme for today’s reading in Daily Word is Traveler’s Eyes. The title intrigued me and as I read through the reading I realized that I’ve been a traveler most of my adult life. Daily Word says “When I arrive anywhere – whether the situation is familiar or foreign to me – I view the event with traveler’s eyes. I do not simply focus on what I hoped or planned to see, as a tourist might. Instead, I soak in the experiences of the present moment.” As I walked in nature this morning I thought about seeing everything through traveler’s eyes, being present in the moment and noticing what was around me. When I walk I try to engage as many of my senses as possible. What do I see? What do I hear? What do I smell? What do I taste? What do I feel or touch? Today I gave myself five stars. I saw two goldfinches as I walked across the bridge. I passed by a plethora of glorious gardens in full bloom. I felt the cool breeze on my skin and noticed the absence of any humidity. I stopped by a garden to touch and smell the fragrant dill. I heard the beautiful song of a cardinal. And I treated myself to breakfast at Turtle Bread in Longfellow. As I sat in the sun, I savored the golden scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese and the flavorful whole wheat toast with raspberry jam.
On the 4th of July I drove with a friend to Whitewater State Park near Winona, MN to go hiking. Neither of us had been there before and we had no agenda other than hiking. We hiked a trail called Chimney Rock and it was challenging and fun. The trail went pretty much up, up and up. I lost count of how many stairs we climbed in the first 15 minutes. The trail took us through the woods to a place called Inspiration Point, an outcropping that gave us a breathtaking view of the area below us. The hike was a perfect example of seeing with the fresh eyes of a traveler. I was present in the moment not only because of the gorgeous scenery but also because of the big rocks and roots on the trail. It was imperative to look at the trail to avoid tripping. I am so grateful to be walking with traveler’s eyes along this amazing journey of life.
What about you? Are you a traveler or a tourist? How often are you present in the moment? How can you set aside preconceived ideas and expectations? What do you need to change in order to engage more deeply with the world? What will you see when you experience life as a traveler rather than a tourist?
I invite you to join me at my September retreat, “Finding Your Voice in the Silence.” You will learn tools which will help you to focus on the present moment. You will discover what your inner wisdom is trying to tell you and so much more. Details are on my website.