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Welcome to the second part of my guest article series about „Living In The Moment“ by our guest writer, Jason Patterson. If you haven’t read the introduction to the blog series and the first post by our contributor, Svet, I’m telling you: Do it now! It’s well worth it.
Living in the Moment: About Jason
Our contributor today, Jason, is originally from Seneca, South Carolina and currently in the US Air Force. We met during my travels in 2014 and bonded right away (while singing our hearts out to a Nickelback song together in a small karaoke bar in Athens, admittedly 😉), talked for a long while and have stayed in touch since.
Jason has been to an astounding amount of countries, 31 in total, and has lived in Germany, Belgium and South Korea. His favorites are Greece and Mexico (Me gusta! 😉 ). He is currently in the States again, but has been stationed in Stuttgart, Germany for a few months now. Other than that he’s into hiking, biking, climbing, cooking, reading, traveling (obviously) and coaching American football.
„I’m always trying to connect with nature and people on a spiritual level. I think traveling helps with that connection,“ he says.
When I read what Jason had to write about „Living in the Moment“, I instantly knew that he was able to express exactly what I sometimes cannot put into words myself when describing the effect traveling has on me. Read on and see for yourself..
This is what Jason wrote when asked what “Living in the Moment” means to him:
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”
― Henry David Thoreau
Throughout my childhood I would read novels set in destinations so far away that visiting seemed like a distant dream. Growing up in a small town in the United States, these locations haunted me with their history, beauty, and charm. Now after visiting over 30 countries I find it difficult to fully explain what I have experienced. How do you describe the beckoning aroma of a French bakery? Can you express what it’s like to hear the pleasing sounds of an Italian mother singing to her infant child on a warm night in Rome? How do you describe the thunderous silence prevalent in the Sistine Chapel?
The truth is I was once the typical traveler on a tour group, just quick to take a photo and move onto the next site. I was the traveler who wanted the tourist experience but not truly living in the moment of self-discovery. Traveling is the best way of gaining new perspective or new points of view about leading your life and I was missing out.
After my Grandfather passed away I suffered from severe heartbreak since he was the one person who truly understood me. Upon returning to Europe I set out with a backpack and began a journey across France. I didn’t want to gain anything but my own solitude.
During this spontaneous passage, life for me decelerated. I stopped taking photos and removed myself from all communications. I finally lived in the moment of my travels. It seemed as if my eyes had opened for the first time. This was my awakening. My hunger for food was suppressed by my hunger for exploration. My thirst for water was quenched by the spiritual awareness that I gained. From that point forward I never looked at traveling the same. I began to truly enjoy my adventures and I haven’t looked back.
“The truth is, we travel every time we open our minds to a new possibility, every time we open our hearts to a new emotion, every time we take a new track, or read a new book.”
Now wherever I go, I slow down and take in every possible element of satisfaction whether it be cuisine, historical sites, or just thought provoking conversation with fellow travelers. The truth is, we travel every time we open our minds to a new possibility, every time we open our hearts to a new emotion, every time we take a new track, or read a new book. There is comfort in routine and stability, but when we travel we open our sense of wonder that equates to joy. These experiences carve new channels into our minds and make us feel alive. That is the experience I hope my friends and fellow travelers relish because it is different for everyone.
Onto the next adventure I go, living in the moment.
Be included in this blog series:
I would love to hear your take on what living in the moment means to you! Tell me about your moments in which you really felt like you were living „in the here and now“, write them down in just a few sentences and send them to me via eMail (at email@example.com) if you’d like. In the end, I’d love to create a blog post with the compilation of your „moments“. (Even if you don’t want to be included in the blog post, I’d still be honored to hear about your “moment” 🙂 )