On the Road (again…)

22 Jun

Every time I set out on a trip, a start out with extremely lofty goals for myself.  Goals in the past have included:

1. Take more than 1,000 pictures (I’m not sure why this was a goal).

2. Write in a journal every day with the most important observations (I usually succeeded in this recurring goal for a couple days before failing)

3. Making sure to bring back appropriate souveniers that are “authentic” and represent my experience (I could never find the right gifts or would leave someone out).

4. Go without the internet (I’m addicted, may as well face it).

I’ve failed at all of these. So this time around I’ve adopted a new approach, and hopefully one I can keep up.  I’m introducing “Not Intent on Arriving” as a blog most immediately for the trip to Italy I’m about to lead, but, if all goes well, I’d like to continue to use it into real life.  Now, to address the questions you may have.

What trip to Italy, Anthony? Tomorrow, I head back to Vermont (less than two weeks after stupidly asking myself when I would be back) for training by the Experiment in International Living. Then, on June 28, I and 12 high school students from across the country well set out from New York on a five-week exploration of Italy.  We will cover a lot of territory; the trip stretches from Venice to Calabria in the far south.  One of the highlights for the kids should be a 2-week homestay in Cosenza (picture below). I’m pretty excited for the whole thing.  Should be an adventure.

Which takes me to the second question you’re probably all asking.  Why did you pick that name for the blog?  I struggled over names for a needlessly long time.  I looked for something cute to do with my name.  Thankfully, I had lots of experience from school with bad puns on my name.  So I ruled such names out.  I remembered a quote from an old debate speech (of all places).  I don’t remember the context exactly, but I remember quoting this ancient philosopher Lao Tzu.  I really like the full quote: “A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.

This accurately reflects my view on traveling.  Heading to this summer should test my philosophy because we will have fixed goals and expectations, but I hope to impart some of this philosophy to my kids.  Rather than planning out every millisecond of every day, I like to go with the flow and just explore.  Goals are fine, but not making it to them should not be the end of the world.  Instead, the fun should be on getting there.  If you never arrive, you should feel happy nevertheless.

That’s the plan anyway.  We’ll see what happens. I’ll keep you posted along the way.

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