Getting beyond the surface and the stuff we shouldn’t forget

I have been reminded on more than one occasion that when it comes to my favorite writers and bloggers that I can’t depend on seeing their stuff come up in my Twitter feed.  Facebook is a little better, but not much.  Even RSS or email subscriptions have their problems.  If I am really busy things just get lost.  I just checked and I have 782 un-read emails in my inbox.  I searched my email for emails from some of my favorite blogs.  Yep, there were a bunch of un-opened emails from blogs that I love.

So I’ve actually been visiting some of my favorite blogs.  I know, it sounds amazing, doesn’t it?  I actually go to the home page and begin perusing instead of just reading the post that I saw come up in my Twitter feed and then quickly moving on.  I’m reading more than one post.  I’m reading old stuff — stuff that in many cases was written before I even starting following the author.

It’s been… Are you ready for this?… Enlightening.

When you stick with one author for more than 500 words you begin to see the world as they see the world.  Skimming 500 words and then moving onto the next link left me with the feeling that I was knocking on someone’s door, looking in their house, and then moving onto the next house.  Perusing made me feel like I was having coffee with the writer.  With a few, you could say I’ve even had dinner.

Recently I saw someone share — weeks after it was first published — a post by one of my favorite bloggers, Emiel van den Boomen from Act of Traveling.  The post was about his 5 favorite places in the Netherlands to explore with kids.  Our family is planning a month in Europe next year with the Netherlands as our base.  And I’d missed the post.

Beggar-in-Kuala-Lumpur-Photo-by-Emiel-van-den-Boomen

A beggar in Kuala Lumpur. Photo by Emiel van den Boomen

That’s when I knocked on Emiel’s door.  I went to his home page.  It was like we were having a conversation.  One minute we’re talking about kids and travel.  The next moment we’re talking about how Facebook and technology are taking over our lives and perhaps having a negative effect on the way we experience life.  And then it’s on that foundation that the conversation moves deeper.  When we start talking about how traveling can hurt.  How traveling exposes us to terrible situations that don’t quickly fade away.

The post is titled, Traveling is like running, it hurts sometimes.  Emiel writes,

“Actually, running is like traveling. When you travel, you move in a flow of hapiness where new memories are created. Amazed by stunning landscapes, great food and new discoveries you forget about your daily worries.”

“But that joy of running, the wandering off of the mind can be disrupted by sudden pain. My sore knee or foot disturb my running process. Every next step hurts. Sometimes the pain goes away quickly, sometimes it stays to leave a footprint.”

There are some things that should leave a footprint.  Maybe the pain I feel in seeing inhumane poverty and human suffering shouldn’t quickly go away.

Head on over to Act of Traveling for a visit.  Stick around for a while.  Don’t just have a look and leave.  Don’t be in such a hurry. Linger.

Do you feel like you’re always in a hurry?  Always moving onto the next thing?  Wherever you are, be there until you leave.

We’d love to have you stick around our site for a while.  Maybe you’d even like us on Facebook.  Follow us on Twitter.  Subscribe to our RSS.

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7 Comments

Emiel 24-02-2012, 03:10

Thank you so much Clark! I’m honored to be featured like this, wow!

We are indeed always riding the roller coaster called New Content. Sometimes when I read my own ‘old’ stuff (in the internet environment stuff from 6 months ago is already very old), many times I think “wow, this is actually a great story”, and I almost forgot about it…

You inspired me as well to go through specific blogs at a slow pace, really discovering people’s blogging journey so far. I already do that when I interview people, I dig through the blog completely and discover things the blogger him- or herself might have even forgotten! But it should become a habit because it is a great thing to do.

Thank you for being one of my favorite readers and big thanks again for this post!!

Clark Vandeventer 24-02-2012, 11:32

Emiel, the constant move to the next thing is rampant in our society today. We should start a movement of bloggers who for a month this summer will write nothing new but only spend time sharing “old” stuff and taking in life.

Christina @Interest-Led Learning 26-02-2012, 05:43

Wonderful point. There’s so much great stuff out there, that sometimes it feels like information overload! This reminds me of the schooling system. There’s a glossy brush over of a lot of different topics, but there’s never any real in-depth learning of any one thing. To really learn something, to really get something deep out of something, you have to stay with it for awhile. Unfortunately, many people in our society have become too accostumed to the bell society. They wait for it to ring and then move on without question.

Living Outside of the Box 26-02-2012, 21:44

I love the idea that reading a blog is like knocking on someone’s door. It’s true. By blogging you open your life to others, and they open their lives to you. What a beautiful thing when may live across the world from each other!

Clark Vandeventer 27-02-2012, 11:15

It really is an amazing thing, isn’t it Alisa. Anytime I hear people say that digital relationships aren’t real I have to just remind myself that the person who’s saying that has just never had a real digital relationship. Knock, knock.

Bryan Rosner 26-02-2012, 23:31

Clark, I spent an hour reading your blog tonight, and watching some of your YouTube videos. I have a much better understanding of your goals now. I admire you a lot! I’ve been honing in on similar goals lately – or, more accurately, I’ve been in a whirlwind considering such goals, because they are so new to me.

I think the key message that resonates with me is your encouragement that people should actually examine what they love about life instead of just assume that the beaten path of money, posessions, big house, retirement, will make them happy and give them what they need.

I’ve been reading another blog recently as well, http://www.mrmoneymustache.com , which has a similar message to yours – live cheap so you have resources to do what you want. His message is to retire early – your message is to travel – either way, it doesn’t matter, the message is the same: to spend your life doing something with actual VALUE instead of just being a rat in the rat race in a daze having never actually pondered what you really want out of life. As a recovering rat, I have to say both your blogs are highly refreshing.

I think my wife was the one who asked Monica how you guys could travel so cheaply when I was out of town with my son, and it is cool to see how you are able to travel without spending a lot of money. A lesson I will benefit from most certainly.

Anyway, just wanted to say that I was encouraged by reading your blog tonight, and I definitely plan to become a regular reader. See ya soon, buddy!

Bryan Rosner

Clark Vandeventer 27-02-2012, 14:27

Thanks, Bryan. And BINGO! Yes, the key is knowing what we want in life. Most people never ask, “What do I want life to look like?” They simply begin trudging down a well beaten path. There’s nothing wrong with wanting something different than the path that Monica and I have chosen for our family. I am glad that not everyone has! It’d make coming home to Tahoe after our RTW trip much less exciting without the stable, well-grounded relationships here. In fact, all travel would change. Who would be the locals in any destination we visit? Who would own the restaurant that’s been a must visit for 30 years?

I would say that in the end our message is to live a life that you never want to retire from. I actually enjoy working — it gives meaning to my leisure and I get a lot of satisfaction out of a job well done. But I am working at a pace that I believe I’ll be comfortable with forever. And I am enjoying life along the way. I simply can’t just put my head down and wait till I’m 65. I can’t put my head down and wait till I’m 45 if it’s about retiring early. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to me. And when I’m 45 I’ll have missed great years with my kids if it’s just about putting my head down.

I’ll check out the blog you mentioned and am honored to have you as a regular reader here!

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