Sunday, March 31, 2013

Internal vs. External Journeys

You don’t have to travel far to go on a journey; we embark on them every single day. Essentially, journeys are classified into two types: internal and external.  Even more so, I believe that an external journey is incomplete without its internal counterpart. As human beings, we adapt to our environments.  Where we go, affects who we are and what we do. During journeys we learn about parts of ourselves that we had no idea existed. When wandering outside your comfort zone we are subject to changes and undergo transformations as we travel. 
No individual is the same person at the end of their story or journey than they were at the beginning of it. We change, we transform, and we grow. Our external journeys require internal ones in order to adjust to new environments. These journeys are not simple and at times may clash with each other. There cannot be a true external journey without an internal one. 

Of the two journeys, I believe it is more difficult to go through an internal journey. In an external journey the only thing that gets exhausted is the body; but this weariness of the body will be gone after a good rest or proper healing. The internal journey exhausts the mind, sometimes to the point of desperation and hopelessness. Sometimes it is easier to quiet the body than to quiet the mind. The internal journey tests your personality. Many times it pushes the traveler to their limit; but perhaps that is the bottom line of a journey - trying your best to face whatever it lays in front of you.
There exists a thin line between these two types of journeys. Both of them behave similarly yet are completely different experiences. An external journey consists of the how’s, where’s, and when’s while the internal journey focuses on the why’s. The external journey is more about how we physically react to the changes we undergo, and the internal journey is more about discovering what we have hidden about ourselves. These two types of journeys work together, intricately weaving the traveler’s experience from two different perspectives into a single event. Thanks to them, we are not the same person we were yesterday. Journeys change the course of our lives, for better or for worse. In the words of author H. Jackson Brown, Jr.:
            “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

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