“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” Lao Tzu
We are a couple weeks shy of hitting the three month mark on our road trip and I finally feel like I have enough space in my mind to sit down and write.
When we started this trip we made a list of places that we wanted to see and looked at a map to determine a logical path across the United States. For the most part, this is the only research we did ahead of time.
In life I have noticed that sometimes I really enjoy being surprised and sometimes I need to know what is about to happen. When it comes to traveling, having an open mind about the destination can reveal some amazing rewards.
For example, between Boston and New York we went to several museums where we saw world-famous art, ancient artifacts, and amazing dioramas filled with beasts from every corner of the earth. Incredibly, we paid full price admission at only one of these museums, because we happened to go on a free day or the admission was a suggested donation.
**Pats myself on the back for being a savvy traveler on a budget.**
After New York, we headed south to Baltimore and it was Brandon’s birthday. I did a bunch of research ahead of time and planned on being Brandon’s tour guide for his special day.
Birthdays make me nervous sometimes. I tend to over-think every decision and start to feel insecure about the whole thing.
Anyway, one of the stops in Baltimore was this museum called the American Visionary Art Museum. I glanced over it as a suggestion on a website and then a friend texted me that we should check it out. Shortly after our arrival in the city, we headed over to the museum.
We went inside and the woman working there was really helpful and gave us some literature about what the museum is all about. In my nervousness I ignored the information and saw the price of admission and immediately started to doubt that it was a good idea. After getting into those fancy museums in New York and Boston for almost free, I was thinking we could do better than that for a museum. Also, this museum was a fraction of the size of the other museums we had been to.
And then Brandon insisted that we go because I planned on this and it was a great idea.
So we went inside and then our minds were literally blown.
Each piece had a story and there were short biographies of the featured artists. They were people from all walks of life, with disabilities, mental illness, stories of hardship, triumph, and dedication. I found myself at a loss for words, weeping, and feeling uplifted all at the same time.
The whole museum told a story about the power of creating, being free, redemption, and expressing love. It was awesome.
And then I couldn’t believe I had such a closed mind about going to this museum in the first place. I mean, it could have been a bust, but that would’ve been fine too. In the end, I was glad that we went and learned that I need to be more confident in my interests.
When you plan all the details to the extent that you know how you’re supposed to experience the trip ahead of time, it takes away some of the magic. Traveling is about being free and letting the experience be your teacher.