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69 Comments

Enjoying the Moment

enjoying-moment

Alix from the Netherlands writes in with a great question:

While goals are good to work towards, do you not feel like constantly pursuing things makes you run all the time and not ‘enjoy the moment’? What if, for example, while you’re standing in one country, and think ‘Hmm, I would really like to stay here longer..’ — I mean a real feeling, not a whim?

I don’t mean this as criticism, I am genuinely wondering. I have many goals and current things I am doing to work towards them, though I think of them more as directions which I can fork from (or back to) if I find worthwhile side streets – trying to listen to the surprises that come up, and to enjoy every day without always thinking ‘three are already past in this year’.

As I said, great question. The short answer in my case is that, yes, from time to time I would like to stay somewhere longer. I felt that way in Laos and Syria, for example. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Syria, so I didn’t plan to stay long—but then it turned out to be one of my favorite spots in the Middle East. All too soon, I had to turn around and head back to Amman and then onwards.

Before going to Laos, I felt like I already seen so much of Southeast Asia that another place wouldn’t be that different. (It’s not always popular to say so, but in several regions of the world, many of the places are quite similar.) Laos, however, was so fun that I wished I had more time.

Overall, though, I’m quite happy doing what I’m doing—my feeling is that I can always go back to places like Laos and Syria at some point later, and the reality is that I never would have been to either country in the first place if I hadn’t been traveling the way I do. It’s also true that when I leave somewhere, I’m often looking forward to what’s coming up next instead of wishing I had more time where I was.

I also like the actual experience of travel itself, as Robert Louis Stevenson put it:

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”

Like Stevenson, I travel for travel’s sake. I like the process of going from one place to another. I like airports, buses, shuttles, hotel rooms, trains, waiting rooms… and I like putting the puzzle pieces together: how can I reroute three different tickets that were volcanoed last month? How can I apply for visas for Burundi and Cameroon simultaneously? Will I have enough time for a side trip to Morocco before heading home through Asia?

Lately, there are a lot of pieces—but an easy puzzle wouldn’t be as much fun. Of course there are tradeoffs, and what works for me won’t work for everyone. But yes, I try to enjoy the moment wherever I am.

And by the way, whether any of us successful at enjoying the moment isn’t necessarily correlated to geography. Appreciating life is generally more of an internal decision instead of a response to external circumstances. If you’ve ever been happy during a stressful time at work or unhappy on a vacation, you understand how that works.

So in that regard, it’s better to find a way to enjoy whatever you can at any given time, even if your bus is leaving for Amman and you’ve only been in Damascus for a couple of days.

How about you—are you enjoying the moment today?

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Image: Kate

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69 Comments

  • Phil says:

    That is a great question from Alix. This seems to speak to the difference between pleasure and purpose to me. Pleasure comes from being in the moment and enjoying your immediate circumstances. Purpose is about fulfilling our longer term vision for life and goals. Happiness comes from finding that mix between the two. There is no simple answer, however if we tip too far one way or the other we can lose our happiness. Sometimes we have to listen to our guy, sometimes, stick to the plan.

  • Chris Mower says:

    When I’m up in the mountains I often feel the need to have more time to spend there, and have on occasion done so, despite other plans. There is something truly satisfying about staying somewhere because you love it, not because you have to.

  • Karen Banes says:

    Hi Chris – As a slow, deep immersion type of traveler I wasn’t initially sure about your quest to see every country in the world in a set amount of time, but I’ve been hanging out here at AONC for a while now and I have to say… I so get you! As you say, sometimes it’s as much about the travel (and the experience) as it is about the destination, and if you didn’t have the timeline, it wouldn’t be a goal, just a fun idea. Am loving following your adventures (which is why I’m over here first thing on a Thursday morning looking for fresh posts). Ok, I’m off to enjoy the moment, and the rest of the day!

  • Susan says:

    I am! I try to be very conscious that once this moment is gone, it’s gone. Even the tedious, bad moments should be cherished as a lesson or means to a next step. It’s all relevant. I find I am especially aware of this while traveling. We go to Iceland and Norway in a few weeks and I try not to worry about the volcano or potential interruptions, but take it as an adventure.

  • Natalie Hill says:

    Chris, I’m just awed and delighted that I’ve bumped into you and your unconventional site and life. I’ve been dreaming up a life of travel and online work. But lately, as my house sale inches toward closing, I’m beginning to hear more of the external and internal voices of doom. They mainly say I must have plan.

    That scared part of me and the verbal part of others does not “get” travel for the sake of travel. Guess they wouldn’t appreciate either Robert Louis Stevenson or you.

    My work is to appreciate me and to get my inside congruent with my outside so I can get my ticket and head out!

  • Devin says:

    Hey Chris,

    I would love to tell you that life is grand and my moments are enjoyable. Really, I just feel a little overwhelmed with the lack of hours in the day and inability to organize to get done what I plan to get done. Still, I am an optimist at heart and keep plugging away in spite of myself, and until my mood changes. 🙂
    devin

  • Amber Shah says:

    This idea is the one that bothers me the most about the nonconformity and minimalist movements. While being able to break the mold or reduce my overhead are useful skills to have, I’m only interested in how they help me achieve end goals.

    I don’t consider it a valuable pursuit in itself at all. I do not enjoy traveling for traveling’s sake or being minimalist for minimalist’s sake.

    Based on popular blogs in the arena, that makes me a wimp or a sheep who clearly is not committed or smart enough or interesting enough. In reality, I enjoy my comfortable home with my soft bed, rolling around tickling my 2 year old.

    Why do something uncomfortable that I enjoy less, just for the sake of being uncomfortable and having less enjoyment? I don’t get it.

  • I wake up every morning and promptly forget what I want to do because I’m so busy moving through what I’m already doing.

    The short answer to it all is to know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Know your ‘why’ and write it on the wall where you can’t help but see it every day, and when you do get sidetracked (that’s a travel term from railroads, by the way) you will not only know that you’re sidetracked, but know exactly where the main line is so you can get back on it.

  • Chris says:

    Thanks, everyone! It’s always great to read your comments.

    @Amber,

    Well, I don’t speak for anyone else, and I’m not a minimalist. But as for me, I’m motivated by goals and challenges, and I just happen to enjoy travel for travel’s sake. If you have different motivations, of course, I don’t think you’re a bad person.

  • Hi there – I love what you wrote Chris, as always. Thank you for being so dedicated.

    To me, being in the moment means staying loyal to oneself. Which can take any number of shapes: staying loyal to oneself through the goal of seeing the world, or staying loyal to oneself simply by being present with others and taking in the view. The difference between so called living successfully or not is the art of staying loyal to yourself rather than getting hijacked by external ideals or societal standards or the goals of others.

    Carrie

  • Etsuko says:

    Chris,
    Great post!
    I enjoyed my stay in both Syria and Laos! Syria was particularly memorable as it was my first time to be in that part of the world. I went to Lebanon on the same trip.

    As for your other question, this morning when I dropped off my kids at the pre-school, my older son was so clingy and wouldn’t want me to leave. I stayed with him as long as I could, holding him in my arm. Before I quit my job 2 months ago, I probably wouldn’t have done it, but now I have that freedom – I now get up at 5:00 and work for a few hours before the day starts for them, and I can afford to be with my son when he needs me. I enjoyed that time with him without feeling like I have to be somewhere. I was truly in the moment.

    Etsuko

  • Jennifer says:

    Best Stevenson quote ever! That is my motto in life! I never fully understood it until I started to travel. Now I don’t even have to be in another country or place to really enjoy the small moments that make up a day, I have learned to enjoy life even in the most uncertain of times and circumstances!

  • Miles says:

    Perhaps we can look at this in a different light, by treating not the subject or activity as the thing of value, but instead our time.

    If I were to ask the question this way, would it help you with your decision, Alix?

    Is what you are doing right now, currently your highest and best use of this time?

    If not, then an adjustment is in order. Every one should be operating at their highest and best use!

    If what you are doing is in fact your highest and best use, why change?

    (One caveat, sometimes rest, recovery, and reflection are indeed one’s highest and best use.)
    Hope that this reframing is helpful.
    Miles

  • Martin says:

    No need to become defensive on your “raison etre” since the question about if one enjoys the moment is very personal and related to the Maslow pyramid. If I am reaching self realization the question where this is happening may not have a significant impact. About how long the moment of joy will last is linked to how much of the “fuel” is avalaible. Just like chocolate the first piece always tastes better than the last!

  • I love moments and the possibility of small steps in the direction of your choice. They are where live is lived.

    Of course there are warm sweet winds that blow across your path (as well as harsh ones ). Following them is always an option and continuing towards your planned destination an option as well.

    I love the focus and clarity of your journey. I love that you love the travel (I prefer the arriving and exploring). I love your thought that “an easy puzzle wouldn’t be as much fun. Very supportive perspectives for moving forward…

    Happy to share this moment with you.

  • Julie says:

    Yes, I am enjoying the moment. Very much, thank you for asking. Today my thoughts are focused on consciously doing one thing at a time. I usually have a hundred things on my plate, and am thinking both backwards and forwards.

    I don’t know how or why, but magically, I just did one small thing at a time, all day. It’s working. Happy travels. 🙂

    Julie

  • Mars Dorian says:

    Hey Chris,

    interesting post. I can understand Alix, although I’m on a different side as well.
    I luv having goals and setting my missions – it puts the fire into my life. From a Buddhist point of view, I must be a terrible student – I never concentrate much on the moment – unless
    A) I talk to someone
    B) I do something that requires concentration
    otherwise, I’m daydreaming and working on my goals.
    To each his own.

  • Teresa says:

    I think you don’t have to strictly apply that sentiment to traveling only. Like a lot of people, I believe that it’s not really where I’m going but how I’m living while I get there that matters. And truly stopping and smelling the roses (IE: living life in the moment) is pretty important to having a full colour experience of your life as opposed to some sort of grey existence!

  • “Appreciating life is generally more of an internal decision instead of a response to external circumstances. ”

    So true! Enjoying the moment, no matter what, is the key to life! Yes, I’m enjoying this moment & every moment so far on our open ended world tour & every moment before we began in 2006! 😉

    One of my fave travel quotes is:

    “The only journey is the one within.”

    I enjoy travel too, although walking the land is my favorite way and slow travel/deep immersion. I DO like to be able to stay longer if that is our whim. We have so enjoyed our last 4 winters in the same village in southern Spain..well worth the linger ( we added a few years onto Europe because we have had so much fun).

    I love travel because it keeps one in the moment and more alive in some ways. I love exploring the world slowly with my family.

    I don’t need to see every country, but if that makes you happy, that is all that matters.

  • What an interesting question from Alix–was trying to figure out if it was more of a travel-tactical question, or more philosophical…? Most likely, both.

    I struggle mightily with mindfulness–it’s hard to stay in the moment. I am recounting a wonderful comment from a recent blog post, where the visitor said that meditation is easier because it’s a deliberate decision, but mindfulness is more like an interruption in the thought process.

    Thanks Chris and Alix.

  • Ande says:

    The moment is the only place we have to create. We can’t create in the future or the past. So choosing to enjoy this moment–to find something in it of value–ensures that we create more and more moments to enjoy. It doesn’t matter if you’re a world traveler or one, like Amber, who enjoys her soft bed and her two year old. Me, I’m happiest when I’m playing with my 9 month old Springer spaniel. Joy is simple when you are ready for it.

  • Patrenia says:

    This was definitely a test for me this morning. I had great plans to achieve certain things by days end, but was delayed by other things that were beyond my control. Do I get upset and let it ruin my day or wreck my goals? No, just go with the flow and realize that life does throw curve balls. I just have to continue drawing positive energy and just enjoy…

  • Carol says:

    Love this post. The ability to find contentment as you journey to where you are going means that every destination has value. Even the stops in between.

  • Wyman says:

    I have goals and a plan to get there but I do take sideroads. Yesterday my wife and I spent the whole day working and finishing a jig saw puzzle. Nice break from the computer. She enjoyed my spending time with her. Today I have done a few tasks toward my business setup goal. Just don’t get lost wondering around the side streets too long.

  • Asa says:

    Nice post. I like how you buck the “conventional wisdom” that slowing down is always better. I too enjoy moving from place to place, seeing new places, even if I don’t become intimately acquainted with each location. I don’t have anything against those that like to linger in one place for a long time, but sometimes I feel like many of those “lingerers” tend to criticize those who move from place to place more rapidly. Everyone is different so as they say, your mileage may vary 🙂

  • Josh says:

    Chris,

    Have you thought about what you’re going to do once you’ve visited every country?

  • Chris says:

    Yep… no plans to stop. 🙂

  • Kristine says:

    I am enjoying the moment. I wrote my first 1000 words for my ebook today so I feel very successful. I really enjoy your enthusiasm and insights.

  • Mariellen Romer says:

    Today I have a streaming cold, the first one in a year. Ironic that I lived thourgh the coldest winter we’ve had for 30 years and get a cold in May. So I’m allowing myself to slow down to a pace my brain can cope with, and importantly not get caught up in the worry about what I am NOT getting done. The sun is shining nad the view outside the window is of beautiful tall evergreens. I await that inspiration between sneezes! (I know that there is a background thread running in my mind that has to do with colour. Every so often I get a glimpse of it in my mind’s eye as it hurtles by, unimpeded by any germs)
    Enjoyed this question post and comments a lot, thanks to you all.

  • Your grace and finesse are inspirational! Thanks for doing what you do!

  • Paul says:

    For a while I’ve been reading your content, Chris and it’s about time I made a guest post. Being part of your EBK series has really opened me up to many sources to draw inspiration on for my own project, Life By Choice. It’s just a simple blog on Tumblr right now, but my small army seems to enjoy.

    Your R.L. Stevenson quote really resonates with me deeply, as I also travel for the sake of travel. Currently crossing the country from Florida to California via Hitchhiking (at the age of 18!) there’s so much fulfillment each mile along the way.

  • Giulietta says:

    Hi Chris,

    I’ve heard Laos is terrific. Thanks for another thumbs up. So many places to check out.

    I love my life — its imperfect and precious moments strung together like a priceless pearl necklace. For the longest time, I kept missing the present moment, galloping onto the next one because that’s what we are encouraged to do in our culture of more.

    I now try to savor every moment – they are all delicious and flavorful! Just came in from getting a nice dose of vitamin D in my backyard. Relaxing to sit in the chair and do nothing.

    Enjoy the rest of your journey to all the countries in the world. I enjoy hearing about the lessons you’ve learned.

    Thx, Giulietta, always musing.

  • Joel says:

    @Josh & @Chris

    I for one have to say that if Chris stops at visiting all the countries of the world, I’ll be disappointed. Can’t do the moon/mars? Outer space watch out!

    As for the post, I definitely agree. Living in the moment is a challenge regardless of geography. It’s a constant struggle to balance planning for the future and enjoying the present.

  • Gina Rafkind says:

    Hi Chris,
    I think you’d be awesome on The Amazing Race. Grab a strong partner and I think you’d win :).
    Anyway, love your posts and this was an interesting question.
    Thanks,
    Gina

  • Angela says:

    Yes, I’m enjoying the moment today even with a little craziness. I get better over time, but I never expect to feel like I’ve mastered mindfulness. I just count it as an ongoing challenge and know that some days will be better than others!

    The process of working toward a goal is definitely something to enjoy in the moment. Sometimes achieving a goal is almost a let down in comparison!

  • Jim McRae says:

    Hi Chris. I really like Alix’s question. Although I haven’t traveled exstensively as you have, I have travelled alot in my country(Canada). I remember one time going to watch one of my 9 grandchildren play hockey about 2 hours away from where I lived at the time. As i’m zooming down this small back road I came across a little bakery that sold sanwiches. When we went in there our nostils were filled with smells from all kinds of pastries, pies and soups that all 13 of the local farmers had made and sold in this little bakery. I can still remember the smells now. I’ll always remember that little place and thank god I took the time to stop. You never know where little blessings will pop up. blessings, jim.

  • Sandra Lee says:

    Chris, I’m so happy I found your blog. Fortunately, “Chris” is easy to remember even if your last name isn’t! 🙂 Just enter Chris and the browser does the rest!

    I don’t find having goals and living in the moment to be contradictory in the least. As someone else here said, this moment is all we have so better to be in this moment than in a non-existent fantasy. At the same time, we are in this life for a purpose and lightly held goals are useful for that actualizing that purpose.

  • Trever Clark says:

    I have to agree with the first commenter, Phil, who talks about finding a balance between Pleasure and Purpose. In my own life, I far too often run full bore into things, pursuing my Purpose to the point that I nearly collapse from exhaustion. I think that most people in the Western world (particularly those burdened by the influence of the Protestant work ethic!) feel guilty if they relax. Sometimes, by necessity, we have to charge ahead into a project. But I like to try to resist my instinct to go full bore at the next thing before I’ve had a chance to unwind. Slow travel, slow food – these are manifestations of a backlash against our “Open 24 Hours” culture. I would love to see the “slow” movement gain more traction in the wider culture.

  • I think it’s so important to be flexible and follow leads as they come up. I made a 10 week work plan then got invited on an all expenses paid trip to Shanghai with Coca-Cola, something I couldn’t turn down. Yes, it scuppered some other plans but they can wait. Some things you just have to do now.

    Was very lucky to live in Laos for 4 months about 15 years ago. Still one of my favourite countries and in fact I promised myself I’d go back there while I was in China. Hmm, Syria – have to put that on the to do list:)

  • I’ve long believed that life itself is a journey — and it seems that Alix see things this way: “…many goals and current things I am doing to work towards them, though I think of them more as directions which I can fork from (or back to) if I find worthwhile side streets”. And your remark about enjoying the moment not being correlated to geography really hits the nail on the head.

    We moved to Hong Kong 22 years ago on an original 2-year work contract that just didn’t stop. This ‘side street’ became a passion for us, one that my husband writes about with many years’ worth of research to back him up. What bothers us is how some come here and write up ‘definitive’ works about Hong Kong after only a few months’ experience living here.

    So if living in the moment means traveling for travel’s sake, that’s great — as long as you don’t claim expertise in a given culture (which you don’t). Your perspectives as a travel expert are where you contribute to others.

  • Mary Noe says:

    Great question (and it’s been fun to read the comments)! When we travel, I’d much rather leave a place wanting more instead of feeling like I’ve stayed too long (although boredom isn’t usually a problem for me:-)). As you mention, Chris, you can always go back to a place you love.

  • Brett Barney says:

    This week: work has been crazy (I am a social worker in child protection); my daughter has been sick ( I am a single parent of two); my girlfriend has travelled from qld to see me (I live at the very bottom of Australia, she lives at the top); I drove 500km yesterday (with my aged mother and the kids in the car); but I drove over to Graduate, after 7 years part time study, working with two kids.

    I am happy in the moment not because I have reached the culmination of a 7 year goal, but because: I have people I love around me; because the words people say at a university graduation are the same as I say to my self each day – this is a new beginning – look around and remember the faces of those next to you – keep learning – search for knowledge- change the world.

  • Brett Barney says:

    and direct from Crystal Williams (big light bulb): “we are what we do in response to things; Things keep happening; And a constant flow of haps means plenty of opportunities to practice the responses that will change, or reinforce, who we are. And who we will be.”

    that is what the moment is about.

  • Meg says:

    Today, the hubs and I went and visited a shop owned by a couple of friends of ours, for the first time. We had a great time, and found out something that might save us a good chunk of money for our one car.

    What’s sad is that this is the first time we’ve been there, and we got there because we’re moving in a week… 🙁 I do hope we don’t do this again, because it’s a shame to miss connecting with such awesome people, even when we will be moving.

  • Jared says:

    Favourite quote about this…

    “What do we leave behind when we cross a frontier? Each moment seems to split into two: Melancholy for what is left behind, and the excitement of entering a new land.”
    -Motorcycle Diaries

  • Julie Q says:

    To me, this has to do with interpreting success.
    For some it is climbing the corporate ladder & making a million dollars.
    For others, it’s having a good marriage and being a good parent.
    For others it’s expanding their horizons however they see as the best fit for them.
    For me, it’s moving rather than travelling. If I can set up anywhere on the planet, build real relationships around me and learn from new minds – I find success.
    Good for you Chris for discovering what keeps you feeling successful – you’re right, we’re all individual.

  • Andrea says:

    I agree it’s a great question. I had that thought, but not something I articulated in a question to you. So I’m glad to read this post. I do feel the same, but not in the sense of travelling, but in my work. I get caught up with work and managing things in and out of the house, it feels I haven’t slowed down in a while. That’s why I was wondering … what’s the point.

    I like your take on your travelling.

    And I’m still working on this internal decision to stay in the moment. It sure ain’t easy. But if not for myself, my family & daughter deserves the part of me that I’m seeking to understand. 🙂

  • Tamara Peterson says:

    I just reflected on this question last night in my book group here in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania as we shared about where we are going during our upcoming summer break. I am an international teacher on my second posting, my first was in Yangon, Burma. I go back to visit my home in the states at least two times a year and I usually set up many goals for my visits – friends and family to visit, passions and shopping for the goodies that fill my desires that I can’t access in TZ, and professional development workshops to attend. Last summer I reflected on how much time I was spending in my car in order to accomplish all these goals (its at least 2 hours between the mountains and front range where friends and family live) – it was a crazy amount of time! I decided last summer to send out a ‘detailed’ email inviting people to COME and spend time with me down at my sister’s so I could spend less time in my car and more quality time relaxing/visiting. It was a fantastic summer!

  • Great post, Chris. I’ve thought a lot about this one, as well. For me, it was a big deal to decide to STAY in Thailand. I’ve been transient for so long that it was actually weird to find a place that I wanted to stay instead of keep going. I think we are all unique, and we all know when we find a place that suites us.

    Sometimes traveling can be a bit like dating. You might hop around a bit, but sometimes you land on something special where you want to stay longer. And as long as you enjoy yourself along the way, you win!

    Hope all is well in your world.

  • juds123 says:

    Travel is not only in places, it also takes place in the mind. I keep an open perspective when I`m in other countries and taking in, by immersion & interaction, what are there. The pace varies, sometimes I have to rush and at other times I linger on. I read beforehand but I`m always willing to take in new insights although there may be instances when I concur with the author/s. Although I start with a plan, I also make changes along the way as I see fit. And after every trip, when I retrace my steps and reflect and ponder, I realize it was the continuum of moments which made it worthwhile. Works every time.

  • Alexis says:

    I hop into the car and just go for a drive, the dog sits on my lap and looks out the window. She loves it to. The experience of travelling, looking, smelling, it doesn’t matter where. 12 months ago I drove across Australia, people think I’m mad, just me and the dog. Driving means you are in the moment…..I love it!

  • I am from South Africa.

    I was never a traveller until I met my wife. She had been an exchange student to Canada and was a travel lover. Nine months after we got married we went to North Carolina to work on a summer camp for young children (5-11 years old). After that we bought a cheap car and travelled through 20 states and saw every major attraction driving over 7000 miles in a few months.

    Before heading out after the camp we had a fairly detailed plan for the first few weeks. The plan didn’t last a day because the first camp site we had planned to stop at was a bust.

    One example of our random plans was deciding to see the Florida Keys. “Key Largo is the first, biggest, in the song, great – we see it and we’re done.” Key Largo was so beautiful we decided to drive a bit longer and see more. Then there was 7-mile bridge. By then we decided we may as well see Key West (Hemmingway, famous etc.). Ended up staying in Key West for a week.

    Time of our lives!

  • Kurt Swann says:

    Enjoyed the post and comments. I also “travel for travel’s sake.” Here’s another quote with a similar idea . . . . . “The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” G. K. Chesterton . . . .

    Sometimes I’m like a tourist at well known sites who “sees what he has come to see.” But most of the time I get more enjoyment out of a bus ride, crossing a remote border, or finding a place to do laundry.

    I’ve heard it said that life is best when we can strike a balance between contentment and ambition. What works for me is thinking first about my values and philosophy of life. I then create goals, whether travel goals or otherwise, that fit in with those values and philosophy. When those are in sync, I don’t feel a great deal of conflict between “goals” and “moments” and enjoyment of the “moments” seems to take care of itself.

  • Richard says:

    On the travel front, I don’t like to plan too much so that I have the option to “stand and stare”. I will book the flights and a hotel for the first few days but after that I will often “wing it”.

    During a visit to Central America not too long ago our final trip barely resembled our initial plans due to disagreements with Lonely Planet! Some areas they warned about were like heaven on earth (possibly because all the smart people who’d read the guide stayed away?!) while other “hotspots” didn’t hold as much appeal as we expected. Luckily, we were able to adapt to those conditions and had the best trip ever.

    However in my work life I think I can suffer from tunnel vision and task achievement syndrome just wanting to get something completed. I try to remain conscious of the steps I’m taking but interruptions while I’m working – no matter how nice – don’t tend to get the same appreciation as when I’ve “clocked off”.

  • Misha Herwin says:

    All inspirational, as usual. Clicks in with a strange synchronicity to the way I’ve been feeling. Too much practical stuff, due to building work and not enough creativity. Yet great fun in decorating the new room and chatting to the builders. One way of looking at it, is that one day all these experiences will be food for the writing. Another is that this is all part of life’s flow. As other people have said, we only have this moment in time so make the best use of it.
    Misha

  • connie barrett says:

    Am I enjoying this moment? Maybe, sort of. Yesterday I took a miserable 11 hour bus ride in a third world country, came home to see that my little dog with whom I am obsessed had been mistreated and I slept for 3 hours before checking email and telephone messages. There are several unreasonable demands from angry people and I need to respond. In the past several years, I have become more passive and have gone to great lengths to avoid confrontation, allowing myself to be taken advantage of and ripped off rather than confront. However, I feel energized by the May 100 business forum and today I will stand up for myself without procrastinating and simply say no. I already responded to one and I will now do the others. I think I’m beginning to understand some things: while I don’t actually enjoy the responses I have to make, I think I can enjoy this moment of being assertive and I will enjoy the rest of my day. And stating my case isn’t the same as confrontation, is it?

  • Chris,
    It has been fascinating reading this stream of comments. Thank you to everyone who has commented, and again to you Chris for the observations and questions that kicked it all off.

    I have used several of my moments – and enjoyed them thoroughly.
    Have Fun,
    Jim

  • Eric Normand says:

    You can work on goals and enjoy the moment at the same time. Separate out your planning and your execution. Once you have planned out how to get to your goal, you can just enjoy the process without constantly looking ahead to see how close you are.

  • DigitalAngel says:

    I think Alix asks an important question, because it is certainly possible to get caught up in working towards your goals as though they’re chores you have to cross off your to-do list. However, I very much agree with Sandra Lee, that having goals doesn’t have to prevent you from enjoying the moment. In fact, what I got from your post was that it is possible to push yourself onwards from one goal to another and still enjoy every moment of the experience. Even if you’re enjoying one moment or one country so much that you want to extend your stay, it is still possible to move forward and enjoy the following moment just much. Thanks for a thoughtful question and a thoughtful post!

  • Shelley says:

    Another interesting discussion. I also love to travel. Sometimes I think it would be great to stay a little longer in a place, but then I wonder what I’ll be missing in the new destination…It’s a great question, that doesn’t have one right or wrong answer, it really is a question of what matters to you most. Thanks for the great food for thought.

  • I could agree more with this post.

    We’re so busy chasing that next achievement, promotion, travel destination, or thing to buy. When we get it, we’re on to the next thing to do/buy/achieve/travel/whatever. As the old saying goes, “its not the destination, its the journey”. I’m not entirely sure about that. I’ve been guilty of that. We get caught up in the pursuit but don’t actually take the time to appreciate what we have when we get it. Taking the time to truly appreciate what you accomplish forces you to take stock and see whether it was worth the pursuit.

    If you can’t just stop and enjoy the moment, then why are you chasing it?

    Mike

  • Deep says:

    I’m quite the opposite. I feel like my regular life has enough goals in it, I try to have no goals when I’m traveling. I try to wander as much as possible, minimize planning ahead, try to go where the person I just met says is fantastic, that sort of thing. Still, its great to hear your perspective. Wonderful blog.

  • Roy Abraham says:

    Yes it’s definitely the journey, not the destination. But I admit that sometimes I’m too hung up on the adventure of “moving” that I don’t pause to enjoy the moment!

  • Alan Nash says:

    Hello, I’m very new to this site and am impressed with the diversity of it’s participants. I feel REAL out of place, that I am not a world traveler. I do travel, but not out of the borders of the USA. I love to travel and meet new people and experience new environments. I am a cartoonist by hobby and a locomotive engineer by trade (that’s what pays the bills). I may have a little different perspective on Living the Moment in that we are raising our youngest daughters 2 boys and little girl 3 and a half, 19 months and 1 week respectively. 2 years ago, enjoying the moment became a whole new thing for us. I may not be the world traveler as most of you are but thanks to you people and Chris, I can travel though your eyes and words…Please accept the THANKS of a grateful reader 🙂

  • Emily says:

    “The end of a melody is not its goal; but nonetheless, if the melody had not reached its end it would not have reached its goal either. A parable.”
    Nietzsche

  • tom says:

    having traveled rtw myself i came across this dilemna many times as well. like chris, i opted to see more with the thought that i could always come back to the places i liked most. though i also tried to budget in extra time so i could stay a little longer in those places (or with people) that were special. having all the friends at home living “vicariously” through me, reminded me to pause and enjoy where i was and what i was doing, because i knew all too soon i’d be the one stuck back in the office living vicariously through someone like chris.

  • @Amber-If being at home, being comfortable, and enjoying your child is your bliss, then embrace it. It is not better or worse than anyone else’s way of being in the moment and enjoying it. It works for you, and it keeps you healthy, and that is what’s important.

    For me, it’s being in my studio, losing myself in my various art projects.

    I also love to travel, but I travel for the destination. I like being in a different place for a while (whether it yields killer photos or just good times.)

    For me, a daily dose of enjoying the moment might be as simple as sitting in the garden for a few minutes before I leave for work or cuddling one of my cats.

    Chris, I’m tired of repeating myself, but I will: Another GREAT post!

    Jennifer Moore
    JenniferLynn Productions, LLC

  • Nina says:

    Hi,
    Just came across your page. I find it so amazing and insightful. I am sorry to say that I am not enjoying my moment today. I just got back from another trip (Hawaii) and feel like a fish out of water. I love to travel and be adventurous. I just turned 30 and feel like I need a life change. I love tropical places and don’t know how much longer I can reside in this concrete jungle.Houston. I will read on.
    Thanks

  • Kim says:

    I was able to pass one of the famous university in Korea, KAIST. Everyone congratulated me and I was so happy because I think my life will be changing from now on. However, my assumption was totally wrong. I took the school off and I might not return to my school. It was a tough decision and I got depressed because I treated myself somehow loser. It has been a long time to get a confidence once more. I think the reason why I failed is I didn’t enjoy the moment. Compared to that situation my circumstances is terrible as if I see my life from outer aspects. I am getting paid less than half of my previous salary. I might be harder to enter great company in Korea, because applicant might have less chance getting an interview if they are older than other competitive. But ironically I am really happy now. I have tried to change my mind positively and look at my life in different angles. Being present will change my life dramatically.

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