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Instant Arrival at the Destination Discounts the Value and Fun of the Journey

Instant Arrival at the Destination Discounts the Value and Fun of the Journey

Easy come, easy go?

I’m on a bus. The road is so bumpy that my fingers occasionally bounce from the keyboard and I have to hold onto the laptop before it flies into the aisle. We woke at 5:45 to get on our first bus at 6:45 to catch our flight at 9:00 to fly for an hour to get on another bus for two hours to catch a boat for a half an hour to arrive at our destination on the island where they filmed the first season of Survivor: Pulau Tiga.

The trip is going to take us most of the day. The buses and planes and boats and baggage and bathrooms and security checkpoints all just sweeten the arrival. This is travel and it’s easy to understand. But what if we talked about instant arrival at a goal?

  • Instantly lose 20 pounds with no effort.
  • Magically heal your disease.
  • Learn piano with no practice.

Whatever comes easily might just as easily be taken away. Those 20 pounds easily shed might return with alacrity. Maybe even more than 20 pounds would return.

I have something of an old world view on airplanes. More often than not, I feel that we arrived too quickly. There was no time for transition, for understanding and recognition of change happening and, dare I say, fun.

If we can’t find any fun in the journey, what value does the destination have? If losing each pound is a brutal tortured existence, might we not rethink how we gained those unwanted pounds in the first place?

Please note, dear reader. I am a romantic and a storyteller. I like little more than a bouncy bus and the deep smile of a local with a basket of hard-boiled eggs on her head. Although I enjoy the frosting of the destination, it is the journey that is the cake and there is just so much cake compared to frosting.

If we’re not enjoying the cake, the frosting loses some of its appeal.

Later that day …

We set off from the harbor village to the island when the outboard motor started to sputter. It didn’t take any Malay language classes to understand what the guy next to the engine slid his hand in front of his throat repeatedly in the international sign for, “It’s dead.”

We returned to the harbor and it was decided that we could take a different boat, but they needed to fill it up with gas. One of our group decided to venture into town and came back in the nick of time full of fresh Roti, battered and fried bananas and a cassava fritter complete with a tiny bag of sweet and spicy sauce to dip.

The South China Sea was rough and our little boat got practically airborne and then crashed down onto the unforgiving sea as we shared banana delights and shrieked and laughed with excitement.

We arrived at our exotic, uninhabited tropical island and it was everything we might have dreamed of: palm trees, clear turquoise water and a lodge with a roof and lunch.

Within an hour, we were swimming in the warm sea waters and any concerns of bouncy bus rides, tumultuous tides or boat engine troubles were washed away with each soft and salty wave.

Is the journey the destination? Is getting there at least as “important” as being there? If we’re only waiting to be there, will we even notice getting there?

Instant Arrival at the Destination Discounts the Value and Fun of the Journey

Instant Arrival at the Destination Discounts the Value and Fun of the Journey [Bako National Park, Borneo, Malaysia]

Instant Arrival at the Destination Discounts the Value and Fun of the Journey [Bako National Park, Borneo, Malaysia]

About The Author


I don’t like to call them excuses. They’re priorities. With a handful of exceptions, we usually have a choice in our actions. They just need to be prioritized.

1 Comment

  1. Mom

    Are you even like airports… Great article. I really believe it. It is the getting there, not the arriving. I guess that’s what we talk to you when I went to Europe the first time. Weeks full of mishaps. That’s what we remember.



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