‘Traveler, there is no path.
The path is made by walking. By walking you make a path’ – Antonio Muchado

We were picking our way down a steep mountain side. The group was spread out, and there was little organization or direction. Somewhere among the rocks and bracken was the right way, but we’d somehow missed it. I had a palpable sense of relief when all of a sudden I saw worn dirt and the obvious path that many had walked before. It’s not like we were lost or in danger, but somehow the trail provided assurance.

The known and I have an uncomfortable relationship. I enjoy the ease and the predictability, but…

I have a friend who travels back to the same places year after year. His family have holiday habits that have been their rhythm for decades. Same countries, same cities, same hotels. It suits them fine, but it would drive me crazy.

“What’s over there?” is an ever tempting question, and one from which I have benefited often. I have started things, met people, had experiences, and grown as a person. It’s worked for me to take the road less traveled, and sometimes even no road at all.

I’d like to say it’s because I am curious and a risk taker, and those are true, but it’s also because I’m restless and easily distracted. If finding a new way is a difficult for some, staying on the signed trail may in fact be my greater challenge.

There is a tattoo of a compass rose on my forearm. It is both a symbol of my desire to set out where there is no pre-determined route, and a reminder that there is a ‘true’ north to follow. The unknown and the known. The path that is not a path.