In life, do you choose to take the road everyone has taken, or do you choose the path that is best for you?
It might be tempting to choose what everyone has done, especially if it seemed to work for them. But is that what truly works for you?
On a recent hiking trip, my partner and I decided to take a popular trail in the opposite direction. This was an old, well travelled trail that people had been hiking and biking from A to Z for years.
For our own reasons, we chose to travel from Z to A. We did it backwards.
I didn't think anything of it. Going backwards made more sense with my schedule. The trip would take several days and going in the opposite direction ensured I would end the trip closer to the airport for my flight home.
To me, it was a beautiful hike through nature, getting into shape physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Caption: Why I Choose to Take the Road Less Travelled Source: Melissa Dawn - Burgos, Spain
To others, I had committed a faux pas.
As my partner and I walked, everyone crossing our path had something to say. "You're going the wrong way. Are you lost? Are you returning because you forgot something? Are you crazy? Why are you going backwards?"
The path occasionally crossed a highway. When it did, even passing cars beeped to point us in the 'right' direction.
I couldn't believe it. Why did people only see one way? Because that's what everyone does? Because that's how it's always been done? Because that's what the travel guides say? Because they believe there is only one right way?
We even stopped to talk to a Danish woman who said, "We have a saying in my country: when you go the opposite route to everyone else, it's because you're avoiding something."
Oh my... avoiding something? Wrong way? Lost? Crazy?
We were just enjoying connecting with nature, hiking the way that best suited us and our schedule. Had we gone the 'wrong' way? No. At least, not for us.
The Benefits of Taking the Road Less Traveled
We were more connected to ourselves and our journey
Since we didn't follow the typical route, we were never sure where we would end up. Most people book overnight accommodations in advance. If they don't make their destination on time, they take a bus or taxi and skip some of the route.
We walked till we got tired, then found a place to stay. We did everything day by day. We couldn't plan if we wanted to, as there are no guidebooks on doing it backwards. We had no expectations, just fun, connecting with nature and respecting our bodies telling us to stop for the day.
It taught us to get comfortable with the uncomfortable
We did not realize that May was high season for this particular trail. One night, our journey brought us to a town where the only accommodation available was a hostel. I wanted a private room, but there were none left.
I ended up sharing a room with 6 other people.
Between the snoring, the cold room and no blankets, I hardly slept. I decided to make the best of it and find the humour in the situation. If you can laugh at it, you can live it!
This journey taught us how to get comfortable with the uncomfortable pain of travelling with all our belongings and how to make the best of every situation that came our way. This is a great tool to help you move forward in life.
It opened our minds to new ways of doing things
It's only by trying new things, pushing your limits, doing things differently that you can truly change your life and get rid of what is blocking you or no longer working for you. Doing things differently makes you stronger.
In my life and business, as in my travels, I like to enjoy the journey. My journey is mine. I will not let people tell me which way to go or how to do it. Even if a path has proven successful to others.
To some, I might be going the "wrong way". I might be going backwards. I might even be crazy. I do what feels right for me. I connect with my inner voice and let it guide me. I ensure that every thing I do, every step I take, is aligned with my big picture vision, values and heart. My mission is to help as many people as possible do the same. It's the only way to live a life where you feel good from the inside out.
It strengthened our faith in our inner voices
Sometimes, you start off doing things the way that feels right to you, and end up caving to pressure when everyone else is doing it another way.
Let me tell you, having so many people point out our 'wrong' direction was a lot of pressure!
I decided to stick to the path I chose. In the end, we had an amazing experience. Choosing the 'wrong' path was right for me. When your gut, your inner voice, tells you something is right (or wrong), listen to that voice. It's your instinct. It's speaking to you for a reason and it knows, better than anyone, what's best for you.
Question if what everyone else is doing feels truly right for you. Do things your way - backwards or not. When you do what feels right for you, you feel amazing and inspire others to do what is best for them.
Take the journey that is best for you!
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