Recently my family and I traveled to California to visit some relatives and explore Yosemite National Park and surrounding areas. My wife and I packed up the kids and flew to San Francisco from Chicago in the middle of June. We were all excited to see where we were going.
A few days into the trip, we decided to see some of the great Sequoia trees just south of Yosemite. That morning, we packed up some lunches and backpacks for a day of exploring. We had tickets to ride an old logging train at 1pm that afternoon and had some time that morning to run out and see these big trees.
We set the GPS in our rented Ford Fusion and got on the road. We were all focused on seeing these mammoth, ancient trees. As we drove on our way, the road was very curvy. There were several switchbacks as we traversed up the side of a mountain. Then the road turned from a paved road to a gravel road. We decided that we were on the wrong path and adjusted our GPS to head for the train ride instead. As we followed that GPS route, the road became more and more rocky. We were bouncing all over the place. The road narrowed and became nearly impassable. My daughter was getting scared in the back seat. To be honest, so was I. I started wondering how far this road would take us. Would we blow a tire? Would the car hold up off roading? We continued to go as the GPS revealed the route was only a couple more miles to our destination. Then we hit a fork in the road. Both directions had signs not recommending vehicles drive any further on them. Our minds and thoughts were no longer on trees or train rides. Our thoughts were on getting out of here safely.
There was only one path out. That was the way we came in. I carefully turned the car around. My children were visibly upset. We were all scared. We bumped and bounced for another 45 minutes to finally get back on the paved road and head back to the highway after 40 minutes of white knuckle driving. Relieved and shaken, we quietly drove to the train ride and arrived with 10 minutes to spare. This was quite the journey.
This particular journey is one that we all take in our lives. We start to head somewhere and focus solely on where we are going. We take our eyes off the actual trip to get there. Until, that is, we are forced to be present in the journey. Just like my family in the car that day, the journey can present you with some scary moments. Moments that will take your focus off the destination. That bumpy road is one we will all take many times. If I kept driving in the same direction heading to the destination not heeding the warning signs along the way, we would have surely gotten stuck out there on that mountain.
Make sure you see the signs on your journey.
Focusing on the journey will help you in many ways. It can keep you safe. It will reveal so much about you and what is really important to you. The journey is a great place to learn to adapt to your surroundings. It teaches you how to pivot and continue on your way. Focus on the journey… not the destination.
Side note: Thank you Ford for making such a great car. The vehicle made it out unscathed on a road built for 4X4s!
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