Travel, Canoeing & Introspection

My daughter had this interesting set of comments about traveling. Normally I think of traveling for a purpose such as business or sightseeing. For those of you who are old enough, there was a movie when I was a kid called “If Its Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium” about the hectic pace set by vacationers and sightseers. She takes a different direction for traveling, slowing down, chilling out and introspecting. And she also had some fun while canoeing. Here is what she has to say.

I went on a 4-day canoe trip when I was younger and the two camp counselors dropped us off on a remote piece of land for a morning with a pencil and a notebook. We were supposed to reflect and have a deep introspection. When they first mentioned it I was extremely skeptical but it was a very moving experience. Not enough people take the time to sit down in nature and really reflect on themselves and figure out what they want in life. We tend to be too busy and too connected. Even today I look back and try to do something similar once a year, maybe in a kayak so I don’t need another person to maneuver. It is key to bring an old-fashioned pen and paper so you can sort out your thoughts and feelings. Anyway back to the canoeing. Make sure to go with a partner who doesn’t annoy you. On a hot day it is also fun to jump out and go swimming and then jump back in (without flipping the canoe) and dry off in the sun. If you are adventurous and your stuff is in waterproof bags and not likely to float away, you can try flipping the canoe on purpose and duck under and come up inside the canoe. Oh and if you don’t want to be miserable sunscreen is key! I didn’t reapply one of the days and was very burnt and uncomfortable the next day. Also when you choose your direction. Or destination think about which way the water flow is going so you aren’t working harder than necessary. Also you can stop paddling all together and drift. Basically there is nothing like floating down a river in a canoe with no destination in mind. If you ever get a chance to go canoeing, take it.