I am absolutely obsessed with traveling, even though I don’t get to quite as much as I’d like. I’m sure there’s plenty of you out there that can say they feel the same way. After all, there is the entire world to explore! Anyways, this past Christmas in my stocking, I got this box of cards. The Anywhere Travel Guide by Magda Lipka Falck. 75 cards for discovering the unexpected wherever your journey leads. Of course, I was excited about them. I would decide to hang on to them and use them on my next trip. Until one day, I pull them out in an attempt to find inspiration for a creative short story. I notice on the top of the box it reads, “There are many different types of travel. Sometimes they carry us right across the globe, sometimes into space, and sometimes around the block. Sometimes there is a journey going on inside us.” Then I realize that I’ve been blinded by wanderlust. I’ve been wanting to go everywhere except explore where I am and I live in one of the greatest cities in America! Chicago! Nonetheless, that still didn’t help me with inspiration for my short story. Frustrated, I turn to my Copper Arrow ladies to vent. Long story short, these girls are amazing at refocusing my attention when I get too zoned in on something. So starting now, I will follow one of the card prompts for one day, once a week, no matter where I am or what I happen to be doing.
Observe silence today.
Try to stay as silent as possible.
Do things quietly.
Notice how this changes your impression of the sounds the surround you.
Tuesday, January 17th
I woke up late today. Not necessarily late for anything, just in general. Today I decided to start with the first travel prompt. I do wish that I could tell you I had this profound journey and figured out the meaning of life from observing silence today. Although, maybe I would have had I been out in nature or at the beach. Listening to the soothing sounds of waves crashing against the shore. However, I would be running errands in Chicago’s winter. Fortunately, it was on the warmer side today. I walked up and down Clark street, for half my day hearing cars drive by, sirens, and honking horns. The other half, I spent on a trek down to North Ave because I couldn’t find what I needed on Clark. On my way, the train conductor announced that there was fire department activity on the tracks ahead and that we were going to be rerouted to a different track. Ultimately, leaving me to walk a mile in the cold rain to get to where I was trying to go. Near the store, I heard a woman swear because she finally found a parking space only for Nordstroms to be closed for inventory. So on and so forth. All familiar noises of Chicago. Yet, this prompt did change my impression of the sounds surrounding me. Actively paying attention to the sounds around me, I ended up noticing more details of my day. I found myself being a little more observant and not just zoned in on getting from point a to point b. I was taking an extra moment to be present and aware. I am going to make an effort to observe silence just a little more often.
Article by Holly Sandberg
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