Not on the map

October 10, 2016


It’s not down on any map.
True places never are.
-Herman Melville

Here’s the thing about off-trail. It can be scary.

It can be risky.

But boy, oh boy, can it be exhilarating!

Traveling life without a map sounds like a crazy idea, right?  Well, not so fast!

Some of the most beautiful experiences come when you take the detour. Deviate from the plan. Go off trail.

Hey, I don’t suggest we wander aimlessly.

But, as Tolkien once wrote, not all who wander are lost.

Life is way more forgiving than we think it is.

It’s not that hard to find our way back to a useful path.

Very few route errors are fatal.

I went off trail a couple of times in my life, involving career or personal life.  Sure, there were some challenging times as a result.

But it all turned out just fine.

As it will for you.

So why not get lost a bit more often?

If you’ve gone off trail in your life and want to tell us how –and how it turned out–we’re all ears!

27 comments on “Not on the map
  1. Leanne says:

    The trouble with being a bit of a perfectionist/OCD/first child is the fear that going off track brings. Still, the times when life has thrown me a curve ball are the times that have shaped me and helped steer me to where I am now – wandering now and then sounds like fun.

  2. Ellen Dolgen says:

    I have traveled many roads in my life. Each one has brought me to where I am today. Some have been easier to travel than others…

  3. My idea of the right direction and God’s is different, though my controlling attitude gets in the way a bit–life is fun when I hand it over to God!

  4. The first time I went off trail in a major way was when I left my corporate job in 1995 to become a freelancer. It’s taken me places I never expected–all good–and I’ve never looked back. In hindsight, it was the safer, saner route!

  5. adela says:

    I’m always going off trail. I learned it from my Dad. That’s where adventure lies. Besides, would you rather be the wagger or the wagged.

  6. I’d like to get lost until Nov 8th. Actually, I love the thought of getting lost or going off the trail. It’s exciting, unless you run into a mountain lion like I did many years back. Still, it was pretty cool.

  7. Lee Gaitan says:

    I like to have a general idea of where I’m going, but with a lot of room for “let’s see where it goes.” 😉 I love your line “life isway more forgiving than we think it is.” Beautiful sentiment and powerful if we remember it.Great post as always!

  8. It’s all about how willing you are to take a risk! But you are right – very few of our “off trail” escapes are fatal. Good reminders for this Monday, Carol!

  9. Lori says:

    Going off the trail can be exciting t !

  10. I lean more toward going off the RAILS than off the trails. Truly without planning. But I’m going to focus more on going off trail and bask in the journey and unexpected destination. Thank you for the reminder to not be so strict in where I’m going, what I’m doing. It will surely help in my oft-derailed life of late.

  11. We gotta allow ourselves to have direction, as long as we have an idea where we are heading, we are NOT Lost. If we just drift off to no where, that could lead to all kinds of trouble lol!

  12. Sarah Swan says:

    Beautiful. I think of all the roads I have traveled, some smooth and some quite rough. However, all have led me to where I am today and have helped mold me into the woman I have become.

  13. Amber Myers says:

    I love going off the trail–it’s usually more fun that way.

  14. sue says:

    Going off trail can sometimes be challenging and we don’t always take the right path. However, we can learn from the trails we follow – whether the end of the trail was good or bad.

  15. liv says:

    We went “off-trail” in NYC. Not incredibly risky I guess in the scheme of things – but we saw a lot of the city we wouldn’t have seen otherwise!

  16. DogVills says:

    I remember when I was a teen my friends and I always going to a trail.

  17. Elizabeth O. says:

    Going off your usual path allows you to discover a lot of things about yourself that you didn’t think you had. It would be nice to get lost, it’s not that difficult to find your way back if you’re determined! I think life is much more enjoyable if you try to get lost even once in a while.

  18. I definitely wander in spite of my best efforts to focus and stay on track. However, I’ve never slept on the street or in a cave. I’ve cried at being lost and needing to find my way home, but so far, I have been blessed to make it back safe and sound. I’ve been in some pretty strange situations, though. This post sparks lots of memories and a lot of thankfulness. Thanks, Carol.

  19. Kelly Reci says:

    Traveling with no map is sounds fun and exciting. I think going off trail will make you have extremely experienced.

  20. Rosemond says:

    I’ve never considered that “life is forgiving.” I’ve been struggling for the past several years to redefine my own career. I’m still not sure if life is forgiving when I’ve gone off road but I’ll let you know!

  21. This was a post I needed! I am a planner so I don’t go off the road very often but I probably need to!

  22. Rosey says:

    Some of the best memories come from going off course. That is true literally and figuratively speaking.

  23. Getting lost can be scary at times, but for the most part it can be fun.:)

  24. Lisa Rios says:

    We all go through various paths in our life, some can be so hard to manage, but you need to go through it no matter what. Each path teach you a lesson that makes you efficient to choose the best in future.Thanks for inspiring!

  25. lex says:

    that feeling of going off completely or partially is where the fun and adventure truly begins , don’t you think? fun post to me though.

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