Having snuck into the first class lounge at Frankfurt International Airport, I sat in a comfy seat with a peculiar expression on my face. I had just flown in from Moscow and learned that my next flight had been delayed.
I sat and contemplated.
I could read my book on DSLR filmmaking or skim a story about a nuclear bomb that had detonated undetected in the remote regions of Australia. I could potentially write a blog post or get ahead on my work for the next day.
Instead, I sat quietly.
I was mentally and physically exhausted and was having difficulty focusing on any one thing for more than two minutes.
I put in headphones and set Where is My Mind by The Pixies on repeat. There I sat, unmoving but smiling.
The paradox of travel is that while it inherently involves crossing long distances, it also requires a lot of not moving.
I am confident that if I mapped out the hours I spend traveling, most of my time would actually be spent sitting still. Along with being alone, (the companion post to this piece), sitting still was my least expected part of traveling. Be it waiting in an airport, waiting for my next train or laying red-eyed in a motel room in the middle of the local night, most of my travels are spent being still.
This is the true life of an adventurer.
Days are filled with stillness and meditation and climactically interrupted by obscenely high highs.
It is as unnatural but real as the extreme timezone changes and 12 hour sunrises that come with global travel.
But like every challenge, mastering stillness provides enormous benefits.
Stillness and You
If you are serious about committing to an adventurous lifestyle, I recommend you start training now. Find a place to sit still and just be. Embrace the difficulty of meditation and push yourself to resist the many urges you will have to move and think. (You can find my favorite meditation guide right here.)
The mental and physical discipline you will earn through this simple task will prepare you for what’s to come with an global lifestyle, stillness and adventure.
Photo is of a frozen (still) Knight taken in an Ice Museum in Alaska.