The Road Less Traveled

A friend of mine posted a quote today that went like this:

If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.

This quote from Ray Bradbury got me thinking about how we live our lives.  Do we only make choices through careful planning…. or do we sometimes grab the bull by the horns and simply wing it now and then?

Not sure why all of this got stuck in my head, but it made me think of one of my favorite poems.  It’s one that I have taken to heart in my own life.

Some background:  I am a big advocate of thinking outside the box, of challenging the status quo, of not engaging in office group think, of tearing down silos…. and of not going on organized tours that have every moment of your vacation planned.  I have never liked being marched around like a sheep.  I don’t base my editorial news judgment on something just because it is or isn’t in the New York Times (you’d be shocked at how many do).  And, I look at things from a different angle… even when taking photographs.  So, taking the road less traveled is really nothing new to me.

One of my “Roads Less Traveled” in Germany. My dog Bo (in the distance) helped me navigate this one…

Maybe my being left-handed has something to do with this.  I mean, it IS a right-handed world – and for those of us who are Southpaws, that means adapting to products made for righthanders (scissors, butter knives, cameras, etc etc etc).  Being left-handed is being different (It also means that we are the only ones in our right side of the brain! Ha! But I digress…).

The best travels and adventures I have ever had involved a car and/or a map, and some good friends or family to ride along.  Of course, good wine, German Bier, some cheese and a baguette would be nice too…  What’s the worst that can happen?  Flat tire?  Getting lost? Some of the best adventures I have ever had were discovered this way.  One time while driving in Spain I picked a destination on a map simply because I liked the name of the very small town — “Montefrio” (cold mountain) — it was one of the most charming/memorable places to overnight ever, and I can guarantee that most of humanity has never seen this small place.  Another time, in Sicily, my boyfriend at the time and I were lost and trying to find our way to somewhere….  so, we stopped to ask directions and were told that the entire village was in the community hall celebrating the Festival of Saint Joseph.  They invited us to join them and sat us in the middle of a long table of Italians.  It was the most amazing thing.  And it was an adventure I will never forget.  It also ranks as one of the most memorable meals and exquisite experiences…

Here, then, is the poem.  What do you think about it?  Do you map out every moment…. or do you jump in now and then, and simply let life happen?

The Road Not Taken – by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.