Entry 75: The Long Haul

Location: USA, Fiji, Australia, & New Zealand

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

- Warren Buffett

            I’ve gone on a lot of long flights. A few of the trips that I’ve been on have taken more time in the air (or road) than they provided with actual time at the destination. I’m sure that many people think these trips are foolish or unnecessary, but I have always found them to be well worth the effort.

            The most recent example I can provide was my July trip to New Zealand. I was there just under 7 days but traveled over the course of 5 days to get there and back. My flights were long and not without various problems in no less than 4 different countries and 8 airports. Nevertheless, when I tell people where I recently was they still manage to give the “wow” response along with their dreams of going. Shortly after this I have to mention that in NZ I did not participate in any of the standard attractions that it provides. There was no bungee jumping, no epic hiking or Lord of The Rings exploration. These facts are often met with dismay. “Why would you go that far and not do anything?” Why would I willingly choose to deal with all the troubles of traveling without taking advantage of what many would describe as the most important things at the destination? At times, during the excessively long flights, I begged the same question.

            In truth, I had a fantastic time in New Zealand without any of the aforementioned activities. I spent much of my time socializing, eating with friends and, oh, I went to a wedding. My trip was entirely for the purpose of 2 people. All the hassle was for a few important hours with a couple of very important people in my life.

            Many of the things that we describe in life as hard aren’t overly difficult; they just take time. Other times, those problems aren’t overly hard, but the result will not arrive for years to come. Despite my best efforts, I often have a difficult time seeing this in my daily life. I can hardly ever decide if it is worth it to drive an extra half hour to go on a new hike or if I should plan ahead instead of just seeing what happens.

            Don’t get caught sitting at home when you could be doing something you will remember for the rest of your life. Forget the laziness that keeps you from driving the extra few miles. Resist the temptation to sleep in when you could be seeing a new sunrise. Many of the best things in life only require your time.