Trusting My Wings

Prior to coming over to Australia, I had determined that this trip was going to be a life experiment in letting go. If I could let go of my expectations and trust that the universe would provide everything I needed, then I’d be happier. But as with every experiment, there is the potential that the trials may yield different results.

As I now sit here in Cairns, waiting to in the airport to depart for home at the end of my Australia adventure, I believe there is an added variable in play that I did not anticipate in my original hypothesis. Although I still think that my original theory, letting go and putting trust in the universe, is accurate, I’d like to amend my original statement.

It was about a 3 months ago that I had this epiphany that came in the form of a conversation with my work exchange host, Steve, with whom I was working to renovate a rental property that he owned. On one of our daily drives back from the property, I was explaining to him my decisions for coming to Australia.

It was in that moment that he pondered what I had said, and formulated his response. Steve, being an avid traveler and vagabond in his younger days, had traveled around Asia, Europe and America, living dollar to dollar, picking up odd jobs and renovation work wherever he could to supplement his travels. His response was based in his years of experience cheaply traveling the globe, but it was so profound that I determined it was the missing component of my now seemingly incomplete hypothesis.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of trusting the universe, I think it’s about trusting yourself in your own abilities,” he insisted.  To explain his point, he proceeded to tell me a story about a bird, who found himself on a weak, unsteady branch. “Now this bird has two options,” Steve continued, “he can trust that the branch will hold him, or he can trust his wings and his ability to fly.”

I was so dumbfounded by Steve’s response that I sat in the car speechless. He was right. All the bird needed to do was trust his wings, not the branch. Maybe I didn’t just have to trust in the universe to provide all that I needed, but more so I had to trust in my own abilities to go after all that I needed and wanted.

The rest of the afternoon I reflected on this new way of thinking, and checked to see if it had applied it to my travels on my Australian adventure. Undeniably, there had been moments when the “branch” fell out from under me, in the form of missed or canceled flights, miscommunication or tension with a host, last minute plans falling through, cancelled tours, and rearranging travel plans in the aftermath of a major cyclone. But at the end of the day, I persevered, pushed through the awkward, uncomfortable or stressful situations and ensured that things worked in my favor. Despite having the branches fall out from under me on numerous occasions, indeed I did fly.

Therefore, after months of research into my life experiment in letting go, I can amend my hypothesis to be more accurate. To live a life filled with happiness, I do need to let go and put trust in the universe to provide all that I need. But, when the branch does inevitably fall, thanks to the multiple tests and trials I faced in Australia, it is with deep faith that I can now trust my ability to spread my wings and fly.

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3 thoughts on “Trusting My Wings

  1. Very good read!
    Trusting in the universe is something that reminds me of something Paulo Coelho would say. 🙂
    It is very true that experiments, like yours, or travel plans in general rarely work out precisely the way we initially planned, but that is a good thing. Or better yet, a necessary thing. Because even though I’m an avid reader of “The Alchemist” I never really believed that trusting in the universe, would be enough to move forward.
    I never felt so alone when I first arrived in Bangkok and I was scared out of my mind. So I soon learned, that the only person I have to trust and rely on is myself. The coming months and even years was basically me trying to learn how to fly, as you mentioned.
    This self-reliance you learn during travelling is so important and one of the greatest things you can learn. Because if everything else fails or everything just simply sucks, you will always have yourself to fall back on.

    But I can fully empathize about the plans and experiments that can and probably will yield different results. We all have been there and always will be. 🙂

    1. Thank you Benni for your thoughtful comment! I am very much a fan of The Alchemist, which actually inspired me to quit my terrible job and head out to Australia. I agree that self-reliance is one of the most important things I learned and I’m so much more self- confident because of it!

      Happy travels and adventures! ❤

      1. Sounds great!
        I actually read The Alchemist for the first time not too long ago. Way after I’ve started travelling. I was actually more inspired to travel after I saw the movie and read the book “Eat, Pray, Love”. 😀
        Same happy travels and adventures to you. 🙂

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