When we left the USA in 2013, London was our first stop. We arrived thinking it would be a good introduction to Europe and it would help us transition into life on a new continent in an English speaking country. As we prepared to leave Europe a few weeks ago, we applied the same logic and used Ireland as our transition place. As I was reflecting on this “space between” it struck me that there is a difference between landing and arriving.
We can land anywhere. We get off the plane or train, snap some photos, and get back on. We land again and again but when do we truly arrive?
Arriving is when we step into that place of awareness where our whole self is alive and ready to be enveloped. It is that moment when we are no longer looking for the familiar on foreign soil. When we first arrived in London after leaving our life in the USA, the predictability of Starbucks was familiar and comforting. A few weeks ago, landing in Ireland, able to understand every menu, sign, and a person we encountered, prepared us for our re-entry into the USA. Giving ourselves that space to align was more important than we knew at the time because it prepared us to truly arrive.
We always know when we have truly arrived because we start to seek out the differences and push ourselves into new experiences. We no longer need the sameness to become grounded that we often crave right after “landing.” It takes time to fully arrive but the rewards are infinite. The secret adventures reveal themselves that are often undetectable during take-off and landing. Of course, we do not need to travel anywhere to know the value of arriving in the moment. It is a decision we make every time we land in a new moment. Should I stay or should I go?
As Henry Miller so eloquently states,
If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.