not all who wander…

I’ve never been a big fan of the saying, “Not all who wander are lost.” When I hear it, or read it on a bumper sticker, the message I really receive from it is, “Don’t judge me.”


Fair enough. I try not to judge. I know I can’t stand feeling like I’m sitting in judgement from other people. Especially those who barely know me, or know little of my life’s intentions.


And if I question that saying, or those living by it, know that I’m not trying to judge, it might just be that I’m concerned. Sometimes when that motto is flaunted in a general direction, it seems to be a misdirect, a diversion even. Perhaps the person making the statement isn’t lost, but they have no goal in mind for their life. They’re just taking a meandering journey to… an yet-to-be-determined location. Accomplishment isn’t the finished product so much as the miles put in to arriving.


With the thought of this possibility, the thought of a purposeless existence, I cannot refrain from being concerned (even if it’s really no concern to me). It’s not always about where these travelers end up that troubles me, it’s the path that gets them there. It’s the obstacles faced. Yes I know the obstacles are part of the adventure that is life, but they’re also part of the danger. Especially the unnecessary ones. Why experience extra heartache, extra frustration when a simpler route could be chosen? Why not live life safely?


Then again, I want to contradict my own thoughts. Why live taking the safest routes?


Because when I think on this, there’s a good possibility that I may be wrong in being concerned. Maybe I need to wander a little more, wonder a little more, take the scenic route and enjoy life a little more. I’m not saying I’m adding that motto to my Jeep’s bumper, but maybe I need to judge myself a little less. Let myself experience the ‘getting there’ and not only anticipate the arriving.  I may just find that the world is an amazing place full of wonders few have ever experienced. True, there are dangers on the road less traveled. But there is the also the unknown.


Just because I may choose to enjoy taking my time, doesn’t mean I need to give up on goals and destinations. I just need to achieve a bit more balance. Which is something we all probably need to do.


I can’t help but think that the caterpillar I met on the beach yesterday understood this fine balance of wandering and wondering, but doing so with a purpose. Seems like it was taking the road less traveled… I just wonder what its destination was it had in mind.




Do you find yourself traveling the scenic routes or the freeways?


2 thoughts on “not all who wander…

  1. as I’m get older, and MUCH wiser (I am 30, you know…) I am learning that the routines of the freeway life tend to bypass so much of the goodness of the scenic life. As the big day (30) approached, it became more and more obvious to me that there was so much I had missed and so much I would continue to miss if I stayed in the same lane I was in.

    While I do have some pretty specific goals and destinations for this life, I am learning that the getting there can be such a huge adventure. My instincts still lean towards the safety of the daily grind, but my longings to not waste what is left of this life compel me to chose a more dangerous route.

    I don’t think I’m wandering, per say, but I do feel that I am becoming more inclined to explore the wonders of the world around us while still aiming for my destination.

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