Like many people, I have possessed a strong wanderlust my entire life. I love to see new vistas, experience new adventures, meet new people, and learn new things! Fortunately, my work as a speaker, facilitator, and coach has allowed me to travel both domestically and internationally.
However, my love of “travel” began while I was still a young boy and had yet to go very far. Two gifts—a microscope for Christmas and a telescope for my birthday—opened up marvelous new vistas to explore—all without ever leaving my own yard!
I vividly remember the first time I collected a vial of water from the stream that ran next to our yard and placed a drop on a slide. As I adjusted the focus knob of my microscope, I was suddenly greeted with a sight I shall never forget—hundreds of little organisms were moving about in that tiny drop of water. Earth suddenly seemed much vaster and more wonderful to me.
Similar to that first experience with my microscope, I will always remember bringing the moon sharply into focus, on high power, with my new telescope. I lost track of time while exploring the mountains, plains, and craters—thrilled that I was looking at another world separate from Earth! As I used that little telescope to peer deeper and deeper into the cosmos, my sense of wonder expanded.
Today, I am thankful for all the “outer voyages” I have been able to take thus far in my life. I’ve experienced many wonderful places on Planet Earth. I’ve even explored some of Earth’s countless microworlds through my microscopes. And from my backyard observatory, which I designed and built, I have pursued my lifelong love affair with the starry sky. The word “thankful” from the beginning of this paragraph provides a useful segue.
Because we humans have the ability to think, we can also engage in “inner voyages”—we can go within. This ability allows us to contemplate, calculate, hypothesize, etc. As a result of these processes, our life experiences can take on broader and deeper meaning.
We can look through a microscope and wonder how small life and the building blocks of creation can be. We can compare our places of residence and our personal circumstances with those of others around the world. We can look through the eyepiece of a telescope at a distant galaxy millions of light years away containing hundreds of billions of stars and wonder, “Is there life out there? Does it look like me?”
By going within, you and I can explore life’s most important questions and greatest mysteries. What values do I choose to live by? What do I really want to do with my life? Where did “I” come from? Do “I” live on after my body dies? Pursuing the answers to such questions gives meaning and purpose to our lives. I am convinced, that you and I are on this planet engaged in an adventure of the highest order. Life is good—so very good!