Yes, I know! The title must have reminded you of Jack Kerouac’s novel, but I’m not writing a book review of his work, instead this post more of a soul-searching on the subject.
On the Road, in Chinese zài lù shàng在路上 ——in case anyone who is learning Chinese wonders—–is a topic that came to my mind after re-reading A Return to Glow: One Women’s Quest to Hike the Historic Via Francigena. a post written by thirdeyemom who gave me the inspiration to think on the idea of traveling with solitude. This’s what I love about WP’s community! There are so many talented writers, bloggers, poets, artists and more who keep inspiring readers by sharing their stories and thoughts. Thirdeyemom’s blog is one of these cases!
“It may not always be easy, and there will undoubtedly be some lonesome, wistful moments, but it is these very moments that allow a spiritual journey to unfold.”
That’s one of the advice from Chandi. The idea is that people learn so much about themselves when experiencing the unknown and the new on their own. By creating a conversation with your inner self, you discover what your heart longs for and the whole experience eventually leads you to the path that enables you to make the most out of the life you are living in.
The second part above is my version of interpretation and expectations on the journey of travelling alone, and I have been fascinated by this endeavor. How that journey of ‘on the road’ would be like? I haven’t found it out myself.
See, my problem is that my fear always gets in the way. I think it isn’t an ingrown fear but rather a nurtured one. I grew up in a traditional extensive Chinese family. As a child, I was overprotected by all the adults around who loved me deeply. There was no house rule saying that adventure is off-limits, but being cautious has always been THE advice in the decision-making of the household where I grew up.
Now I’m no longer a child and have my own family. It feels impossible to shake of the urge to think on ‘what if’, and for every choice needed to be made, I must have a plan B. This wouldn’t work at all in an ‘On the Road’ situation, would it? Mostly because when travelling, we are focusing on the presence, the now, and there is no way to predict what happens next and prepare a back-up plan for every situation that arises!
But wait! Isn’t that what life is all about? We will never know how it is going to be unless we are in that situation! If we surrender to our fear and keep staying in our comfortable zone, there is so much that we would miss out! Perhaps I will try having a journey with solitude some day when the right moment knocks on the door of my consciousness after all. For now, I enjoy being on the road with loved ones, being connected to the people who I care deeply while going for adventure. But deep down in my soul, I’m fully aware of the power to having that conversation with one’s inner self. It is that better self who empowers each one of us to better connect to the world.
For a relevant topic to wrap up my thoughts, I’m also writing about this subject to introduce the Chinese word of the day, zài lù shàng, 在路上. When talking about Chinese language, tone is crucial. In today’s case, we apply the fourth Chinese tone to all three characters. No matter either you are learning Chinese language or merely just curious of how Chinese tones are pronounced, you may visit my Pinyin lesson 1 to find it out, and I’m sure after taking a listen with a little practice, you will have no problem to work out how ‘on the road’ is spoken in Chinese. Hope you consider it as a little bonus and enjoy what you have read from my post today.