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Don’t Get Stuck on a Boat Traveling to the Past

Voilier sur une mer bleue agitée, hautes vagues et mousse

(…) And his dream must have seem so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him (…).

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther… And one fine morning –

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

What does the final paragraph of The Great Gatsby have to do with travel, you might ask? Well, just about everything.

As travelers, we have to learn two things: To let go, and to express gratitude.

We need to learn to let go of the feelings that our best experiences abroad have sparked in us. We must let go of people we have met and have lost contact with, of guardian angels and friends. Let go of love stories that were not meant to be, of flings and crushes left on a beach, in a hostel, in a bar, at an airport gate. Let go of missed travel opportunities, let go of the trips that didn’t happen or didn’t go according to plans.

Gatsby was wrong about one thing: magical moments can’t be put on repeat and missed occasions can’t be revived.

What we need to do, though, is express gratitude. Gratitude for the possibilities we were given, gratitude for being able to seize them the moment they showed up our way. Gratitude for the good fortune we had on our adventures, gratitude for the silent blessings offered by strangers.

Breathe. Be grateful. And let go.

Let others be stuck on boats that the current stubbornly brings back into the past. Be the waves, and take control. Let your mind go free, and stronger because of your past, give shape to a future filled with exciting and new experiences.

Lire plus:

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Voyage en montagne

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11 destinations à découvrir

Image de l’en-tête de l’article par Dimitris Vetsikas de Pixabay

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