Travel | Philosophy

Transcending the Path

I’m told that Iddo Landau once said that we should all “transcend the common and the mundane.” Yesterday I had an opportunity to test that with a drive through parts of five of the United States on my way from New Hampshire to New Jersey. How do you transcend a long and overly familiar drive? Music helps, and I dove deep into a healthy mix of early 90’s grunge early on, mixed in a compelling podcast and made a few calls. I stopped for coffee and talked to two veterans of the Korean War for a few minutes, thanking them for their service and sharing a hope for peace in this crazy world. The commute soon slipped away and I was surprised to see the Tappan Zee Bridge rise up ahead of me. I arrived at my destination right when I thought I might.

If life is short, shouldn’t we seize even these common and mundane moments? Our life path takes us to mountaintops and magical evenings with those we love, but it also takes us through White Plains, New York on a random Monday. What we do with that part of the path is what matters most.

The world has taught us that none of this should be taken for granted. We might start out with the intention of getting from here to there, but we can never be sure how it will go or whether we’ll actually arrive until we get there. Making the most of each moment as the miles tick away is a way of living the axiom, “it’s the journey, not the destination”. There’s no better opportunity to prove that than on a rather common and mundane part of life’s journey.

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