Traveling Thoughts on the Unseen – Just Listen to Phileas Fogg

Traveling Thoughts on the Unseen – Just Listen to Phileas Fogg

The older I get it seems the more of a scaredy cat I become in terms of traveling. Where there was once unbridled willingness to go first, ask questions later there is now…

  • Hmm, is that safe?
  • Will I have time?
  • Will I be tired?
  • Will the weather be bad?
  • Will it be fun?
  • Will I feel lonely?
  • Will it be hard to find a place to stay?
  • What if it’s crowded?

And so on, and so on, and so on… With a hat tip to a post I think about often regarding seeing signs, I recently started reading a copy of the classic “Around the World in Eighty Days” that I picked up at a yard sale. There on the page when I needed it, was a sign for me:

“The unforeseen does not exist.”

-Phileas Fogg Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

I can’t know what is coming next until I put myself out there in the world. It doesn’t exist until I’m in it.

With the frame of mind that I’ve been in, that phrase was something that I needed to see. Sometimes I get turned around thinking of all of the ‘what ifs’ on the negative side that I forget that there are the ‘what ifs’ that completely counteract them on the positive side.

  • What if it is completely safe?
  • What if I’m not tired?
  • What if the weather is awesome?
  • What if it is the most fun thing EVER?

Sometimes when I’m talking to my friends and family and I tell them that I’m scared of this or that, they look at me quizzically and say something like you are not. Maybe I do a good job of masking it or allowing my curiosity to trump my fear? There are some things in life that my curiosity will absolutely win out on even though I feel like I am about to shit my pants. For example – going up the Eiffel Tower. I was  absolutely terrified, but I had to know…

I want to be brave enough to head out there in to the world and see what happens, even if it’s just one bite of the elephant at a time.  

One Reply to “Traveling Thoughts on the Unseen – Just Listen to Phileas Fogg”


    I have studied many times
    The marble which was chiseled for me—
    A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
    In truth it pictures not my destination
    But my life.
    For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
    Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
    Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
    Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
    And now I know that we must lift the sail
    And catch the winds of destiny
    Wherever they drive the boat.
    To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness,
    But life without meaning is the torture
    Of restlessness and vague desire—
    It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.

    from Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: