Language is the foundation on which we build our lives. It’s universal and true that language, as the main intersection of communication and action, separates man (and woman) from inherent creatureliness. It is language that can fill one with unequivocal joy, adoration, love, and understanding, but it also has the power to communicate hatred, fear, longing, and displeasure.
The four words, “We need to talk,” for example, are commonly cited as the most dreaded in the English language, or close to it. But I beg to differ.
As a language-lover and a believer in the power and necessity of travel, the words that cut deeply, that drive me mad and hurt me the hardest are those murmured wistfully over photographs of beautiful places or in conversation of future plans.
These words are lexical poison.
They communicate the prospect of finally living in a way that one desires in a distant and unplanned, potentially unreachable future, but for now that day is unattainable. And it will continue to be so until “one day” turns into “today”.
Now, I’m not advocating for spending 401K-money on a luxury vacation, or that one must travel across the world in order to achieve self-actualization, or whatever. But “one day” should not be the definition of our passions, escaping through the cracks in our daily lives, never to be grasped and actually lived.
But the utterance of “someday” and “one day” suggests that the illusive day is never going to come, that is always sits on tomorrow’s horizon, running from us so fast that we may never lay hands on it.
The difference between tomorrow and one day is that one day can actually be reached so long as we make it happen instead of waiting for it to magically appear like a winning lottery ticket and a fat check on the front stoop.
Start actively saving for a trip, one to Italy perhaps. Spend more time outside. Read more, write more, drink more tea. Or do none of these things, if you don’t love them.
Except travel to Italy. When in doubt, always go to Italy.
Most importantly, be careful of the words you say. Language is the driving force of our lives, so is it not important that we tread cautiously not just on what we say aloud, but what we think inwardly in a voice that only our inner selves can hear?
“I can’t wait” is not an expression of excitement for something forthcoming. It is a wish for hours and days and years to pass you by. It’s wishing your life away.
“I should have” is wishfully thinking of how things might have turned out differently, but life is not lived in a pond in which one can swim backwards and fowards. It’s a river that flows only one direction. So learn from mistakes, but never look backwards. You’re not going that way, and there are obstacles that are better faced with eyes looking forward.
“I can’t” is an expression of dissatisfaction in yourself and disbelief in your capabilities. Maybe you can’t, maybe you can. But how will you know if you never try?
And “one day” is the saddest expression of a wasted life. Don’t get caught up in the one days and some days. Take the leap, and live your one day today.
Maybe book a trip to Italy.
Go travel, and travel fearless, wherever your passion lies.
Written by Kenzie Perkins, Research Director at Once in a Lifetime Travel
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copyright 2015, Once in a Lifetime Travel