s Travel | Kate Northrup

Category Archives: Travel

Lessons from traveling an unpaved, dusty road with strangers.

Lessons from traveling an unpaved, dusty road with strangers.

We’d picked up a couple of guys whose van had broken down on the side of the road – like you do when you’re in a relatively small city in Costa Rica and your driver seems to know everyone.

Turns out they were headed to the same town I was. I had been feeling kind of silly being the sole passenger in a van that sat 8. Plus I was happy for the company/distraction from the nearly 2 hour drive down the bumpiest, dustiest unpaved road I’ve ever experienced.

I got to talking with my new friends, and we covered all the particulars of where we were all from and what we were doing bumping along this road, headed for the coast.

Then, as the best conversations with new people do, things began meandering to bigger topics like parenting, travel, wellness, passions, and freedom.

Shrinking to Fit an Assumed Standard of Comfort

I mentioned I’d just come back from a 3-week honeymoon and made a quick turnaround to Costa Rica. One of the guys responded with something to the effect of:

“Wow! Five weeks of traveling around the world! That’s amazing!”

I quickly began backtracking, saying how my life isn’t usually this way, that this was a very special circumstance with the honeymoon and the baby on the way, and a series of other statements meant to dampen how awesome my life appeared.

The conversation wound on as our driver navigated a couple of near-misses with some livestock and other cars. I gave my traveling companions hugs when the van dropped me at my destination, and they went on towards their own adventures.

What’s with the dimming?

As I sat in my room later that day thinking how grateful I was for random encounters with strangers who quickly feel like friends, the moment in the conversation where I began making excuses for my recent travel came back in Technicolor.

“Why do I feel the need to downplay how good my life is to random strangers?” I thought to myself.

It’s quite likely these two guys from Austin on a surf vacation were not judging me for taking time off from working to travel with my husband and girlfriends. And even if they were, that was none of my business.

The truth is that I was in the middle of an epically amazing time in my life. I was celebrating marrying the man I love. I was reveling in being an expectant mother. I was following my bliss and heading off to spend a week dancing with a group of incredible women.

And it was, indeed, amazing.

Yet I found myself trying to cover my own amazingness with just enough dulling agents to make two random men I barely knew feel more comfortable. And I was doing it based entirely on an unverified assumption that what I had going on was even making them uncomfortable in the first place.

I know you know this, and I do, too, but we all need to be reminded:

When we dim our own light the whole world gets a little bit darker. (Tweet it!)

May we share our stories of glory with glee.

May we recount our revelations with rapture instead of regret.

May we spread our joy without apology.

May we let others in on what’s amazing in our lives without turning down the volume.

May we choose our velocity and brightness based on what feels best to us, rather than what makes those around us feel comfortable.

Because, when we do, we incite expansion. And the whole world gets a little bit brighter.

P.S. The Annual Hay House World Summit starts on May 9th.  Designed to empower, heal and transform, this summit bring together over 100 leading experts, authors and spiritual teachers. I’ll be sharing some new insights about money and worth that you won’t want to miss during the summit. For more information, click HERE.


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