My most recent trip was up north to Duluth for the Wild Waters Music Festival. I traveled with two of my close friends, Dan & Beth. The trip was a perfect weekend of weather and not unlike my trip a weekend earlier to Salt Lake City, we sliced our time perfectly. Below are a few new commandments you can use on your next trip up north or wherever you go. The whole point of these “rules” is to show up and keep your travel perspectives wide and free. I hope you’re able to use one or more of them in your life.
Aspire to No Agenda
On the drive up we knew we were going to be going to the festival Friday night. We didn’t really have plans for the next day other than enjoying Duluth. In the morning we let everything flow and we didn’t make an agenda. Rather than moving through a “to do” list of items to see and explore we let our curiosity lead the way and it brought us to some wonderful new discoveries.
Here’s how this works for you: Sometimes you need an agenda. I understand this. It’s important to make lists so things get done. However, when you’re exploring new territory let yourself flow with the part of your mind who loves wonder and awe. When you allow that part of your brain to get activated and fired up you can experience a quite perfect day unlike any planned one you may have.
If you have a portable hammock, bring it everywhere you go. I think it’s impossible to swing in a hammock and not feel enormously happy. We didn’t have them with us, but the festival had a whole hammock section set up. It was one of my favorite parts of the evening of the festival, swinging in hammocks in the breeze with music playing in the distance.
Here’s how this works for you: Get a hammock. Easy. Peasy. Not every commandment has multiple meanings and interpretations ya know?! 🙂
Advocate Cultural Curiosity
Part of having no agenda meant when I noticed this mural driving down second street I could request we stop and get a better look. We did and then I wanted to figure out a way to get onto the roof. Turns out we were right outside of, AICHO center. Its the American Indian Community Housing Organization. The space is filled with fascinating history of First Nations and includes absolutely stunning art from artists from many different tribes. This experience was incredibly poignant and also heavy. It’s impossible to be in the space and not feel the devastating impact of what happened to the indigenous people of America, it’s still happening and yet this was a space filled with love and allowing. It changed me.
How this works for you: Wherever you are, do your best to be interested in the original culture and history of the area. Look deeply into history and know there’s a great amount of it that’s fabricated or altered in some way from what really happened. Seek out different sources of information so you get more than one perspective. Invite different ideas into your experience and rather than judging, LISTEN.
Allow Art to Speak to You
Our art journey continued on from AICHO where there was intense, beautiful, and impactful art in the space. After it we went down to the canal and visited the Duluth art show on the water. White booths scattered across the area where we’d watched amazing musicians perform the night before and we wandered through the park looking into each booth. Some we stopped at longer than others. We let the art we enjoyed speak to us and spent our time in the spaces that felt inspiring.
How this works for you: Art is subjective. It’s something I love so much about it. There’s no right or wrong about it. No good or bad. Just. I love this. Or. I don’t love this. You get decide, you get to choose, you get to let it speak to you. Make sure to listen to what speaks to YOU rather than trying to follow what people outside of you say or think. Art is a way to listen to your heart and learn more about who you are and what you love. Pay attention to this and rather than judging, LISTEN.
Aside from witnessing beautiful art with our agenda-less day we were able to visit Enger Tower. This is one of Dan’s top three places on earth and we had a fun conversation about what everyone’s was and why. It was beautiful reminiscing on a short hike to the top. We visited the Japanese gardens and set to the look out for a breathtaking view. Nature is a gift.
How this works for you: Nature is a gift. Don’t forget it. Every day it has something new to offer you. Bring new eyes and wonder to the view outside your kitchen window. If you’re traveling, take in the beautiful view outside the living room, if it’s a hotel with a view of a parking lot, get out for a walk so you can find something green to admire.