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Shared Journeys

For this week’s challenge, tell a story that shows the value of company.

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Evolutionary biologists insist that we’re a social species, but we can all agree that actual people can be a challenge to be around, and not only when they bump into you on the sidewalk as they try to catch a rare Pokémon. Being around people demands effort: attention, patience, concentration. Even graciousness, on a good day.

This is a roundabout way of saying that sometimes, nothing fills me with more pleasure than being alone. Not necessarily cut off from humanity, but free from the need to interact with and cater to the needs of my fellow humans.

Yet coming back from these moments of solitary plenitude always reminds me that their value would be diminished if they weren’t as rare as they are (and O, are they rare these days: thanks, offspring!). It’s not just that I get to share what I experienced, after the fact, with people I care about; they were always part of the experience in absentia, because they are an inextricable part of me.

I thought about this privilege when reading a recent Discover feature on couples who blog together about their travels and adventures around the world. One of the bloggers, Anita from No Particular Place to Go, put it really well. These days I am the exact opposite of a nomadic retiree, but her words about blogging alongside her husband resonated with me nonetheless:

Knowing that we’ll be writing about a shared journey gives us both more incentive to venture outside of our comfort zones, ask a lot more “why, how, and when” questions about the places we find ourselves in, dig a little deeper for an answer, observe our surroundings with greater care, and examine our own reactions and impressions.

The flipside of the demands of human company is the value we find in complexity and empathy — the ability to view the same thing from multiple angles. So for this week’s Discover challenge, tell us about one of your shared journeys. It could be an actual journey — a road trip with your friends, your honeymoon, a walk in the woods with your parents. But you might also choose a less physical journey, from adopting an animal with your partner to finishing a collaborative creative project. You’re also welcome to share a contrary perspective and insist on the merits of solitary exploration.

I look forward to your posts — which can come in any form, genre, or media you prefer to publish in.

To help other participants and new fans find your response in the Reader, tag your post #DiscoverWP. Not sure how to add a tag? Learn more.

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    1. I’ve been trying to master self-communication. I’ve just recently started to blog and I feel this conversation with self has improved so much over the past week.. Solitude + communication with self is the best!

      Liked by 5 people

  1. Reminds me of the time my niece was with me and I wanted to give people a good laugh, including my niece. I bought 3 bags of marshmallows. My niece and I bit off the ends of the marshmallows and pushed the marshmallows all over the exterior of my pick up truck. The doors, windows, hood, sides and rear and even the bumpers were covered in marshmallows. We stood in the parking lot looking at this green pick up truck covered in marshmallows.

    When I told my niece, time to go she was shocked to think I was now going to drive this truck covered in marshmallows. In front of other people.

    As we approached the long bridge over the river I stopped at the toll booth to pay the woman the toll. She looked at the truck with big eyes. I made a comment and laughed, the woman taking my toll money started laughing and my niece was cracking up in the passenger seat. I wonder what the woman from the toll booth told her family.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I know, right? It gets really bad for extroverts coz we are easily distracted by the crowd. Actually, we are more productive when we’re alone. The moment company comes around, we tend to sacrifice productive work for the God-given instinct to “raise the roof.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Interesting mulzdon. . . I am more productive in a crowded coffee shop than when alone. In a coffee shop I hide behind my work; I don’t feel the need to interact. I must withdraw into my work, into myself. Alone I can interact with the solitude, with the silence. Alone I am at home, comfortable, at peace.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is never the same for more than one identity to view the mirror of outside space. Perception in analyzing the same piece is different. That what makes this world a unique place. Humans are a social being,influence by their emotions.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hello! The tag will help other challenge participants find your post in the WordPress.com Reader; to have your post also appear here in the grid below the post, you’ll have to create pingback (instructions here: https://en.support.wordpress.com/comments/pingbacks/).

      As for the deadline, there’s no formal one — you can approach this topic whenever you’d like. We do publish a new challenge every Tuesday, so fewer people might visit this one by the time the next one rolls around.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. It is great to be both social and solitary. We need to know our self in order to create and interact with the environment that brings forth our personal joy. Like the Buddha once said, “it is better to travel well than to arrive.” In order to arrive at a destination with those that we want to share the journey with, we must clearly know what it is we want in order to manifest it in the reality we create.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Regrettably, I have experienced a lot of solitary journeys. The great thing is on solitary journeys, whether physical, mental or spiritual, those journeys can be relayed to people making it a shared journey. I’m going on hiatus from one of my journeys: working on a velomobile (that’s full of irony)!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. you are so right in so much ways. I too love my own company and find joy in alone time.. But ever so often i do enjoy the company of others and yes it takes really a good sense of humor and understanding and a little kindness to tolerate some folks.

    I have learn during my life’s journey, that we are all different in so many ways. the way we think; the way we see things; our attitudes; our behavioral habits; (they are all due to how were brought up, and by whom and where).
    So we learn to accept and deal with each other as much as possible.And yes one of the best solution is to isolate ourselves; but i find that this habit… which I indulge myself… doesn’t really makes us any better, we do need people.

    I do love what you had to say though, and i totally agree with your blog…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I enjoyed this post a lot because finally someone has been able to put in words the way I feel about travelling with people. There is a difference between going on vacation with friends and travelling for extended periods of time with someone else, it is a complex and challenging task. Good read!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautifully written! What tender flow of words! I write about wounded joy. One of my future posts is about how the church helps us restore our joy. Being an introvert, I am not looking forward to this one but you have been a great help!

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  9. Thank you for this post. As a 24 year old that has recently started engaging in solitary exploration it is nice to read others insights into this subject.

    For me personally, solitary exploration has taught me great value in acting through my true authentic self and not taking for granted the time I spend with others.

    Solitary exploration allowed me to see the duality between alone time and time with others. They go together and it is important to have a healthy balance between the two.

    Too much of solitary confinements limits human interaction to the point where lack of contact with others creates an anti-social personality. On the other hand, to much contact and interaction with others will create a personality that is dependent on others. Essentially, spending too much time with others doesn’t allow space for an individual to have a personal relationship with their authentic self.

    Thanks again for your view on the subject. Looking forward to seeing similar posts like this one.

    Yacob

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The idea of a shared journey helping you to reach outside your comfort zone is one that I really like. I think to journeys or adventures Ive shared with others and upon reflection, agree that they help you to learn more about yourself. I might just have to blog about this in an upcoming post !

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  11. Such lovely comments and blog entries! Thank you all..
    I also find value in both solitary and shared exploration. Some say we are actually never alone; those who have passed are with us, as are the spirits, perhaps.. while others think we are exactly that more than anything else – alone, on our own.

    Be that as it may, one certainly never needs to worry about life if one is able to be on one’s own and is able to be a friend to oneself as needed. Furthermore, in many traditions and religions only through solitary exploration can one truly become one’s authentic self, like someone also wrote.

    For some people however it may be difficult to both be alone and to be in company. It may take great courage to step out and explore, spaces alone or companionship with others. These little moments of bravery are so important.. to broaden one’s views and empower oneself. Gently, or sometimes with a little push, everyone will find their way in their own time.

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  12. Hey bloggers! I am burning the midnight oil and giving myself carpel tunnel down here in Miami. The creative juices are flowing and I just published my first few entries, including one for this contest. Check them out and feel free to comment!

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  13. Hey! I am a salesman trying to blog for the first time. My area is to bring buyers to your webstore. I tried writing which definitely is not my forte, but if you read, you will inspire me. And please let me know how my dumbass writing is by commenting….lol

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