RTW is fairly self-explanatory: Rebecca and Tyler’s World Detour has a lovely ring to it. However, the initial reason we liked this name was because RTW is an acronym for ‘Round-The-World. This trip that we are on is just that – a ’round-the-world detour. Our research is extensive but our itinerary is vague and open-ended. We really want to get out into the world, challenge ourselves to follow the path less taken and share our experiences.
Detour is definitely a term that has great meaning to us. On a previous journey through Asia, there was rarely a day that went as planned. Buses were delayed, or took three times as long as promised. We got lost, often, pretty much every day. Our plans were always changing – a fellow traveler would rave about a town that we couldn’t miss; we didn’t bring enough money to an isolated island and had to get creative to make it last. We started referring to these occasions as detours. After walking around a new city for hours and realizing we were completely lost we would simply laugh and say “oh, just another detour”. Mind you it wasn’t always fun and we didn’t always laugh. Sleep deprivation, language barriers, hunger and many other factors could easily add up to an emotionally and physically challenging day. We fondly look back on these times as opportunities to learn something new. A typhoon changed our ambitious plans to explore some remote islands. Other times we got so hungry, we ate at the first place we saw and enjoyed a new delicious local dish. Getting off the bus at the wrong stop (or having been on the wrong bus entirely – we’re still not sure) taught us to navigate our own way from the outskirts of an unfamiliar city back to our hostel. Not realizing it was a national holiday left us out on the streets without a place to stay until we were put up by the kindest family, not just for one night, but three. The list of detours goes on and on.
The detours that we experience – whether in a foreign land or in our home town – teach us many things. Above all, we have learned to let go of what we cannot control. You don’t have to be living out of a backpack to understand this concept. How many material things do you have that you could live without? What pent up emotions are holding you back from finding your true passion or finally breaking free? This life is yours for the taking. Don’t let anything hold you back. Rise above the challenges that come your way. Approach each unexpected, unplanned and even unwanted circumstance with kindness and faith that everything will work out. Second to letting go, we’ve learned that the world is good. We didn’t find our way out of every detour alone, there were many beautiful souls that helped us. You’re never alone. All you have to do is trust the process and sometimes trust a stranger. A road block is not the end, there is always a detour that will guide you out the other side.