Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 326
Yin/Yang of Travel
Summer is upon us and that gets me thinking of travel. And, of course, there is a yin way and a yang way to travel. Let me share some ideas.
In 1967, I was a television director in San Francisco, engaged to be married, in debt, and depressed. I decided to run away and not deal with any of it. The problem was that I had never traveled. I had never been out of California, except to go to Tucson where I attended University.
At this time in my life I had never heard of Tai Chi or any personal growth philosophies. I was, as I would be referred to nowadays, as “straight”. I became a Yang traveler.
Yang Travelers plan as many details as they can. Nowadays it is easy. Just use the internet, but in 1967, there were very few ways to research travel ideas, especially for one who had no idea where to go and how to go about it. I ended up going to an airline (Pan Am) ticket office and talked to an agent. She was really into helping me. It was as if she was planning a trip for herself.
I remember that I bought an around the world ticket, that cost $1200 and I could fly to as many places as I liked as long as it was in the same general direction, and it was good for a year. My trip was to head west and south to start, as it was winter in San Francisco and my first stop was to be Tahiti.
As a Yang (planner) traveler, she booked me into hotels, told me where to go and what to see. I followed her advice. It all went on credit cards (I had been collecting credit cards for quite a while and had plenty of credit left even though I was in debt). So a Yang traveler is one who plans, sticks to the plans.
Some day I will finish sharing how the trip turned out, but I’m still here, so now to Yin travel.
The Yin traveler is one who is spontaneous. No plans, just head out and “go with the flow”. It is now 1971 and I learned that I can be much freer with my life. I had started Tai Chi, Yoga, Meditation. I had very few needs. I am now working in natural food stores and as a waiter in the first natural food restaurant in San Francisco. I decided to head to India and immerse myself in that culture. I bought the cheapest ticket I could find ($115 from San Francisco to London) and that was it. I had a couple of thousand dollars saved. I took a back pack and headed out.
The trip was much more meaningful, and fun than the previous. I hitch hiked, took local transportation, stayed in hostels, and saw so much more traveling on roads, rather than flying from place to place. I ended up in Afghanistan, which in 1971, was a hippie paradise. I stayed a month then slowly headed back.
Yin travel is like the yin half of Push Hands – just follow and allow whatever, and react accordingly. Yang travel initiates, leads, has ideas of what he or she wants to happen. I would say most people tend to stick to one (yin or yang) approach in life, though like me, some can switch back and forth.
It is my experience with push hands, that most people start off more yang, and as they learn the value of letting go and following – letting whatever happens happen, going with the flow, they tend to get more balanced. So true with life.