By Tim Kalinowski
Last week I turned 39 years-old. It’s hard to believe the time has flown by so quickly. Like everyone, I have my regrets in life, but I think probably fewer than most. I have pretty much set the tune to my life thus far and danced to it in my own way. It’s been a winding road, but I always find those the most interesting.
Some of the strangest memories I have to date kept coming back to me last week. Sailing on the canals of northern Holland with my friends through 300-year old cities. Turning 19 years old on an island in the North Sea called Vlieland. I put on my suit to celebrate on the middle of a sand-swept shore.
Painful and lovely memories of my one and only near marriage.
Swimming in the warmth of the Indian Ocean and living in a jungle village in Sri Lanka. Travelling with a wandering monk as we visited all of Sri Lanka’s most sacred sites together.
Climbing a thousand stairs at a shrine on a mountain in Japan under the turning autumn leaves. Seeing the cormorant fishermen completing a centuries-old sacred ceremony outside of Gifu while trailing down the river beside them in a festively lit tour boat.
Living in Vancouver and seeing a Haida Raven Dance taking place in the heart of the city. Travelling to the ancient Isle of Avalon at Glastonbury, England on Halloween.
Crossing a forbidding and haunting high Alps lake on a frosty afternoon heading toward the ancient town of Hallstadt in Austria. Seeing the bright colours of the town’s traditional wooden houses and beautiful clock tower across the black water as my ferry approached from the far side.
Travelling to the high iron desert of Sedona, Arizona. Passing through Death Valley in a Hummer and on into the breathtaking peace and beauty of Joshua Tree National Park in California.
Exotic memories for sure, but interspersed within them memories of the people I have met and the work I have done. And, of course, the stories I have told, and continue to tell, in the newspaper business.
It’s been an adventurous four decades so far, but the adventure will surely continue for many decades more to come. The journey is always winding and unfolding, and the road goes on forever.
These are the lessons I have learned. It is the secret to youthfulness. It is the wisdom the road teaches anyone who has ears to listen and an open heart.
So as Bill and Ted once said: “Be excellent to each other.” There is a lot out there to experience. And love travels with you wherever you roam.