Saturday, March 11, 2023

Journey or Destination?

Anniversaries are special:  celebrating memories and milestones; picturing who we were then and are now; recalling the ups and downs of the journey that got us where we are today.  Anniversaries are events in and of themselves: one point along the Journey Forward.

When Holland America announced its 150th anniversary, I wanted to be on that celebratory voyage:  a trip from Rotterdam to New York City, duplicating the original Atlantic crossing in 1872, bringing European immigrants to the New World.

A Journey of Hopes and Dreams!

How often do you wait to begin?
(Photo: KLM airline video display of route
from Los Angeles to Amsterdam - Larry Gardepie)

Sitting on that airplane in Los Angeles, I saw the monitor that said "Destination: Amsterdam."  I had already survived the perpetual traffic jam around LAX, the long lines to check in and go through security, walking under the taxiways to get to the extension terminal of Tom Bradley International... I was already tired!

Here I was on the plane, but the destination seemed so far away!


Do we notice the gulf that separates journey and destination?
(Photo: KLM airline video display of route
from Los Angeles to Amsterdam - Larry Gardepie)

My 12-hour flight to Amsterdam could not compare to that original multi-day trip to the New World in 1872, but I wondered about the impatience or fatigue that sets in as we journey towards our destinations.
  What keeps us going?  What helps us to survive?

 Once in Amsterdam, we found transport to Rotterdam and then waited a day to board our vessel home.  One Destination Arrived became another departure point:  I had arrived, but the journey was set to begin again.

When have you arrived... only to find out
it is time to leave?
(Photo: Hotel New York staircase - original home
offices of Holland Amerika Lijn - Larry Gardepie)

I wonder if our movement through life is not about arriving.  Rather, maybe life is about Being Present to where we are now and the direction of our searching.  It is the blending together of Both-And... Journey and Destination and Journey and Destination...  Always-and-Never-Arriving!

In a sense, dialogue is like this:  we think we know someone, but then they do something unexpected.  That is, with assumptions and judgments, we may incorrectly conclude that we know this person and what they will do or say.  When we ask questions and allow curiosity to take over, we are constantly surprised and continue to learn about that person.  Destination reveals itself in Journey, and Journey focuses on the Destination.

What journey are you on now?  Have you shared your hopes and dreams with others?

Larry Gardepie

(click on link for website)


  1. Hi Larry. Thanks for helping my slow down just a little bit and focus for a second on the journey. The next destination and the one after that will always be there. But the actual daily journey will be fleeting at best. Thanks.

  2. Very thought-provoking, Larry. Thank you for sharing this insightful blog.