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By Katherine Kiang
KaTsZoNe Newsletters > KaTsZoNe - Issue 103 - Exploring Unpaved Roads

1 Aug 2013

Hi everyone,

Does it seem like summer is just zipping by so fast?  Can't believe it's now August!  Hope you're all enjoying summer and perhaps have taken some time off or will be taking time off this month. 

We have not taken any road trips in July, but, I love them!  Larry and I have been talking about taking a road trip this month.  Interestingly, he gave me a fortune cookie on the last day of July which said, "Explore an unpaved road with a new friend."  I think the universe was reading my mind!  Since the beginning of summer when I started to write on KaTsZoNe, "Oh, The Places I'll Go!", I feel like the theme for my summer has been travelling, especially on the road!

Exploring unpaved roads is usually more adventurous and not that smooth, compared to paved roads.  I recall driving on gravel, dirt and grass in the past.  All is well until you throw in some challenging weather and maybe wild animals which could run in front of your car, and then, you feel like hanging on by your fingernails and your tummy feels like it's stuck up in the sky.  You may not intend to drive on an unpaved road, but, as you know, some of our paved roads are not that smooth in the city.  Driving on potholes, bumps due to construction and uneven roads due to wear and tear in the city is not uncommon.  I'm sure you can name some of the worst roads in the city you live in. 

A couple weeks ago, I drove out Oakville to visit my friend's clothing store, Boa.  Not having a GPS, although I do have Google map and planned my route, I found my way without a problem, and it was the fastest, smoothest drive on Hwy 401 West all the way!  I felt like the angels had pushed all the cars aside, so, I made really good time.  So, after my visit to Boa, I decided to head over to the Dixie Outlet Mall in Mississauga before heading home, I made a couple of wrong turns.  At first, I was mad at myself but, I realized that the detours took me on road I would otherwise not have touched.  It was great!  And, I was still making good time and eventually arrived at Dixie Outlet Mall.  It might seem a ways to go (if you know where I live), but, believe it or not, I have been thinking about my next mall trip which is the new Toronto Premium Outlets, located in Halton Hills.  I miss those long shopping trips across the border in Pennsylvation - LOL!  Those are my kind of road trips! 

Okay, so I got a bit carried away about the shopping road trips.  Took a little detour but let's get back to the main road.  An "unpaved road" could metaphorically be compared to any new path in life - a new career/job, getting married, a challenging life decision, or moving to a different city or country.  How we face these unpaved roads determines are happiness. 
Unpaved roads vs. Paved roads:  Which would you choose?  Do you like to play it safe or are you amused to hear the sound of rocks clacking underneath your car?  These days, many people have GPS which has become their security blanket.  Do you cling onto your GPS as though it was your teddy bear or will you take a chance on taking some detours in life?  Remember that not all of life's decision is perfect the first time around?  So, how do you handle detours?  How would you like to approach each unpaved road?

Sometimes, I happen to go on a road trip as I am considering making a huge decision in my life.  Usually, it has put me under great stress.  I felt like running away from such decisions, but, instead, those trips helped me through my struggles.  Many people go on vacations to try to forget their everyday burdens and to recharge, and hopefully return home to battle the dragons again.  I have travelled to many places around the world on my own.  Seeing new places is fun, but, as I became older, what mattered more to me was to strengthen the bonds with friends or with my family.  I care more about "connecting" than attending a city or country I have not been to.  I could take a trip by myself to anywhere I like, so, I don't need to have a companion, however, throughout the years, I know that sharing a bond with my mom or close friends have given me great memories to look back on.  I also think road trips were my therapy -- oftentimes, I considered some new plans for my life.  You might think -- wow, that's too much!  It's like taking long walks to contemplate your life except car road trips can take you further and faster!  If you think walking 5 kilometres is memorable, I can tell you how I wept in the car while travelling through Winnipeg, as my friend, Tracy, tried to counsel me.  Tracy and I both majored in Psychology and I thought that road trips were great counseling sessions !  Surely, I did not have to wait to get all the way to Winnipeg before I finally broke down and get to the truth about my feelings!  I could've cried when we had a flat tire near Sudbury.  Tracy and I developed a greater bond of friendship during our road trip, and by the time we got to Victoria, BC, all my woes were not cured, but, it was one memorable trip!  Years later, Tracy and I still reminisce about that incredible journey. 

I hope that all of you will enjoy living in the moment and find the freedom to take some unpaved paths.  As children, we had to learn everything from scratch.  We learned how to do new things, we learned to enjoy new things, and we discovered so many new places and constantly met new people and made new friends.  As adults, learning new things, going to new places and making new friends seemed to decrease and we end up settling into our comfort zone.  If you feel tired all the time, feel lazy to try new things, and can't seem to break out of a mould as though you were a turtle stuck inside its shell, then I think you need to try to take an unpaved path.  

Everyone needs to re-evaluate their life from time to time.  We have the freedom to choose what makes us happy.  We are truly blessed to live in a country which gives us the freedom to choose our career paths, our religious beliefs, the person we want to marry - unlike many other countries in this world.  It doesn't mean that there will be no obstacles in your life and all your wishes will come true.  I wish I could wave my magic wand (yes, I actually have a crystal wand!) and grant you all your greatest wishes.  But, for some of you, you may have to lose a lot of teeth if you want the Tooth Fairy to leave you a couple million dollars.  You may have to throw in some teeth from your pet dogs or cats -- NO please don't do that!  The Tooth Fairy will know you cheated anyway.

I just wanted to encourage you today to share my good fortune (cookie) with me, to explore an unpaved road with a new friend, an old friend, your parents, your spouse, your kids, or whoever you would like to share a greater connection with.  

Enjoy August and I shall see you in September!!!  Thanks for joining me on this little "road trip" on another episode of KaTsZoNe.

Take care,


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