There was a British man named Adam. He had recently retired, he’d been divorced for three years, and he felt his life was turned upside down. He was twisting and turning in it, trying to get himself upright and on his way again. One day, almost by a process of elimination, he decided to travel. He took a train from England north to Edinburgh, Scotland’s capitol, to change his scene and hopefully his frame of mind. He chose to stay at an independent youth hostel on a bustling street in Old Town.
After checking in, he walked the streets, took some pictures of the ageless and modern architecture, and had a couple pints at a busy pub. But he felt he was going through the motions, by himself, and his sightseeing felt devoid of meaning. It wasn’t until he returned to the youth hostel that he found what he was looking for. The hostel’s lobby bustled with young people soaking up the free wifi, Skyping home, chatting sporadically with their traveling partners.
Their youth struck Adam. They seemed so free and unchained, courageously and irreverently taking life in their hands to adventure. They seemed comfortable, fully immersed in their shared aura. Adam stood admiringly in the hall with a twinkle in his eye and awe on his face. He wanted what these young people had. He felt their energy course through him, and the last thing he wanted to do was sleep.
He bought a pint and just sat in the young ecosystem, trying to capture their energy by observation and osmosis. He thought about his long life and how he wished he had been more carefree, more adventurous, more preoccupied with cultivating relationships and experiences than possessions, career, and wealth. He stayed up until the last of these young travelers stumbled to their bunks. As he laid down in his own bunk, with eyes wide open in the dark, he knew he hadn’t solved his confusion about life, but he was certain he had gained some valuable perspective and he was closer to finding his way.