The Beauty of Scenic Detours

I recently had the honour of delivering the Mother’s Day address at my church.

In sharing how I changed careers and countries without a Plan B, I reflected that it was such decisions that had led to me standing before the audience and sharing my story.

If I had allowed my fears to overrule my curiosity and sense of adventure…

If I had allowed the voices of my inner critic and other “well-meaning” people in my life to dominate…

If I had stayed on the path of familiarity, safety and least resistance…

I would still be living the life I was living then – and feeling stuck, restless, and unfulfilled.

Detours of any kind do not often appear scenic – except in hindsight.

They often present as messy, uncertain, risky, and disruptive.

Much like adventures.

As Bilbo Baggins remarked in The Hobbit,

“We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them.”

But if you give adventures – or scenic detours – a chance, they can reward you in unexpected ways.

A chance meeting with someone who will add value and perspective in profound ways.

A glimpse of something majestic, breathtaking, beyond your ken.

A new way of looking at things, just from being in an unfamiliar situation.

None of these can happen without your willingness to venture down the road less travelled.

As a dear friend says, isn’t the scenic route always much more beautiful?

The next time you come to a fork in the road and have to choose which path to follow, why not choose a scenic detour?