A Firefighter’s Story: Finding Comfort in Traveling

We are all going to die someday.
It is a haunting reality that we as humans do our very best to avoid thinking about.
I can not avoid it. Every day I am tasked to mitigate and manage tragedy, sickness and yes….death. I am a firefighter.
I worked a horrific traffic accident earlier this year just before Christmas where a young mother, traveling alone late at night, lost control of her vehicle and was killed, the car erupting in flames. A split second in the delicate fabric of time ending the course of her physical existence on earth. There was the time a woman sitting in a peaceful park enjoying her lunch had a tree fall on her. It wasn’t a windy day, just a true freak unavoidable accident. These are but a couple examples of hundreds, each of which remains embedded in my thoughts and inner soul. Life is precious.
There is a time of deep reflection immediately following these tragic incidents. I will admit that this sometimes leads me to search out the victims social media. It is eery yet powerful to read through their posts cataloging their hopes and dreams often right up to the time of the accident. To know that all of these hopes and dreams remained possible right up until that split second in the delicate fabric of time. What was is now all that will ever be. Trust me, it sucks to be reminded of this every single day.
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Working ground zero, WTC

But I don’t write this to bring you down. Quite the opposite actually. The great tragedies I bear witness to brings tremendous reminder for me to live like tomorrow may never come.  To smile more. To love. To enjoy and to inspire.
So I travel. Not to escape life, but so that life does not escape me.
During my travels I strive to experience enriching moments, satisfy my curious mind and partake in impactful positive exchanges between myself and the world I am passing through. Traveling is my escape from my own deeply seeded fears of death and impermanence. The time will come when a collection of friends and family will reflect back on my life and I want them to smile, knowing that I lived a fulfilled life. I want them to know that I was able to provide something positive back to the world, even if just a little sparkle of inspiration  and happiness to my fellow mankind.
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Taking a walk with an elderly Tibetan at a refugee camp ‘retirement home’.

It may be that traveling is not your primary life objective or means of fulfillment. Perhaps you are a parent of a child and you seek to provide and raise that child. Maybe you are an artist who seeks to create and share your art with the world. It doesn’t matter, we are are all unique individuals with our own stories.  Write the story that you want to read. Later in this very day I will look into the eyes of someone, a real person just like you and I,  who no longer has the option to choose the narrative of the next chapter of their life.
Of course there will be struggles and conflict, sadness and sorrow. But remind yourself of the end goal. Don’t let anything stop you from obtaining your objective. I truly feel that in the end, it all comes down to we as humans seeking to live a life where when the end comes we can look back and say that we are content with the life we lived. IMG_7408

 

 

Here is a picture of a few cute puppies to end this post because life is too short not to smile more at cute puppies 🙂
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8 thoughts on “A Firefighter’s Story: Finding Comfort in Traveling

  1. Thank you for your service. On twitter, I let you know that firefighters help my Dad thru the last hours of his life, and I am forever grateful. No wonder you have a unique perspective of life ,since you’ve seen death first hand, and it shows in your pictures. Love your passion. My mind says I would love to do the same, but my body said NOPE. Cannot do that anymore. Thank you for sharing your passion, & keep posting when you can. Thanks GEO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind, thoughtful words. I truly do appreciate your following and always take note when you take the time to interact. Grateful and thankful for YOU! Hope all is well!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share your kind words, greatly appreciated! I hope the fire in your town was not too serious and those impacted are ok!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A lot of wisdom in this post. My husband is retired from law enforcement. At one point in his career he investigated fatal car accidents. Terrible to be called out to those, one was on Thanksgiving Day. Your advice to smile, love, enjoy and inspire is an excellent reminder. Incidentally, my younger son is a junior volunteer at our local fire department. He’s currently attending fire academy to get his certification for when he turns 18 next year. Your post title caught my eye 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for commenting and also thank you to your husband and now son for choosing to serve. It isn’t easy but as I mentioned, our experiences can serve as motivation and reminder to smile, love and appreciate the lives we live. Thanks again!

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