When I say taking the road less traveled I imagine that I am up at camp in Northern Minnesota deciding to go off of the main path and take the smaller, longer path through the woods. I’m still getting to the same place and the risk of scratching myself on branches or getting poison ivy increases, but I’ll risk all of that if it means I get to walk next to the lake. It may take even longer to get where I am going, because I stop to look at the glistening water, but once I arrive I have at least one story to tell about what I saw on my way. Since I don’t live in the woods, I have to find other ways to take the road less traveled.
Especially today when everyone is about how to get the most stuff done in a day and how to get somewhere the fastest, I believe in taking the road less traveled. When I can, I try to slow down and take a different path to break up my mundane everyday life. Usually I’m not literally taking the road less traveled, but the road less traveled by me. If I’m taking my dog for a walk we don’t follow a routine route that is going to get us home as quickly as possible. We go where we want to and we enjoy it. Once we do get home the story that I have to tell is more interesting and not only do I have a story to share, but I have a new memory.
Less literal ways of taking the road less traveled help me not necessarily break up my mundane life as much as literal roads, but they still help. Taking the road less traveled in math, is looking a problem differently and solving it using a different, unusual method. Interpreting a prompt differently in english makes for an intriguing essay. And, when coming across a complication I try to take a step back and look at it differently.
From the experiences that I’ve had I’ve noticed that instead of just opening the back door and letting my dog out in the backyard in the morning, if I go out and play with him, then I get a breath of fresh air and get to see him run around and discover new things. One night, I was going to feed my bird in the living room and I took the road less traveled around the couch. Which led me to look out the window and I got to see a coyote. Life is too short to take a traveled road. Most people can’t quit their jobs and leave everything behind to go out in the world and experience new things, but everyone can take their own road. People can take their own path and have a handful of miniature adventures everyday. Now I’ll leave you with a quote from Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken that I believe in and has changed my life, “I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”