The Road Less Traveled

Metaphorically speaking, a person who takes “the road less traveled” is someone who acts independently. They’re free from conforming to others (who choose to take “the road more often traveled”). 

I took this photo at the Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge Center near Lake Lowell in Nampa, Idaho.

This person generally makes their own choices and perhaps leaves a new trail that will become the road more often traveled (until, of course, someone takes the road less traveled).

When was the last time you blazed a new trail—took the road less traveled? Click To Tweet

When was the last time you blazed a new trail—took the road less traveled?

© lauriebuchanan.com

50 thoughts on “The Road Less Traveled

  1. I have always taken the road less travelled, much to the chagrin of many. But, hey, I’m the traveler here and I am enjoying the ride. I do like that photo, Laurie.

  2. I have been an independent soul my entire life. Most recently working with a group of dreamers to have a new National Wildlife Refuge established in 2012, now known as Hackmatack NWR, by the US Dept of Interior.And as an always single woman, I too am traveling a road less traveled.

  3. What a wonderful question! Sadly, it has been awhile since I veered off the known path and ventured into the unknown, but now I’m going to give the whole concept some serious thought. Thanks, Laurie!

  4. I’m not sure how to answer this one – I’d like to think I take the road less traveled,,but I do know I’m not a pioneer. However, I live my quiet life to suit myself, without a lot of concern about what others think – so maybe?

  5. In my youth I was always branching out, now not so much. I grew tired and cranky working with so many people and then discovered midlife that I am an introvert attempting to be an extrovert. It was not working. I loved being home with the children. I like the quiet of my life now. When I feel the least bit of discontent I just open a book…..
    Zip and I take the same 40 minute walk every morning down to the lake and because it is the same, I can focus on swinging my leg properly from the hip, no one cares about the speed, I relax my shoulders and center my spine and neck. Zip sniffs out his network messaging system. We get warmed up for moving through the day

  6. Millions of books are published, but for me publishing my memoir this year has been a “road less traveled” experience for me, and I’m blazing new trails as I go. Who knows where it may lead?

  7. Hi Laurie,

    I do a mix of road and exploration.
    If I’m in a hurry – follow the road.
    If I’m exploring – take those less traveled.
    If I’m in ecologically sensitive country, I try and minimise even the effects of my footprints, choosing rock or hard ground over stepping on sensitive ground cover plants.
    And there are many gradients between those.

    In the political sense, I’m definitely in road less traveled territory, because I don’t want to go where current roads seem likely to lead us.
    I can see the clear dangers in our continued reliance on two major sets of ideas – one being money and markets as measures of value, and two being rules and laws as being useful guides to action in all contexts.

    It is now clear to me beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt that technology is taking us places where the things that worked in our past wont necessarily continue to work as reliably as they once did; and actually start to generate whole new domains of risk.
    And we need that technology to counter risks that are already well defined and understood, so just saying don’t go down the technology path is not really a safe option either.

    Complex systems don’t necessarily respond well to rules.
    David Snowden’s Cynefin Framework for the management of complexity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynefin_framework) is about as good a simplification as exists of an infinitely complex domain.

    So our reliance on money and markets to support individual security and freedom will not work in the future; and neither will a reliance upon the rule of law.
    We are moving into profoundly complex territory where all individuals need to take as much responsibility as they can for both the social and ecological consequences of their actions, be as cooperative as they can, and be as respectful and accepting of diversity as they can.

    In some senses, these messages are as old as recorded history, but in other senses, with Artificial Intelligence and automated systems we are moving into entirely novel territory; where all paths are, by definition, new. So in that sense, of being in novel and complex situations, we all have a responsibility to display as much independence and cooperation and responsibility and respect as we possibly can.

    • Ted — Well said. Very well said. The part that especially resonated with me is:

      “…all individuals need to take as much responsibility as they can for both the social and ecological consequences of their actions, be as cooperative as they can, and be as respectful and accepting of diversity as they can.”

  8. Laurie, Love the photo! I’ve always had the desire to take the road I had not been down before, who knows where it might go? I had people who worried went I went out on my own as an estate gardener, you’ve got to have the right clientele and they must have faith in your abilities. However, I have a daughter who has gone into the management of an organic farm and then on to speaking in several different venues about the feasibility of profitable small organic farms. I broken the trail, I have cast my seeds, they have done well. Making new roads!

  9. I feel that I take a step on the new road but then follow the pace of others. Yet with each path after time then again find myself where I feel uncomfortable and begin to search for a new road that better suits my new needs. Never ending cycle to begin yet again to only fall behind. But always searching to find that path that leads to happiness. The path that only I can obtain by growth and choice.

  10. The image of pioneer has resonated with me from childhood, and I have indeed taken new paths — first college, then grad school, then professor/college president, then foundation officer, and now author and speaker. Though I am no longer charting new paths, I am grateful to be alive in this exciting, dangerous, time. Through reflecting on the very traditional role of grandparent, I hope to challenge myself and others to combine familiar and untested ideas, ancient wisdom and new discoveries, in hopes of leaving a legacy of “liberty and justice for all.”

    • Shirley — I love what you have shared here. I join my grandmothering role to yours in combining familiar and untested ideas, ancient wisdom and new discoveries, in the hopes of leaving a legacy of liberty and justice for all.

  11. I have a funny quick story, Laurie. I was 40 when I read Peck’s “Road Less Traveled,” for the first time. The first sentence is “Life is hard.” I threw the book across the room. Truly. And I said to myself, “Why didn’t anyone tell me this before now.” LOL! I was going through some stuff and quite frankly think my observation at the time was somewhat honest. I had up until then been able to manage my problems very independently and thought I was quite skilled at it. I was late in the game to be so immature. So today, I think I take the Road Less Traveled most of the time. I don’t fit easily into the mainstream pocket of thought, and that works for me. I was late, but then a quick study! Or I like to think I am. 🙂

  12. We moved to West Wales from the industrial midlands. At times it’s like living in the Wild West when the wind blows off the coast but other times it’s truly spectacular. When we took The Road Less Travelled I’m is we made the right decision 💨🐳🦋
    Cherryx

    • Ray — Had I been drinking coffee when I read your comment, it would have shot right out my nose. I love to laugh out loud and you made me do just that. Thank you! And yes, I can well see your point that “the gutter is where things are more interesting.” 🙂

      • Thank you. Under the heading of I cannot tell a lie, I borrowed that from Neil Young, who, when he was talking about the wild variations of his music, said that.

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