That is why we need to travel. If we don’t offer ourselves to the unknown, our senses dull. Our world becomes small and we lose our sense of wonder. Our eyes don’t lift to the horizon; our ears don’t hear the sounds around us. The edge is off our experience, and we pass our days in a routine that is both comfortable and limiting. We wake up one day and find that we have lost our dreams in order to protect our days.
Don’t let yourself become one of these people. The fear of the unknown and the lure of the comfortable will conspire to keep you from taking the chances the traveler has to take. But if you take them, you will never regret your choice. To be sure, there will be moments of doubt when you stand alone on an empty road in an icy rain, or when you are ill with fever in a rented bed. But as the pains of the moment will come, so too they will fall away. In the end, you will be so much richer, so much stronger, so much clearer, so much happier, and so much better a person that all the risk and hardship will seem like nothing compared to the knowledge and wisdom you have gained.
I have returned from my “Once in a lifetime – Once a Year” trip.
With it being the 5 year anniversary of this tradition, I followed suit with the one I took 5 years ago (my pilgrimage across Spain on the Camino de Santiago), and ventured solo to India for a spiritual journey.
Last year I made the decision to go (which included breaking it upon my family by seeing if they noticed the Taj Mahal ornament on my tree), as everything had seemed to be pointing me to there.
On top of the signs, my deepening relationship with meditation, followed by my studies in Buddhism, I was ready to immerse myself in a world that could no less than enrich my heart and soul…
And that it did.
A shift took place.
Amidst the time at the local orphanage, the people, the letting go of control amongst the crazy streets of Bangalore, the hours of meditation chakra clearings and traditional yoga instructors, the amazing interactions and conversations from people all over the world that I have come to admire…a change took place.
The last night during dinner, I told my new-found soul friends that if a plane’s wings were to shift the tiniest bit it would change its whole course.
During my time in India, so many shifts took place within me. And ultimately, with the shifts, and the new course and direction that follows, will be a new destination….and undoubtedly, a better one than before I had arrived.
What I experienced was one of the most moving, inspiring and energetic places I’ve ever had the honor of placing my bare feet on the ground of.
And with that experience, the reaffirmation of the beauty in the unknown. The embracing of a thing called fear. The deep love for the uncomfortable. A change. A shift. A new direction. A more beautiful destination.