Having been away on holiday half of November to two different destinations, I was faced with the question ‘To Travel or not to Travel?’.
This questions would have never come to me so far in my life as I have always been an arduous traveler. Or, even if questioned, the answer would have always been YES! YES! YES!
It was the surprise I had at the fact that I would all of a sudden even question that, that made write about it.
I do have to start by mentioning that I still feel extremely attracted to continuously travel and, even if I doubted it in these two occasions, they actually turned out to be two of my best trips.
I figured what was different this time was that I felt these trips were taking me away from my purposeful plans at home and from my daily rituals that help me stay centred, connected to the Source and rejuvenate me.
I figured for me it’s more a question mark between the free lifestyle that is based on living the present moment and not planning for the future and that gives you the choice to fly anytime anywhere, and the lifestyle of having some plans to stay, to be with the people you love at home and to focus on something higher than the joy and entertainment of traveling.
Travel, more than anything, brings you to the present moment, it makes you see life from a new perspective, it helps you meet new people, experience new tastes and smells and even more, it makes you feel like you live a different life. You can finally be yourself without a care in the world; or even you can be somebody else, somebody new, whom you’ve never tried being before. Traveling in itself gives you that opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, to challenge yourself and to get to know yourself better. Travel is adventurous and it helps you experience cultures, which makes you humble and connected to the bigger picture. The world is too beautiful to stay in one place.
I would have never met gorgeous 71 year old Ximena from Chile who was ending her 20 days trip through Morocco after having been on a yoga camp in the desert and broken up with her boyfriend; Ximena who taught meditation as a student of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and was friends with The Doors. The chances to meet such inspiring extraordinary people are definitely lower when we go about our daily routine in the same place and we do something different only at the weekend.
So, no doubt the benefits of travelling are endless and my inner child would be the happiest to only travel, experience and see new things all the time.
Then what was different now? I am not contemplating the idea of never traveling again but rather, travel in a more conscious way, appreciating both the benefits of Being in a routine as well as the novelty and freshness that traveling brings. I’m talking about traveling mindfully, not to escape nor to make it your new routine.
It is something related to the fleeting nature of the joy you get when traveling, to the ceaseless consumption of new places and the endless available overstimulation when traveling which somehow paled now in comparison to the infinity of the inner world that sources you with bliss and immense peace, with Truth. And of course, while you travel you can still meditate, eat healthy food, exercise, do yoga or practice mindfulness. It only takes some organising and discipline to stay with the plan rather than to answer the call of the new place, that is inviting you to hear all its stories and sense everything it has to share with you.
Having been prompted with this question for the first time in my life, I concluded that the answer is in Balance: travel slow and travel consciously.
And like Marcel Proust said, ‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.'