Essence of Traveling
In general traveling makes many people dream of perfect images of a holiday with pleasurable experiences, delightful treats, comforting leisures. It is broadly romanticised and regarded as a heavenly escape from existing life that would inevitably bring happiness. But strictly speaking, it is beyond this common idea. Just as significant as that, if time or money is seen as an obstacle, one need to learn this important thing about traveling: it’s not only possible for the privileged. It’s a choice!
We need to reflect on our intentions of traveling which can be an immense field for us to learn new things about ourselves and life. Traveling offers a broad range of experiences that we haven’t ever imagined before. Then traveling is no longer just about satisfaction but we are acquainted with endless possibilities that it can bring about deeper meanings into our lives.
If spirituality is one of the major motivations, traveling can be an ideal setting within which you seek and mostly find what you are longing to meet. Here spirituality represents the openness to the unknown experiences with courage and willingness. Whatever traveling brings, whether pleasant or unpleasant, we know that it is a learning ground of the subtleties and miracles of life and existence.
So this way travel becomes a spiritual quest grounded in nature. Nature is powerful enough to remove the supremacy of human beings. It invites us to think about binaries like home&destination, the familiar&the unfamiliar. The concept of being home starts to change and gain new perspective. The reflective power of the nature serve as a mirror to one’s own true being. Then the so-called ‘I’ gradually fades away into the nature. As the frontier between the ‘I’ and the ‘other’ starts to dissolve, this brings about a deep sense of wholeness, of interconnectedness. We experience ourselves as part of something greater and we become more conscious of the totality of who we really are.
This is an immense relief.
Under the magical energy of nature one can confront his/her mind with clarity. In silence we see everything as it is. We join our body, mind and spirit with nature until our breath becomes part of the breathing of the nature. The sense of interconnectedness rushes into, leaving us with a deep sense of peace. This transcendantal inspiration puts us in blissful tears or laughters.
This is a blessing.
When we are open to ourselves and to everything around us, the universe communicates with us through many beings, many happenings. This can also be experienced in a limited space when we are a settler. But by the nature of traveling, the taste or the tone differs due to the variation of the grounds of experiences. Traveling diversifies, enriches these interfaces, extending the range of wonders. In some way it expands the feeling of being home, it expands the heart.
Each transit in the travel provides a great data stream of geographies, landscapes, flora, fauna, villages, towns, cities, ethnicities, culture which we witness for the first time in our lives. Sometimes in a desert, in a forest or a mountain, sometimes in the warmth of a house of someone we have just met, sometimes in the eyes of a wild animal or in the touch of a tree, the mutual flow of experience becomes a playground of exploration.
When we make the most of our experiences through our observations and interactions, this brings about an enormous excitement, aliveness and vital energy. The courage, the curiosity and the admiration we have for exploring the world enriches our spirit greatly. Through our engagement with our surroundings and with our inner source and instincts we become totally mesmerised, purified and almost reborned. And at the end travel does not only shape us or open us to the interconnected reality but also accordingly it contributes for the benefit of the world through us.
And with each conscious breath, traveling always stays alive, ongoing, continuous.
Traveling has a considerably different tone when you are solo. The traveler that ventures into the world alone is faced with immense and powerful opportunities to learn and grow.
If you ask a person what it would be like to travel solo, commonly the very first thing that spring to mind is the fear, simply the fear of the unknown that is beyond the comfort zone. It is created by our thoughts and self-limiting beliefs that have been constructed in our minds for many years and have a huge influence on how we live our lives.
Overcoming this fear requires us to find the courage to actually step into the unknown. All those deep-seated limiting beliefs will be resisting and fighting back because our actions will be challenging them. However, once we accept the fear over time, relate to it mindfully and replace it with a childlike curiosity, the discomfort subsides and riding that wave of fear becomes a lot easier. Yet, for whoever faces the fear, it’s no longer the unknown and we can open ourselves to an infinite stream of possibilities.
Besides to overcome our fear of the unknown is a personal journey that never really ends.
“What gives value to travel is fear. It is the fact that, at a certain moment, when we are so far from our home we are seized by a vague fear and an instinctive desire to go back to the protection of old habits. This is the most obvious benefit of travel. At that moment we are anxious but also permeable, so that the slightest touch makes us vibrate to the depths of our being.” Albert Camus
Traveling solo is a practice of hightened awareness. It naturally awakens mindfulness in the here and now as we tend to pay attention more. It opens our hearts to what is around us and within us. With this hightened awareness we learn to decide mindfully between stillness (resting) and motion (going forth). We start to know our limitations so we decide between being resilient during the challenges or receiving help from others. By the acceptance of the unknown we maintain our flexibility, lower our expectations and enhance our tolerance of others or of anything that happens. Navigating the world on our own, broadening our abilities, pushing our boundaries gift us self reliance.
Quite the contrary to what is believed, traveling solo is not about alienation. But rather it is the more engaged experience with the ‘other’. It is the ground in which we learn the dance between ourselves and the environment in a mindful way. We start to realize the impermenant nature of all things so we relate in a more flexible way compared to the great attachments we tend to build upon in our relationships. We learn to relate with a freer love.
Traveling solo teaches us to let go and trust in the unknown. With each venture we take the leap, not knowing what the outcome will be. Just like falling in love! Most of the time the events and experiences that take place are completely different from what we have planned and often even better than what we expected. Without the need of control and by surrendering to what is with acceptance and trust we let everything unfold in its natural flow. This is freedom.
Solo travelers stylize their life with the willingness to see the meaning underneath every unfamiliar thing. Walking the uncommon roads in aloneness, the thoughts or habitual patterns become more visible, then we realize how our thoughts shape our identity. When we are into living our full potential, we direct the ego to go into a transformation process that comes with the removal of any mental constructions we had built upon ourselves and the world.
In our aloneness there are remarkably less things that we can hold on to so this starts to break down the ego. For centuries, Native Americans journeyed into the wilderness or many saints and sages in India went into solo pilgrimages in order to discover their place within it. This type of solo journey has been a necessary part of letting go of the old self in order to awaken the new self. We need to remind ourselves that the most uncomfortable moments are the times that we are learning the most. Then we attain a greater perspective on discovering a new way of being in the world.
As a solitary wanderer, I let myself into the great unknown potentiality of life. Breathing in, breathing out I open myself fully to my source. And I leave all the rest to the universe. Then the miracles start to unfold like as if the universe is whispering me that I’m on the right path. The reward is contentment, immense love, immeasurable peace and wisdom. I trust and continue on surrendering to what is with devotion and great love.