Like so many others, I love travelling. The unknown, the new, and the unfamiliar excites me, scares me, and makes me feel alive—it forces me to be aware. What I look for in travelling therefore is an experience, a set of sensations and emotions.
I am much more of a thinker than a meditator, but I try to practice both and somehow at some point things converge and make a lot of sense, at least to me.
So here I am, sharing my thoughts. Of course, it’s just my opinion. I am not an expert on anything and even if I were, my opinion is not important enough to upset your peace of mind. But perhaps what I have to share will make sense to you too, and if not, you are also welcome to respectfully share your views.
It has been more than a year since the last time I was able to travel. Instead, I’ve been forced to stay ‘still’ in many ways, as the days and months pass by, dealing at times with boredom and lack of purpose, with lots of time to think— and overthink.
Travelling as I said excites me, scares me, and makes me feel alive. To me, it is the anticipation of the unknown that makes it so vibrant, so attentive, juxtaposed to my dull thoughts when staying still, day after day in the same routine.
There are some days though when the mind seems to be clear enough to understand that even when not moving, all can still be new at any given moment. There are moments when my mind realises that boredom is just a consequence of familiarity or ‘thinking’ we know it already. Sometimes the mind, my mind, realises how exhausted it is from always being on the search for stimulation after stimulation. When everything is in constant change, can we also use this in a positive way to help us change our perception of what we see in the everyday and mundane?
There is always so much happening around us and so much stimulation that we don’t even recognize as such. Perhaps it is too overwhelming and so the mind decides to ignore these little changes so that it can rest or concentrate on other things. The ego protects itself by being ignorant to the vast amounts of information around us, which would otherwise overload our senses.
But if we stay still and take the time to observe the simple things around us—our breath, a tree, a candle, or anything— we will notice those little changes and the mind will be exited, alive, and aware of these subtle nuances.
By limiting my horizons (for whatever reason), I have been forced to look with fresh energy into that vibrancy inside of me that I got to know while travelling; that it is also there when I look through my window at the same tree I have been looking at for the last three months. I realise for example there are some light green leaves appearing on the tree as a sign of summer approaching, or when I glance down, I see for the first time the tiny sprouts popping out of my carrots seeds. I even describe this to my friends as exciting as if I had been on a trip, despite their sceptical look.
I am content and feel alive. I am aware, scared and exited as every given day is a gift and I only hope I can appreciate the most modest and easily dismissed details all around me as I stay looking inward by looking outward.