When was the last time you let yourself swirl? When was the last time you gave in to pleasure? When was the last time you let your imagination run wild? When was the last time you dreamt? When was the last time you discovered? When was the last time you tasted ecstasy? If all your answers were a long time ago and you want to experience all these sensations at once, try wanderlust and go backpacking: Feel what you feel and you won't regret a moment!
Ibn-e-Batuta wasn't just a famed traveler and scholar but also a very eloquent scribe for no one has ever described travelling more exquisitely and expansively, as he did, over 700 years ago. He said 'Travelling: it leaves you speechless (and) then, turns you into a storyteller!'.
And that is it! Travelling is more than an experience: it's a phenomenon that a very select few get to taste in its virgin sense; and those who do get to drink from its exotic wells, will rarely settle for anything else. Read anyone accomplished and you'll find how travel inspired their stories; or read the revered Sufi sage, Rumi, and hear him say that travel brings power and love back to your life.
It is sad to see our generation missing out on this passion and thereby, denying themselves opportunities of a lifetime. Despite the incredible globalization and infrastructural leaps abounding all around us, only a handful of us will ever choose to step foot on foreign shores or even locally remote areas.
We, as a society, have let ourselves get engulfed by paranoia - of the unknown, of economic sustenance and of physical security - and these qualms are depriving millions of experiencing places, moments and lives beyond the realm(s) that we know of. Wouldn't it be ironic, today, to have your birthplace and tombstone, within a ten mile radius?
Most of us blame the West for its unforgiving portrayal of our society, people and culture; and we loathe their media for not showcasing the real country we dwell in and it's pretty true. However, another stark reality is that this also works backwards. Imagine all our ideas about all places foreign being equally contrary to facts!
There is a whole lot of truth that is out there - waiting to be explored first hand and yet, here we let our hearts and mind rust amidst hearsay. We are criminally putting a scope limitation on our horizons, knowledge and may I say, our dreams and visions! To quote, Saint Augustine, "The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only a page".
I could go on and write those typical blog pieces which enumerate a dozen or even scores of reasons to travel but I am looking to strike a different chord here. This is about the very soul of undertaking travel without clinging on to business, educational or other conventional tags: this is about sparking fire in your blood: this is rebellion - in its purest form.
Travelling's essence is discovery, exploration and experience. This is very different from the mainstream commercial tourism that we see today: this form is more about the journey than the destination: this travel is not about splurge hotels and plush dining but about camping and meeting the unknown: this travel is not about meticulous planning but about letting yourself wander: this is not about finding anything but yourself: this is about getting lost in a sublime immersing experience that comes promised when you prepare to throw caution to the winds.
This sort of travel not only ensues in a completely fresh opportunity to re-discover life around us but this is also going to be surprisingly timeless, inexpensive, easier to plan and yet, it's going to be a very heartfelt one. All it will ever take is courage and giving in to your first ever expedition. Travel once, with all your heart and this addiction will find its way into the deepest recesses of your heart and soul.
Travelling will allow you to challenge yourself, it teaches some very invaluable lessons to lead a memorable life, it lets in relaxation and celebration, it gives you that much needed escape, it lets you meet the real yourself, it confers upon you new dimensions and perceptions, it fuels an insatiable ambition inside you that is enduringly calm and fulfilling yet passionately electric and finally, it bestows you with freedom!
Haven't you ever dreamt? Ever noticed where does it all begin from? How do you dream? The first step to dream is more often than not, a flight to another place or setting or environment or situation - and that exactly is how powerful journeys can be!
Humans were bestowed with feet not roots for none of us is exactly meant to stay: It's not just the mountains that are calling: it is the whole universe calling us to explore and find our own answers. Most unfortunately, it is us who refuse to listen and give in to inertia!
Our society is mostly made up of settlers and you will find a keen sense of lethargy embedded in them but listen to Rumi, he says that when setting out on a journey: do not seek advice from those who have never left home: (and) do not be satisfied with stories or how others have fared: unfold your own myth! And remember that towards the end, you only regret the chances you didn't take.
I shall again borrow Rumi's eloquence and expression to sum it all up. "Respond to every call that excites your spirit. Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death!"
And that's it, we all need to go out there, on our own, for our own and to be of our own! This is when you spread things and fly!
We are not meant to live away in cages and there is no better way of experiencing the climax of free living than packing your backpack and going on your dream voyage that you have been putting on backburner for quite a while now: your time is now: do not let anyone or anything dictate your plans. Go, taste some elixir of adventure; and wherever you choose to go, go with all your heart; and you'll never be alone!
Rise and shine, everyone!
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