“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” -Henry Miller
All our world is, is perspective. The real magic of travel comes from its ability to shatter, widen, expand and change our perspective. And for this reason, if we travel with a rigid mind that is not open to adapt to the new information and stimuli coming in, but instead finds a way to assimilate everything we see to fit with our preconceived perspectives, are we as people really ‘travelling’ at all? Or is it merely our physical bodies and fixed minds moving from place to place, with no real change taking place.
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T.S Eliot.
We are all unique, with different journeys, all finding our way to go about this thing called life. Some are able to gain the same perspective shifting experiences through deep meditation, some seek the physical experience of travelling and others seek to keep their reality the way they know it, choosing comfort and stability.
On my personal journey I have come to realise I value growth more than ease. I have avidly seeked challenges to test myself, unknowingly creating rites of passages for myself to move from one phase of self to another (this is another discussion). There comes a time when the risk it takes to remain with the consistent world as it is ‘known’, becomes more painful than the risk it takes to dive into the world of unknown possibilities.
The necessary breaking of illusions… We are born into the world with wisdom. This ‘wisdom’ or ‘feelings of truth’ as some might say, are gradually eroded from our souls and replaced with the ‘truths’ of society, ie. the programming that becomes so deeply engrained that many never think to question, thus, unknowingly accept them as truths.
My question is, what isn’t an illusion?
I have embarked on what is a never ending quest for my truth, the kind of ‘truth’ that gives my full body tingles with knowing, the kind where the mind is not involved, there is no back and forth to come to a conclusion, instead it is as if somebody just dropped a letter into the mailbox of the back of my head, and boom there it is.
As we are constantly changing, so too should our beliefs and views of the world. This is why openness is essential, flexibility of ones belief system gives space to learn and adapt. By opening our letterboxes we are saying ‘yes’ to find truths that continue to resonate more and more deeply with our core self… And what will be true for me may be completely different for you. But a little side note, as your truths increase in strength of knowing, the more likely you are to attract a tribe with those same truths 😉
So anyway, travelling, what has this got to do with any of this ? Well in my experience, travelling has been an accelerated way to widen my perspective on the world, particularly when experiencing worlds and cultures so vastly different from my home culture. In this globalised world many are not born into a unified culture, or even those who are reject it if they begin to see beyond it and begin to feel the limitations it may place on their uniqueness. This blesses us with the opportunity to create our own world entirely, based on what resonates most with our core self. We can learn a bit from the zen monks, a dab from the Vedic yogis, a swab from the shamans of the south, a pinch of the Druids of the north and a dash of the warriors of the Norse, and bake on 180 until golden. All the while rejoicing the unique qualities of each and celebrating the similarities.
I see it important that while rejoicing in the differences of the specifics of any culture or tradition, we also need to recognise the foundational aliveness that connects us all. In this time especially I see it critical need to break any illusion of separation, and to understand the foundation from which we each spring forth, the same womb of the same Nature (why Mother Earth of course). I view this to be the most valuable ‘result’ of travelling -when so many illusions have been cast away, so many programmes unlearned, that we are stripped back to the root of our being. Our definition of ‘family’ becomes global and infinite, and our definition of ‘home’ goes back so many layers that we are at home again everywhere on the Earth.