We often think that we are in control of our lives and our choices; decisions and inclinations are based on the intermingling of the right and left sides of our brains. But really, how many times have you had that feeling that you don’t deserve this or you are so happy you must have done something good in your past life to deserve this? Your family accountant, priest or doctor is clearly not keeping a record of your rights and wrongs. Someone else is! This is the space where aliens, UFOs and urban legends thrive. What if your life is also part of that mystical world and your present, as you see it, is just a projection?
We get so lost in the daily rut of things that we do not realize why we do what we do. I am sure it’s not as simple as it sounds, but I love the enigma and the mystique that such a school of thought brings to my life – makes it a little less ordinary, atleast in my head. To feel, think and believe in such aimlessness and, in contrast, give my life some definition is what makes me travel. Travel is my umbilical cord to the uninhibited, trivial thoughts that feel very real and plausible in my head. In the words of Pico Iyer, “And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again – to slow time down and get taken in.”
The #TravelIST chat hosted by @bijoyv and @Living_Escaping last night re-kindled and reiterated my thoughts about escaping. No, that does not make us wonky heads wanting to get lost and roll around like a zorb, but to escape the monotony of our daily lives, where every day is like living like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. What experiences we are exposed to, if we decide to have a chocolate milkshake one day and a cheesecake the next. It is travel that allows us to continuously alter our contexts and, at the same time, teaches us to keep moving. How long can a humming bird hold your attention when you meet a sloppy sea gull next? That is what we escape when we travel – we escape monotony and test the agility of our minds and improvise our lives every second.
Travel also brings out that person you always wanted to be but were either too conscious or too busy to be. We learn to let go and give up our thick skins. I am personally more uninhibited and more trustful when in faraway lands than the city I live in. That jump into the unpredictable lake, the brief talk with the local about the tiny jars on their balcony, the most interesting hour-long conversation with a stranger you will never meet again and the ability to spend time with oneself plucking dead grass or gazing at the clouds without the support of a human being or the prison of a smartphone – all this comes to us naturally when we travel.
We travel to experiment, to lose our inhibitions, to learn, to discover, to find ourselves. How is travelling getting lost?