I remember as a child a dream of disappearing into a jungle. My innocent young self reasoning that eventually I would come out again, sooner or later. The laws of probability doing quite well in my young brain however not fully matured; the idea of walking in circles or getting eaten by animals or poisoned by snakes not having occurred to me at all. The concept of just going into a wilderness somehow appealed. What I would do there I had no idea, just this vague idea that it was something I longed to do.
This thought has not visited me for most of my life since then, but the desire to have a one way ticket to a far flung country and explore, day by day without time constraints or agenda has grown in my heart, and here I am, in India, doing just that. What exactly I would do here I have still little idea, just this strong feeling that it is something I long to do.
I have no bucket list, no wish to check off destinations or collect photos of exotic sites but I desire to capture the everyday beauty of the land in the words and art I create. I’m not eager to learn the language or cuisine although I savour the culture seeping into me as I just immerse myself in the days. Tourist attractions give me the impulse to walk quickly in the other direction; I have no need to partake in the the hype, over priced pressure to queue in crowds to take my selfie with the Taj Mahal, but I am overjoyed at the small unknown, unexpected gems I see along my way; a beautiful marble white church bursting out of the landscape or one of the colourful temples that come in a myriad of shapes, sizes and designs. I long to be in nature, in the quiet, where the sound of the air creates music in its many forms, whistling past my ears or still, loud and echoing in its silence. I long to be with the exuberance of life found among blooming plants and trees, life buzzing in the way mother earth intended.
It has taken a long time to accept and love my way of wanting to travel and see the world, such a relief now I have stopped berating myself for being strange when I hate city weekends or seeing great attractions in the world. Such a relief to no longer mind what others think of my ways. Such a relief to be here on my terms and bypass the Taj Mahal if I want to, no one to tease and roll their eyes at my lack of cultural interest.
“If you want something you’ve never had you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
I don’t know what it is I’m looking for, I don’t know where I will go next (although the mountains are calling) or what I will find, and my reasoning tells me this is great. If I think I know what I’m looking for or hoping to see then I will surely never see what I’m not expecting. I believe the world is a greater and more mysterious place than we see in our usual narrow vision. It is the journey of my soul that sparks my creativity and passion, my longing to feel the deep pulse of Mother Earth.
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