Top photo: Sometimes tourists become the destination, like here at a temple in Rajasthan, India. These boys were fascinated by my presence and followed me around, taking pictures on their phones.
If you have itchy feet, like me, there is no greater excitement than arriving at a foreign airport or train station for the first time. While you might have done your research and made some plans, things rarely turn out the way you expect. You may wonder, then, what is it about vagabonding that has such a pull? Is it the sights, the experiences, the escape, or all the above?
The truth is that I’m not sure, but I think experiencing the unexpected is a powerful antidote in an otherwise predictable existence. Even though I have developed a sixth sense of wayfinding and in dealing with unforeseen circumstances, there’s an element of “meditation” involved in these meanderings.
The meditation part might sound hoaky, but it is real for me. Travel isn’t only fun, and I often find myself outside my comfort zone. So the process of adapting and relying on myself, relaxing in the face of discomfort and letting go of my preconceived notions of what a trip should be like or the places I go, is liberating. It would be a lot easier and cheaper, of course, if I could achieve the same results from meditation or yoga at home. But, odd as it sounds, “letting go” for me means standing in line at airports, hunting for food in a street market or figuring out the logistics of getting from one place to another.
I hope these pages offer you inspiration for future travels, even if only from the armchair. My travels are pinned on the map below (to some, a map half full. to me, a map half empty). If you need help with a destination or have questions, please feel free to contact me.