Route of our European backpacking trip'2018
What do you learn after backpacking for 45 days through 8 countries, 14 cities and walking 15kms everyday? Here are 3 things that I learned:
- Adventure, not vacation: Long distance travel is not a vacation. It is an adventure and the reward is in the experience. Vacation gives you a break. Adventure can give you a transformation. It can make you realize who you are by putting you in hard situations; by pulling away the things you take for granted in your everyday life. It makes you realize that in the end, you are just a traveler who is passing through this world. Our belongings, our possessions and even our egos are mere aberrations. They came from this world and they will be returned to this world.
- Life isn't long, isn't short: Life is too short to waste on doing what you don't want to. Life is too long to be anxious or to aim too low. My doctor sister points out that Man is the only creature who is aware of the inevitability of death. Yet it makes everyday decisions turning a blind eye to this fact. And then are also those times when we get so anxious about certain things as if our entire life depends on that moment or that particular decision. So what is this all about? The most enlightened people we met during our travels were not those who were wandering for years. They were those who knew why they were travelling and were observing how the travel was changing them every day. They had a sense of respect for their own lives but weren't obsessed about it either. They taught us to slow down and think. And then, move strong and steady in the direction our heart and mind point to. If the heart and the mind point in different directions, then hold on. Introspect. Eventually, they will point in the same direction.
- Pay attention: Life is not about winning or losing. It's about paying attention. Whatever you do in your life, be it work or play or even nothing, be mindful. Eventually, the life will be the sum total of all the mindful moments we have lived. Mindfulness during travel can be especially rewarding as it opens you up to absorb and benefit from the amazing sights you see, sounds you hear and people you meet!