A friend of mine sent me a comment on one of mine blogposts.
Do you want to come back or would you like to continue the journey and delay your return to a further date? Is it the date that was decided at first before departure that is closing slowly this chapter and conscious, unconscious preparing yourself to another?
I have decided to extend my traveling.
I had to make that decision six months ago. The original plan was to travel for one year but then my tenant decided to leave early and I had to make a decision. Go back home or extend.
31 january 2019.
That is the date when I have to be back home. Yes, it is crazy, insane and totally mind blowing, knowing that I still have lots of time for this adventure.
August 2018 I will be celebrating my 60th birthday, and that I will do somewhere far away from home. It’s not yet decided where. Therefor I am formally inviting my friends to come and share that moment with me. So start planning and saving up, it’s going to be awesome! You have any suggestions on where?
I’ve spent almost one year in Asia. Now I just arrived to Mexico. Let’s see what this continent has to offer.
Im in a hotel room in New Delhi trying to recover.
I left Rishikesh two days ago, and everyone were commenting on the weather change. Yes, mornings were getting a bit more chilly and it got a bit more windy than it had been during the past month I stayed there. There was a change in the weather and people got colds and runny noses and eventually so did I. Best medicine is sleep. So I’ve tried to sleep a lot. Trying to recover from the cold. All it takes is time an sleep.
I left Rishikesh two days ago and I am now trying to recover from lack of awareness and being attached.
Rishikesh is a very spiritual place and people with a lot of knowledge come and stay for long or short period of time. It turned out to be The place where I had the most inspiring conversations. Mind blowing and mind bending and mind stretching and …
Connecting with people is an orgasmic feeling. When you connect with someone everything is so easy. You don’t have to explain yourself, you don’t have to justify your behaviour, you can just be you and there are no questions asked or explanations required.
Like the woman in the chai stall, my second home in Rishikesh. In the beginning she used to have this serious and just a bit angry face. One day she gave me that tiny smile, a couple of days later she smiled more, a week later she touched my hand when handing me the chai glass. Another day she rested her hand on mine while getting something out of the fridge. No eye contact, just her hand resting on mine. And then the day, when she put her hand on my arm, holding my arm, looking me in the eyes and in a low but steady voice saying this one word.
Sometimes words are of no importance. And sometimes words hit you hard.
Before I left Rishikesh I went to the chai stall, I looked my sister in the eyes, we hugged in silence, and I turned around and left. And I cried.
I cried because of happiness and gratefulness.
I found a sister. I found a teacher. I found a daughter. They all found a place in my heart and therefor they will always be with me.
Wisdom is not about knowing things but knowing how to practice the wisdom.
I spoke with my daughter this morning and I told her about my people in Rishikesh. And we both cried. She cried because she is that amazing person, emphatic, understanding. A young woman I am so proud to call my daughter. And I know I am so fortunate to have her in my life. And my Rishikesh people. An my people back home. And my people in Malaysia. But …
Everything changes, nothing stays the same.
Tonight I’m leaving India, but India will never leave me.
According to Buddhism, all our struggles stem from attachment.
This morning I was sitting on the balcony drinking my coffee when a friend from back home sent me a text.
Are you enjoying your traveling? What is it like behind the nice photos and the encounters with interesting people? Are you homesick? Do you think about the future, what you will do when you get back home?
I’ve had those questions a few times. But never as straightforward as this time.
Yes, I am enjoying my traveling. I have learned a lot. About other cultures, how people live their lives when they don’t have the luxuries people in the west consider as basic necessities in life, I have learned about myself and I would like to think I have evolved. It is amazing and I know I am very privileged having the opportunity of traveling for a longer period of time.
Behind all the nice photos and interesting encounters it is like living my everyday life back home. I’m not sure I can find the right words for what it is like.
Picture yourself, try to see the image of You, your body and mind, exactly where you are right now. Then picture the same image of you somewhere else. You are the same person, the same self, everything about you is the same. The surroundings, the scenery, the people are different but you are the same.
My body is the same. All the problems I had with my body back home, they are still there. Still same body. Same thing goes for the mind. Same mind, same issues. I still need to feed my body, I still need to feed my mind, I will still face obstacles, I will have good days and I will have bad days. That doesn’t change. That is what life looks like for everyone on this planet.
The difference between me living my life back home and living my life on the road is that I am exposed to more of everything.
This comes with moving from one place to another. This is also a result of me traveling on a tight budget.
The one thing this lifestyle requires to be able to enjoy it is the ability of being flexible and quickly adjust to new situations. Perhaps I should add one thing. You can’t be judgemental. You have to accept things being different from what you are used to.
Being homesick. Home means the life I used to live in Sweden. My life was good. Great friend, good job, nice apartment, hot water everyday, clean streets, structure, opera, art events, interesting lectures I used to attend, shops filled with everything I could think of, photowalks, art lessons. I enjoyed all that very much.
Being homesick would mean I am not enjoying my present life as much as I enjoyed the one I used to have.
But I do remember the physical meetings with Sara, conversations with Monica, having coffee with Calle, the walks with Ulla and all the other people that contributed to my life. I think of those moments and feel very grateful.
The future. Don’t try to find a solution to a problem that not yet has occurred.
Thank you Joanna for being so straightforward with your questions.
Traveling for a longer period of time means one is conatantly being exposed to new impressions. It is exhausting. Don’t take me wrong, it is exiting and lots of fun but one gets tired. And in my opinion one needs the time to reflect on those experiences.
I remember the first time I decided to stay put in one place to rest. Every morning the people I was sharing dorm with used to ask me about my plans for the day and every day I told the I would do as little as possible. They looked at me with big eyes and it was obvious to me that they though I was a whacko, a weirdo wasting my time.
There are a lot of people traveling to Asia to do yoga, to meditate and to attend silent retreats. Different activities with the same purpose. Wellbeing for mind and body. Today we all know how closely linked mind and body are, the importance of taking care of both and the positive outcomes.
Yesterday evening I had a conversation with a friend who is going through a divorce. He has stayed at the hostel for three weeks now and he told me that he has been inactive, doing noting this past week. He said it felt as if he was wasting his time.
Another friend proudly posted that he had been in an ashram meditating for 28 days. One could say he was wasting his time since he did exactly the same thing as my friend at the hostel. He did nothing.
One we pay for and value, the other we get for free and dismiss as waste.
So where and when did we get it all wrong, this thing about taking the time to do nothing as being a waste.
Why don’t we classify Wasting time as Quality time. The one activity that we can do for free and that doesn’t require neither special equipment nor dedicated space.
Why don’t we praise the person telling us how he or she spent heir Sunday doing nothing. Good for you my friend for havin quality time on your own.
Doing nothing you eventually will get bored. Being bored is a Good thing for your brain. It gets recharged and refueld. It stays healthy.
But there is one difficult part with doing nothing. You are alone with your own thoughts. And this is the part most people find difficult when attending retreats. Dealing with their own thoughts, the fears and insecurity we try to hide when being active.
I had a conversation with a man, he told me his story, he told me about his pain, divorce, kids, narcissistic spouse. He told me he had been traveling for three years, constantly moving, not coping with staying in the same place for long. Because when staying, that is when the thoughts are poking you.
Taking time to do nothing. Listening to our thoughts without trying to find a solutions, without judging. That is quality time for the brain.
Wasting time is a brilliant thing to do. Skip the gym once a week in favour of doing noting.
Knowing who you are and accepting who you are makes life so much easier. Some people get that early in life, but for some it takes time to understand. That means age is just a number. But every society I have visited people tend to be ambivalent to age and how to deal with age. To their own and others age.
And I do admit I used to be that too. Guilty as charged.
I met a woman my age a couple of days ago and she was complaining that her skin on her arms were stretched from the time when she weighed more. It really troubled her. I have that too, I told her. But if people around me care more about that than caring about my personality then I can live without them.
In most societies looks and appearances are being confused with being happy. Especially when it involves women. Physical aging is supposed to be hidden or fixed. Especially when it involves women.
Traveling the way I do means sharing accommodation with people I don’t know. There are very few travelers my age staying in dorms which means I meat and spend time with people younger than I am, having countless of conversations on age.
What we have agreed on is that we can all learn from each other because of the age difference. When the young don’t assume that the old don’t know about this or that and when the old don’t assume the young don’t know about other things. That is when the magic happens.
I just had a conversation with a co-traveller, the topic being traveling in India. Have you gone by train here, I ask him. No, he hasn’t yet. Tonight he will, AC standard. I tell him to try the sleeper. Instead of AC there are fans. And one gets the opportunity to travel with locals, experiencing some of this country’s personality. No, he says, I’m old you know.
I look at him and I see a fit mature man. There is nothing in his physique that would prevent him from the experience. He is almost 50 he says.
It is not about age but about the mindset. Dagny, being the oldest blogger in the world at the age of 106, knows that.