Tuesday, August 16, 2011
The Most Important Trip is Out of Your Own Mind
No, I am not endorsing the use of psychedelic drugs here but really, the most important trip you can ever take is out of your own head. It doesn’t matter where you go or what you do, if you are in your mind the whole time you really haven’t gone anywhere. Traveling is about freedom and exploration- if you drag around only your own thoughts, you are diluting the experience. Worries of work or home, future plans, even daydreams only distract from the culture and countries that you have traveled so far to see. Let go of your thoughts, judgements and expectations and really explore. Take the time to quiet your mind and deeply observe all that is going on around you as often as you can remember. Close your eyes and listen. Break down and hear the different sounds individually- crickets, traffic, waves, conversation. When you meet people on the road, listen to their stories, let your reeling mind rest for a minute and truly give your focus to another person. You will be surprised how much you can learn and how quickly you can make a new friend. That is the most wonderful thing about backpacking. Everything and everyone is new and so effortlessly engaging. There are no schedules, no tethers, no real obligations. You can really take the time to appreciate every thing around you.
Many people travel with plans and itineraries, ‘Reservations’- which is fine if that is all you would like to experience but letting go of your big, important plans, going with the flow and getting outside of a timeframe is where the real essence of backpacking lies. Anyone who has wandered can relate, there is something amazing about simply taking things as they come on the road. Backpacking is about exploring a world much bigger than you and understanding the wonder in this. Embracing the uncertainty, giving up the need to understand and instead continuing to remain in awe and making the conscious effort to remain outside of your own mind- that is backpacking.