“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.”
– Pico Iyer
Every three weeks or so , I try to take a day trip outside of my city. Whether it is half an hour away or two hours away. I do so to gain some perspective. Being a University student in a small city is sometimes very consuming. Leaving the city always gives me a bigger picture, allows me to see that which I cannot see when I am staring right at it.
My most recent trip was to Cambridge. I thought going to a place of such prestige and checking out the University would grant me some inspiration. Ironically enough, my favourite part of the day consisted of walking through the market. I saw fresh fruits, vegetables, little creative trinkets with inspirational quotes on them and then stumbled upon a second-hand book stall. Looking through the books, I searched for something inspiring, compassionate and spiritual – my genre for quite a bit now. Mind Body Soul. Searching for inspiration, motivation , I asked the owner if he had the Alchemist. He looked for it but didn’t find it and said that it wasn’t in the section he usually kept it in. I asked him to refer me to the section. Upon reaching there, my fingers walked through the books and I spotted Eckhart Tolle’s, ” A New Earth”. A book referred to me almost two years ago which I had tried to read. But sometimes books, they don’t flow in your being, don’t sync with your consciousness until you’re really ready for them.
I just started reading the book but its resonated with me quite beautifully. It speaks of this idea of “I” and becoming consumed with our own labels. Letting our own labels of ourselves not only restrict us but restrict our understanding of the world because we put everything into such distinct boxes and label them accordingly. As I sat at lunch and drank my cup of tea, I took a minute to stop my thinking, and looked around to look at the people who surrounded me in the room. They were all people but really , they were forces within each body. A force or an energy that I would not say is restricted by age but a living energy and that room was buzzing with everyone’s different energies. Whether it was the couple who sat next to me and hardly said anything to each other, to the two elderly beautifully-dressed talkative women who sat on my right. Then and there, I was hit with the thought that I, too was a force, an energy and had started to identify with the person I had become over the past few years. That which breaks this identification with the I is generally some kind of paradigm change brought about by a sudden change in one’s life however we could dis-identify from the I once we became aware of it… I’m only in the first chapter of the book but felt this idea to be somewhat of a revelation that I wanted to share. It’s worth taking a day out once in a while to gain some perspective.
Leaving that meal I felt like a different person but realized how much I identified with the me and how we look for assurance in other people’s view of who we are and try to fit into that category of who they think we are. But there’s a realization in the fact that people change, we change. Respect how you feel. Always.