Travel. Something that most of us want to do right NOW, but simply cannot. It reminds me once again just how much control we really have in our lives. Makes me think of all the times I travelled solo and all the life lessons I learnt in my time on the road, which taught me that life, much like travel is not to be taken for granted. We are entering a life of new “normal” which we have rather been forced into. And what choice do we have but to embrace it and live it up to the fullest? Although the lockdown has tested the many parts of me, I look back at my very own travel adventures to give me some much needed wisdom!
Here’s a little secret about my first ever solo trip. When I took a one way flight ticket on an unplanned trip, I carried a book along named “Magic” by Rhonda Byrne which is all about the power of gratitude. I had been reading that book a few weeks before travelling and it really helped me increase my overall positivity for all that I had in my life. For a first time solo traveller, I attracted some really amazing adventures. When I look back and think how lucky I have been, I now understand that it’s the power of gratitude that had my back. So if you want to make this lockdown your most memorable experience, all you got to do is be grateful. Be grateful for having access to food, internet, television, family, friends, books, resources, clothes, self-awareness and what not! Keep adding to the list and it’ll only keep growing!
Accept what you cannot change
In life there are things that go our way and things that do not. Obviously, we are all excited and high when things flow our way. But what when they don’t? What if your train is delayed by 9 hours and it has no pantry or mobile network. Can you jump off the train with all your baggage and keep running until you reach your destination? That would probably make a great movie scene, but in reality it is complete madness! :D your choices are mostly limited to reading a book, sleeping it off or talking to your co-passengers. The more we accept what we cannot change and focus on what we can, life changes for good!
Seize the day
It was a long 15-hour journey from Keylong to Leh in the local Himalayan bus. Most people around me didn’t seem to enjoy the bumpy ride. But not me. I was in fact enjoying it very much, thanks to the sweet guy I had met on the bus. We had this inexplicable connection between us and though we hardly conversed, I knew it was special. Long story short, I avoided this connection from becoming deeper. In fact, I waved goodbye and ran away as far as I could from the bus once we reached. And till date, it is one of my biggest regrets.
In life and travel, everyone is going their own way and sometimes our paths intersect giving us the opportunity for a true soul connection (or an incredible life lesson). This is the time to look at all those people and opportunities that you really want in your life but haven’t done much towards them! Yes, you can take a step towards it right now cause who knows when everything will be “normal”?
Your journey is unique and special
Confession: this lockdown brought to surface so many fears and insecurities within me, along with the comparison demon! In the initial phase of the lockdown, I couldn’t help but compare myself with how others are doing. Resulting in the inevitable: feeling bad about myself and losing faith!
Imagine you and your friend both going on solo trips to Ladakh on separate occasions. One of you might end up climbing mountains, rafting and riding. And the other might end up café hopping, making new friends and going on culture walks. Is one better than the other? NO! Each of your choices and experiences are personal and it only matters that you enjoy what you are doing. Look where you stand in your life and where you are headed to next. Focus on what YOU want. Go for it. Although we are all going through the same experience of being locked down, we are all affected differently. Let us acknowledge it and make the most of it.
Believe in yourself
Life keeps testing (teaching) us. As a kid, I thought the lessons were over at school. But it seems that the real life lessons started only after that. Life is not going to go your way all the time. People are not going to support you all the time. But all you can do is not let any of that touch you and keep believing in yourself and in your own journey. Maybe the economy is down and the entire world is tossing and turning and confused. But if you keep believing in yourself, none of that can get to you. I have been travelling by myself for the past three years in India – an unsafe country according to news and western standards. But throughout this time, I trusted my intuition and believed that I would be safe. And I have been. Of course I have also been in many uncomfortable situations, but I guess I can’t escape them anyway. And how else would I really grow?
So Corona or not, believe that you are going to make it out great, or better than ever before. And watch how that works out for you!
Happy social-distancing and self-connecting!
Virtual hugs! xoxo