Travelling brings me a sense of wonder, awe and enchantment.
When my only objective is to explore, I am in the present moment and everything feels ALIVE. I slow down and absorb every detail of my surroundings; the colours, the smells, the sounds and the FEEL.
With fresh eyes I see beauty in everyday scenes that, in familiar surroundings, I would likely pass by without a second look. I am mesmerized by the most ordinary aspects of life in a foreign land.
Travelling teaches me to find contentment in the here and now; not waiting for anything, just living fully and completely.
As well as the magic experienced in the simple things, there is the profound impact of experiencing nature in all of its immense glory.
There have been moments I will remember forever, and places that stir up ancient memories that surface from deep within. Memories that don’t belong to this life, but to a time when a connection with nature was ever present. Now, during precious moments in a contrasting age of separation, the beauty of this bond can be perceived.
Often when I’m travelling, unexpected situations lead to the most wonderful experiences. When the stifling heat in Marrakech forced us out of our bedroom to sleep on the roof of our hotel, I had no idea it would be so nourishing and inspiring. Calls to prayer reverberated around us from all over the city, coming together with the dark night sky and thick warm air, to form a protective blanket around us. Magic was quite literally in the air. I woke up with the sun, a new person, with clarity about my path in life. I knew what I valued and vowed to live more in harmony with this great force of peace.
I have shared so many extraordinary experiences with special friends, old and new, knowing that we felt the same joy. Travelling with good friends, spending 24 hours a day with them, dissolves all social boundaries and leads to spectacular amounts of fun. These times have brought me so much happiness, and to begin to describe them here would turn this short post into a novel.
Along with this peace, wonder, contentment and connection with nature, travel provides the opportunity for something that is even more valuable to me. Adventure.
I sometimes suffer from quite debilitating anxiety. If it weren’t for my love of adventure, my mental state could be a LOT worse than it is now. I still have my struggles, but knowing all the crazy things I have done (and survived!) really helps when I’m having a crisis of confidence.
I’m not what you might call a dare devil. I have a healthy amount of caution, but my desire to experience new and exciting things has put me in some pretty hairy situations on more than one occasion. I could do without adventures like being stuck halfway up multi-pitch rock climbs, or escaping The Great Fire Of 2012 in Laos; but they have taught me how much I can actually cope with. I’ve overcome my fears sky diving and bungee jumping, and survived many a minor accident while testing my boundaries white water rafting, handstanding in inappropriate places and riding mopeds on potholed roads.
These things are all great learning experiences (some more fun than others!), but it’s the feeling of limitless possibility that being out of my comfort zone brings me that keeps me coming back for more. Whether I’m looking out over a new city from a tall building or viewpoint (one of my favourite activities), trekking through beautiful unknown landscapes, or pushing my physical and mental limits, adventure to me is about possibility. That is what I find so exciting.
When I do something out of the ordinary, I experience a feeling of expansiveness, and I know that there is so much more to explore and do. I know that I am capable of so much more than I thought I was, and my heart longs for the next adventure.