Thank you, Peru.
I saw hummingbirds in the wild, I walked Machu Picchu, I made travel friends.
And for the first time I truly understood and experienced the romantic concept of a journey, as a metaphor of life. It’s all about moving; moving forward, moving on. It’s all about pursuing your destination, your goal. Most of the magic, most of the adventure, most of the experience happens in between point A and point B, on the way to it, not upon arrival at it. It’s all about the process of making your way there, not so much about getting there. Such manner of conscious traveling is like meditation. It teaches you to be fully in the moment, have your eyes and ears wide open at every step of the journey, to be fully immersed in the here and now and fully open and perceptive to whatever happens. It blissfully strips you of any attachments to whatever-it-may-be; to your own past and future, to all your belongings and relationships, to your job, hobbies and addictions, to concerns about what uncle Eugene said over Christmas dinner, and what to wear for the wedding of your beloved’s cousin from Berlin. All of these things suddenly become wonderfully irrelevant, because traveling consciously gives you the feeling of the ultimate freedom.
One is so true on the road. So un-refined, un-perfected, so beautifully raw. Doesn’t try to seem cooler, smarter, more interesting or better. One is simply oneself; with no bells and whistles, existentially naked and pure.
When I was standing on the train station in Ollantaytambo I suddenly felt the overwhelming sense of the miracle of being alive. Suddenly, out of the blue everything was perfect and made perfect sense. I suddenly felt overflowing gratitude for everything that happens, and realized, that I am one lucky human being and would not exchange my world and my experiences for any others. Such realization can be achieved through fearlessly giving yourself up; either in conscious traveling; confiding in the unknown that is just about to happen as the road unwinds, or in love. Both; traveler and lover is the essence of pure, naked, transparent self. The self that exists and shines brightly outside of any social or economical contexts. It exists only in the context of the universe. It validates its true, cosmic meaning.
Both; true journey and true love are experiences of ultimate freedom and growth that open and transform your heart and teach you to see things differently. Through fearlessly opening yourself up to either; you learn to understand that all the contexts created by the society are useless. You learn to understand that your job does not define you, your financial status does not define you, your accent, religion, color of your skin or where you come from does not define you either. What defines you is the essence of your existence; your heart (and/or) soul, and how much tenderness, love and trust you have to confide in the face of experiencing the unknown and unforseen as your journey progresses in new, undiscovered directions, or in the face of exposing yourself to unveiled intimacy with your loved one. Fearlessness is your choice. You can always back out, or take a shortcut. But if you choose to be fearless; and find the courage to truly embrace the experience and take it for what it is step by step, one challenge at a time, with trust and understanding; it will always turn out rewarding in the end. Taking up the joys and challenges of a true journey, true exploring, and true love is always nurturing, always strengthening. Regardless of bumps and difficulties on the way; given the fearless trust, there is no struggle, no pain, no doubt, no destruction involved. It is always simple, pure and good.
Traveling to unknown places is like loving fearlessly. Once you’ve done it; you’re already a hero.
And it may lead you to an awe-inspiring self-realization; that you have suddenly become who you have always wanted to be.