What is it about travelling that makes us feel completely free?
As I wandered through Bali, driving in both packed and empty roads filled with motorcycles flying past us or deserted in a no-where land, getting lost and found in between those dark dense forests, gazing at the rice pads that shifted with the colours of the sunlight, or even as I contemplated the infinity of craftsmanship that filled the sides of roads, I couldn’t help but notice this feeling ever so clearly. Actually, even thought I only noticed it once in a while, that feeling: that inner freedom that glowed from within was always there. It was there in the long cross-country flights, it was there in the moments just before I fell asleep, in the times when I dove into the pool, swam in the Indian ocean, when I wandered through the temples (the Pura’s), and even when I gazed at the moon from the balcony of my hotel room. It was there in every moment, in every second and in every part of my trip in Bali.
Now, just recently back home, I remember that feeling ever so well… Somehow it is still inside me, calling me… in a sweet melody that I hope never subsides. As I recall back to other trips, I know that it was there too…. But maybe it just took me 18 days in Bali to really observe it and understand it.
I guess travelling, in a way, is merely this chasing of freedom: a chasing of this feeling that fills us up inside, that gives us infinite possibilities inside our hearts and makes our souls flutter with the wind. It is in travelling through these unknown places in the world that our souls get lit with a passion and longing that seems to come in with the first ray of sun we catch in the new place. It is in this travelling… where there is nothing other than ourselves and the great void, that allows us to find and understand a huge part of ourselves: a part that is a nomad, that is free… that wonders, that chases the sunsets, that captures infinite moments and that is one with the nature and the place that we find ourselves in. Deep down, travelling allows us to be in touch with this part of ourselves that is always there… sleeping, as we sit in the comfort of our own home. But as we sit in that airplane, or even as we wander the airport… the spark becomes ignited, softly at first… And then as the plane hits the ground in our destination, countless hours after, the spark is raised into a flame. And there it burns and burns, on our insides… as we wander and become nomads at heart, once again…
Travellers are chasers of freedom… but most importantly, that spark, that inner glow that awakens in these new experiences, is far more that just freedom…. It is a chasing of our own home: that inner space where we can fly anywhere, that knows that the whole world is our oyster and that is constantly in awe… We are chasers of freedom of course, but most importantly… we are chasers of moments, of wonders… we are chasers of that little thing Kerouac called the Golden Eternity. That’s what I found… In Bali now… in all those moments chasing stars, observing sunsets, talking to locals, climbing stairs up temples, tasting spices and incredible traditional food, getting lost in the woods, talking to elephants, going down narrow roads, lying on the white sand, playing with monkeys… and even standing on the edge of a high cliff. That’s what I found, and that’s what all travellers search for… That condition that resembles paradise… that is the closest we can ever get to finding heaven on earth. It’s that place where our souls are so full of wonder and love that … we become completely free and full. It is the most perfect place one can ever find in this life… I believe. Where a love so deep, grows from deep within and there it stays, turning our steps in the empty woods into wanderings in another dimension. It’s what makes us addicted to travelling…. it’s the closest we can be to who we really are, it’s what makes us feel Alive. It’s what makes me be back for not even a day, and already I am longing for the next travel experience… where life can be all that it is and where my inside can be filled with both Freedom and Wonder.
I sit here writing in this corner of the world, half way across the globe from where I was just two days ago. It’s an incredible miracle that we can do this… one day in one end of the globe and in the other in the next. Part of me suspects it is exactly for this reason: so that we, as bodies living on earth, can find a way to somehow be closer to heaven; so that we can find that feeling that abides in our souls… always in constant love and awe, so that we can learn to be one with where we are, so that we can understand what it’s like to be living in a sort of Golden Eternity.
Salut to all my fellow travellers… May your souls always be both free and full of wonder.