Travel And Open Your Mind | TOI | Speaking Tree | December 4th 2011 | Page 5
To travel is a passion with many of us. Seeing the world is one reason; it also provides a welcome break from the usual routine one performs day in and day out. Travel throws open a whole new world of new experiences. Prophet Mohammad said: “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.
” When we go to new places, what we see, hear or do there, puts us in touch with ourselves. In trying to understand something strange and new, you begin to comprehend the familiar and perhaps discover more about your own selves.
Curiously, often, when we come across something that is unfamiliar, we come to realise that we are actually experiencing something we’re familiar with!
When you are able to look beyond the visible, when you are able to hear more than the spoken word, you wake up to the fact that wherever we are on earth, we look up at the same sky and beneath our feet is the very same earth. And we also realise that as human beings, we are all part of one big family.
Apparently insignificant things such as listening to people all around you speak a language other than what you are accustomed to hearing, pulls you out of the world you were thus far encased in and introduces you to a broader canvas of human life.
We tend to get high on patriotism, or a sense of belonging and our identity as citizens of a particular country or members of a community, but rarely do we realise that these are but small parts of a much bigger whole. It is only when you are uprooted, if only temporarily, from the place of your belonging, that these words take on a new meaning. As life is breathed into thoughts and emotions — which were formerly vague and unformed — much is thrust forth from the unconscious to the conscious.
Best of all, travel cuts you down to size. In the course of all the difficulties and problems that crop up from time to time, travel and exploration bring you face-to-face with human limitations and vulnerabilities. Your accomplishments and failures in the new vastness you are experiencing, now appear so small and insignificant. Your false sense of pride and inflated sense of self-worth comes crashing down.
Several practical lessons are learnt in the course of your travels. A traveller, when faced with problems, would naturally not have the time to attend to all of them. He will, therefore, prioritise. For some he seeks solutions, and some others he chooses to ignore. In whatever he does, it is his destination which has his complete attention, for that is the point that he knows he must reach, somehow. This we need to practise in our daily life as well. Whatever life presents us with, we must doggedly keep moving on towards the goal we have set for ourselves, lest we become entangled in the trivia of life and the more important issues remain unaddressed.
The experienced traveller knows that to get the best out of the journey, he has to travel light as that reduces unnecessary hassles. Look at it from another angle, and this is true of life, too! As we live the few years we are blessed with, let us not carry with ourselves the utterly useless and heavy baggage (burden) of negativity, despair and worry. Shrug it off! Go on, pick up that rucksack and get going! Bon voyage.