I Wonder as I Wander

20 Rishikesh IMG_1294There is a freedom in travel. I ache for it at times. I am without appropriate words to help my husband understand why I must continuously leave him for places that are sometimes dirty and dangerous. I can’t explain why I would gladly snatch the free ticket to almost anywhere out of the hand that offered it.

I don’t believe I am trying to escape, although I have entertained that as a possibility. I am hungry. For change. For new. For rich experience. For freedom from sameness.

Perhaps it is the seeing through of it. I have an idea to go somewhere, I look into it. I find a place to stay. A ticket. I pack, drive to the airport, board a plane and end up miraculously somewhere else. I take photos. I write about it – my impressions, my perspective – which I find endlessly entertaining and profound, then I come back.

Each step of the way I am in love with the process. I am present. Aware. In love.

But I could not be so free if I did not have my day to day life at home to ground me. It is that foundation that allows me to launch because I know I will have a safe place to land upon my return. It is the understanding – or perhaps merely acceptance – of my husband, business partners and friends that allow me to let go of responsibility. For at least a little while.

Indeed they may be duty bound, understanding my very life depends on meandering. That too much time stuck in routine makes for a very surly mess of person that can become despondent and, at the very least, meh.

As I wander, my mind is set free. Probing the dusty corners of a cafe in India or bent over backwards to see to the top of a skyscraper or mountain, there is no need to think. Only wonder. Having a staring contest with an alligator a dragonfly or a palace guard, stepping into the Ganges barefoot or floating in the bay of an unblemished island, there is nothing to do but just that.

Yet that is precisely when the thoughts freely come. Not the have to’s, but the provocative queries. The hot poker that finds its way between reason and imagination challenging my world view, creating room for a shift in perspective. Ideas dance around insights, worry gets edged out by wonder and my mind is set alight with activity that has nothing to do with me.

And so I go.

On my return I am fresh, soul shining, scrubbed free of mind debris. I am open and in love with everything. No matter how jet-lagged I am. No matter what I come back to, I am reset. And everyone wins.

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