Today marks one month since my return. I am still not caught up. Routine had completely fallen away, to the point where I did not even know where my ideal hot-cold setting was in the shower! I had to start over! Accompanied by all this is a big resistance to the old. I did not necessarily want everything to return to the way things were.
I just finished reading one of Paulo Coelho’s books (Aleph), and he explains so accurately what the travelling experience brings out.
“After weeks on the road, listening to a language you don’t understand, using currency whose value you don’t comprehend, walking down streets you’ve never walked down before, you discover that your old “I”, along with everything you ever learned, is absolutely no use at all in the face of those new challenges, and you begin to realize that buried deep in your unconscious mind there is someone much more interesting and adventurous and more open to the world and to new experiences.” (p.12)
“When I complained that I never stayed in one place for very long, people were horrified: “But it’s great to travel. I wish I had the money to do what you’re doing!” Travel is never a matter of money but of courage.” (p.11)
As long as you are with “someone by your side who knows you”, you won’t have left home. This gives a false sense of familiarity. You must go alone. “You may find solitude oppressive, too much to bear, but that feeling will gradually disappear as you come more into contact with other people.” (p. 41)
“Leave your comfortable life and go in search of your kingdom. Those who set off in search of their kingdom know that they are going to find, instead, only challenges, long periods of waiting, unexpected change, or, even worse, nothing.” “Even if I find nothing, I will carry on because … my soul has been slowly dying from something very hard to detect and even harder to cure. Routine.”(p.45-6)
“Our life is a constant journey, from birth to death. The landscape changes, the people change, our needs change, but the train keeps moving. Life is the train, not the station.”