I came across this quote as I was flipping through a travel magazine, it was just a hotel ad with the words written across a photo of a calm blue sea, but for some reason my fingers lingered a little longer before turning the page. It made me think about why I travel a lot, and why I really love it.
I am one of those people who say don’t buy me things, buy me experiences. I start to get restless and feel crappy if it’s been over a month and I haven’t left the country or booked my next trip. (Typing this makes me feel spoilt, well, I see it as very blessed and grateful J. But I really just love to travel.) There is something so incredibly fulfilling and satisfying every time my feet land on unfamiliar soil, I feel excited and happy to learn more about our world- as I digest new smells, sights and tastes.
Maybe those who love to travel and explore are in search of something more, maybe it’s escapism, or to find their sense of purpose, or travel is food for their soul or maybe it’s just for cool Instagrammable photos. If I were to be honest with myself, it is a little bit of escapism—running away to a new and different reality if only for a few days.
I felt I needed an escape so I did what I know best. I booked a trip. But this time it wasn’t to Sydney to see friends, or to a big hen’s party, or to see Coldplay in concert. I booked a trip with myself. Not a ‘holiday’ but to a remote retreat in South Sri Lanka.
My body was fatigued, my mind overworked and constantly overthinking, my energy low. My days had become zombie like routines, ticking the boxes as I went along. I was solely doing what I needed to do, devoid of zest and passion. I was existing not living. I woke up one day, with a deep need to break this rather bleak and boring pattern. Would I be able to shake things up and realign and reinvigorate my body and soul at home? I didn’t think so. This trip was going to be different, after all it was my first trip to an Ayurvedic retreat.
Sitting here, literally in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by lush mangrove and rainforest, the Indian Ocean and the unbroken sounds of jungle life, I feel disconnected from my life at home and for these few days this isolated habitat is my reality. My mind, body and soul is strengthened by the nourishing sunrise and sunset yoga and meditation sessions, and cleansed and healed with food and Ayurvedic treatments. There are no distractions big or small, aided by the digital detox I am trying very hard to obey! I am confronted with myself. Can I get comfortable with ‘her’ and reconnect with and get to know her better.
I now see with more clarity, that to find yourself, you really don’t have to go far at all, in fact you just need to go within yourself. It is all there, within us; waiting to be discovered, ignited and nourished. Travelling doesn’t help answer all those burning questions, but it did take zipping away for some ‘quiet me time’ to Sri Lanka to realise fundamental truths about myself.
I will head home tomorrow, this time back to ‘my reality’ but now with a new found reality check. And my next holiday will be a fabulous one, just for the sake of having fun!