It all started out of curiosity. “What’s really out there?” Last summer I made a trip through Eurasia out of my savings account and a goal to explore Japan, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen, three places I wanted to visit. I added a few destinations in-between, but the foundation was simple, to make a Eurasian journey overland. As I write this now, I’m finishing the last entries of those travels in the Journey - a travelogue of interactions across Eurasia.
So, how did it turn out?
I had some of the most intense encounters during these months. I ended up as far as Beijing, but also added many places in-between that were unplanned and spontaneous. With these spontaneous interactions, I began to realize the Journey was becoming bigger than just me. There was an ethereal feeling and I felt as if a Muse was guiding me along my winding path. I started weaving my own thoughts into stories, instilling my own message of positivity that I gained from my spiritual connection with those I met. However, with each unexpected visit, I would be taking away from reaching my ultimate destination, Japan. When I failed to reach Japan, did that hinder my feeling of enjoyment with the Journey?
Of course not.
The goal of reaching Japan was great, but then again, it was just a goal. As was the ambition to do the whole journey overland. But what it did do was give me something to reach for while still enjoying the journey. It kept me asking myself what the best course of action was to be most present with the people and world around me. Living in the now, being present with the encounters with the many souls I met, that was the true goal. To capture these encounters and share them with you was my hope.
That’s where it left me until about 1 month ago when I decided I would come back to Europe to finish what I started. I’m back in Amsterdam living a very different life than that of the one I did before. I wrote the beginnings of the Journey while I traveled, so they are deeply personal and confronting, since I was confronting much of my own life at the time. But now, I am finally sitting down and putting the untold encounters and the unseen images into a readable travelogue that echos those experiences. My hope is to help others realize that they too can confront their fears, loves, or at least go out and explore them! For if we stay in one place too long, we will never know what is truly out there. I hope I can give my reader the ability to see into my encounters and maybe take something from them they can use in their life. Maybe that’s inspiration to travel abroad, or maybe it’s simply to confront their own hopes and desires.
As I finish this idea of writing a travelogue, I can see other ideas popping into my head about what’s next. But to be honest, I know they are just resistance tempting me to lose sight of the goal. I often get a flurry of ideas when I travel. But as I travel now, these places serve as reminders of the Journey. They bring me back to a journey that has inspired me to continue practicing compassion and has pushed me to find creative ways to positively interact with the world more often.
The process of writing this has been a journey itself. From feelings of doubt, despair, to a generous optimism, it’s important to know a journey is actually very simple; you just need to be present everyday and it will all fall into place.
[This is current place I’ve been staying at in Amsterdam. It is right along the Keizersgracht canal and is pretty much amazing. I found it through Airbnb, an international accommodation website that links travelers and guests to local apartments, houses, or rooms to rent for a few nights.
[UPDATE MAY 2014]
Here is the final version of The Journey, available for iBooks! Enjoy!