I’ve always had trouble meditating except when I had just returned from India. When I went back to Humboldt after that trip I was a recreated person. I remember the joy I felt each time I closed my eyes because all the memories would flood back to me. I went to work early each day and my productivity soared. I was full of energy. I was waking up early in the morning and meditating. I would walk to school feeling light and happy and full of peace. But like most highs, the feeling of empowerment and peace began to fade. Since then I have been yearning to return to India.
I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I felt like there was a part of myself that I found and now was losing and I didn’t know why exactly. I stopped being able to meditate and returned to my busy-minded ways. It all felt like a weird dream. Did that really happen? I found myself thinking. I just knew there was something out there thay I wanted to find again. So all year I have been waiting. I have been finishing my degree relentlessly because I wanted nothing else but to return to India. I will be myself again. I will be at peace again, I thought.
So when I landed in Thailand, I couldn’t understand why I felt the same. Maybe I just need to go to India, I thought. Maybe Thailand isn’t home for me like India is. But it’s here too. It’s actually everywhere. After a few days of walking, of swimming, of thinking- it is starting to creep back into my consciousness.
I’m here in Surat and it’s wonderful. This is far from a tourist destination. It’s the first place I’ve been in India that doesn’t have some ancient breath taking castle or sights of the sort. It’s a residential city in a sense. The two big industries are textiles and diamonds, both of which I’ve learned a lot about staying here. But the truth is, the sights are a by product of traveling. The most wonderful part of being in another part of the world are weeks like this.
I learned how to make yogurt. I saw how obvious it is that I should own a sewing machine. I spent hours going on midnight tea runs blasting dance music in the car with my two host sisters and their friends. I spoke to a group of preschool teachers and got them all to try slacklining and acro yoga!
I am learning and growing at a landslide pace, and I can’t keep up. It’s weeks like these that leave me beaming as I fall asleep. It’s the in between moments, looking out the car window, sitting at a street food stall, feeling the wind in my hair on the bicycle… that make everything worth it.
“What is the purpose of this… this slacklining? Why do you do it?” A teacher asked at the session I gave. It’s a good question. The truth is, there really isn’t much of a purpose. But does there have to be? Balance, sure. But it’s more than that. It’s something that just adds to my life. It’s part of the journey that I want to live. It’s not about a measure of productivity, I just like spending my time this way. All these moments add up.
“What is the purpose of traveling?” This is a tough question.