in transit: 24 hour travel x 2
Two times in the past two weeks, I have had 24 hour travel journeys. Once from Switzerland to Croatia and once from Montenegro to Greece. This makes for a lot of travel, little wifi, little sleep but also for a great way to meet people, great time to rest and reflect and a lot of good reading.
On the train in Croatia, I shared a compartment with a mother-daughter pair that did not speak English. They were pros and helped me make a make-shift bed. We laughed, smiled and watched the sunset together. On the way to Greece, I ran into a friend from Montenegro and met a group of very nice teachers from Turkey. They loved practicing their English with me and I loved learning some Turkish from them!
So... after 48 hours, here is another random list of things I jotted down along my journey. So random! So many overwhelming thoughts (in the best way)!
- Gratitude- every day. every day. every day.
- Existentialism- there is really nothing except the present. repeat. repeat. repeat.
- Concept of time- feels like I've been gone forever but also has flown by. Not knowing what day it is! Grateful for the limitless possibilities of that! After all, time is a construct- we fill it how we choose!
- I am constantly changing, growing and altering as a person in each new day and place.
- Seeing so many people in the world... there are no binaries, only gray space. There are so many different ways to live life. Same, same but different BUT all human!
- Serendipity: meeting someone along the way, something not working out as you planned so something else comes along, as @wordsmeetwalls would say, "what's meant to be will always find a way." I've gained so much trust in things just working out as they should while I travel. It is super freeing!
- Not judging something in our minds as good or bad but rather letting it unfold!!!
- My ego is constantly shutting down my mind as I try to open it. Opening it, opening it, opening it! Even as an extrovert, there are times I get a bit of nerves before meeting people, even though time and time again, it is always great! I am working on patience w/ myself and reminding that is just the ego!
- The freedom of being away from wifi. I spend significantly less time aimlessly browsing around. I love social media, news outlets, being connected, etc., however, not having and then having internet has made me more mindful and purposeful about how I spend my time.
- Loneliness is different for everyone. I feel less lonely in a big crowd, whereas, others may feel less lonely if they are in a quiet place. To each their own but we are there for each other!
- The incredible things that come from being vulnerable and putting yourself into the unexpected.
- Everything is temporary. Moods, feelings, highs, lows. When I'm feeling alone or isolated, that feeling will pass and another will come. All of these feelings help to appreciate the others.
- Fear... ego again! Not really you!!
- Vision board. I am not making a physical one due to space, however, I am gathering inspiration along the way. My hope is to look back on all of these posts and then write a book!
- The happiness endured from silencing the voice in your head. Deep breaths :)
- Walking. Something so simple, yet, just a few steps can be entirely rejuvenating. I even like walking from one side of the train to the other when I'm traveling!! Movement!
- Idleness... on the other side of the spectrum :) I realize how little I just sit! And just be! How I start to feel antsy or guilty like I should be doing something. I once heard, "human BEings, not human DOings." I'm going to keep practicing this!
- Empathy. I think this is the greatest thing in the world. We each have no clue what the other person has been through, is going through. When I'm people watching, I envision myself as someone else and feel for them even though I don't really know. I try to be mindful of helping a parent w/ their baby or an elderly person get down the steps... the little things ;) :)
- How the world goes round. Isn't it amazing that we can travel and there is a train and a place to stay and people helping you print something or cooking food or smiling at you on the street?! I am so grateful for this opportunity and everyone around me (while traveling or not).
- The power of art. I love love love art- street art, museums, galleries. When I am places without art, I notice. I believe in the feelings and power of the colors and the messages. Sometimes, when I am traveling I choose a theme to focus on (ie through kid's eyes, art, etc). It makes for amazing perspective!
- Spontaneity- no plan. Ahhhh the best. I've been so grateful to have this freedom each day. Even with more of a structure, I hope I can continue to instill this spirit as it brings infinite joy! SURPRISES!
- Work in progress!!! I am always evolving! Always changing! Change used to be a lot harder for me. It would make me anxious but now, it EXCITES me! How cool that with each day, each moment, each breath, there is a new, fresh start!
Whewwww. That was a lot of thoughts! I hope these help you. What a beautiful, beautiful world we live in. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts too!!!
Also... some reco's for things that helped spark these:
- Minimalism- documentary on Netflix. A few friends told me about this and I'm so glad they did! As someone living out of a backpack for several months with no other belongings to my name, I have felt the power and joy that comes from having less things and more moments. :)
- Daily Stoic- a book on mindfulness with a 1-2 page read each day. I highly, highly, highly recommend this. It is such an easy read (2-3 minutes a day) and a great way to start. It keeps me thinking throughout the day and helps remind me of mindfulness, awareness, etc!
- Lonely City- finally finished this! Mentioned it a few weeks ago. I hope this post, sharing my vulnerabilities and insecurities, resonates with you. I read Lonely City when I was feeling lonely and it made me feel less alone just by knowing how others felt when they were lonely too!