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After the hike: The luxury of getting lost

Why all creative minds seek travel and solitude


Don’t you think it would be wonderful to get rid of everything and everybody and just go someplace where you don’t know a soul? — Haruki Murakami

For me, solo travelling is always connected to getting lost. Or better said, to allowing yourself the luxury to get lost. To consider going to places where you do not know a soul and where nothing seems familiar as something desirable and necessary to refresh your mind and free your heart.

When I walk along the Spanish coast, I find simplicity in the stars and feel small against the sky. I look for small miracles and remember that simple things are also the most extraordinary things. I find more in less, read books, savour breakfasts and ask questions. And the more I know, the less I need.

I am breathing, I am smiling, and I am grateful, because what I have today is all I need for tomorrow.

You breathe in and breathe out and constantly marvel about things, you wonder and wander, one hour after another. You pay attention. You put your phone in the plane mode and gloriously smile to the adventure in front of you. I am pretty sure it smiles back.

You don’t want to be anywhere else but right here, right now. Nowhere else is calling you, nothing urgently demanding you, it almost feels magic and you know things will never be the same if you only allow them to be.

Some people tell me they would like to travel more. Someday. Soon. What I tell them is that my favourite Chinese wisdom states that the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is right now. And so it is with travels.

Wander. Wonder. Your curiosity will elicit your greatest capacities, your highest intelligence and creativity. This will enable you to offer the world something it needs.

One more thing about travels is like Oscar Wilde wisely said: I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train. So do I.

Travelling for me is mostly a state of mind. You feel light, right, and you are present in the very moment with all your senses. You feel awake, alive, receptive to all the new tastes and colours, curious and restless. You sleep wherever, you walk wherever you want to go, you eat whatever local people do. With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?

The foggy morning air tastes like hope feels.

Foggy mornings like this one — walking along the Portuguese coast

When I am confronted with the magnitude of the mountains and the pure wildness of the ocean, I take a deep breath and listen to the old brag of my heart: I am, I am, I am. It feels so freeing and important because in the daily routine, we think too much and feel too little.

Nourish yourself with grand and austere ideas of beauty that feed the soul… Seek solitude.

I am not the only girl who travels alone and lives abroad, and certainly I am not the first to live the life this way. Still, there are times I am absolutely bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have met, and each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it may appear, there are times when it is completely beyond my imagination.

Sometimes it feels like I hunt everywhere for a life worth living and a knowledge worth knowing. Having roots nowhere, I have everywhere to go. But today, here I am, coming back to my temporary home in a city I slowly consider mine, and as always, I return from the mountains knowing that you only are free when you realise you belong no place —

you belong every place.

Sunrise in Barcelona, so much worth getting up early!

*If you enjoyed this article, you will surely love the one written by Harry J. Stead that was the initial inspiration for mine: The Purpose of Travelling

Originally published at medium.com

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    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

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