Saturday, June 16, 2012

What travel does to you:

Today i was part of a session led by a speaker who discussed about an array of thoughts that run often in my mind - people, relationships,  agreements(an interesting term he introduced to me for thoughts all of us have around the topic of purpose in life and certain do's). As the class shared many thoughts on this what was running in my mind was how exciting it is to be part of this discussion and be known that there are some others in the world who share exactly the same chain of thoughts as I have. Not every thought of the speaker was what i exactly believed in. There are some variations but for most of the rest it was very reviving for me to be able to have someone to discuss these, relate to and be more affirmed of these beliefs and thoughts. The key talks were around people relationships, simplifying complex emotions, talking out any conflict to not prolong animosity, to learn from cultures, be open to the world, think of the world that actually was not meant to be seen with borders.

I felt so amazing to sit there and participate in this. Looking back, I've had many opportunities to listen to some great speakers on stage and off stage. These people off stage have been even more exciting to talk to because these are random people I've met in a flight\train journey or while waiting for my next commute - people I've spoken to during travelling.

Today's speaker described an experience where he met a wonderful man while in Frankfurt who was so helpful to him. This brought me back some memories from my own times of travel. There was this American guy who was a photographer for a magazine\newspaper who was heading to New York to shoot photos on New Year's eve at Times Square. He spoke about his job, his experiences, travel interests. I shared about travel and places to visit in India. One another time there was an old man who was seated beside me in a domestic flight in US. He was heading to his son's home to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife and children. He was an amazing person. He conducted weddings in the church and counseled people during divorces and marriage hardships. He was explaining his views about how sad it is that marriage is being taken so lightly in the US and how he wishes there weren't so many divorces. He asked me about how marriages happen in India. He had so much interest in knowing about another culture and even expressed interest to travel to India sometime. He was just really sweet and blessed me when we separated from the flight. He in particular was one of the best people I spoke to in the US. There are other people I met from my frequent train journeys. I learnt a lot about Theosophical society from one of them.

I am grateful to these experiences. Especially as a person who doesn't like to read the newspaper or watch news channels on TV :), interacting with people and hearing their experiences add a lot to worldly knowledge. I consider this kind of exposure so much more awesome than anything else because it adds to your values, to what you become. You learn something new from each of them. Sometimes they even spark inspiration and make you do great things locked up inside you all along. Travelling is the only way this can happen. Works even better when travelling alone :)