With a new adventure on the horizon, the recurrence of periodic posts will take place along with a few changes. The changes include a greater variety of posts, of which will include updates with only pictures, reflections with minimal pictures, as well as the old format. And if I have some more time on my hand, a video post. To start off this meta-deviation, here are some…
One experience that I had 2 years back towards the end of my journey in South America has weighed heavily on my mind and I’ve obviously had a lot of time to reflect on it.
I remember being in Valparaiso, Chile spending time with friends that I had met in southern Patagonia. We were a merry bunch enjoying the beach, going out together at night, and reminiscing our Patagonian trek. On the last day, before I intended on taking a bus across the Andes and back into Argentina, I needed to get my clothes cleaned and dropped them off at a nearby cleaner. That night when I was supposed to pick up my clothes, the cleaner closed 20 minutes before their closing time. I was stuck in the same clothes and was forced to pick it up the next morning at opening which was an hour before my bus’s departure time. Although I had another great night out with everyone, things started to cascade downward from there. As I woke up late, I picked up my clothes much after my departure time, and was forced to pay for a second bus ticket which would unfortunately ride through the scenic Andes at night.
Looking back on it, the occurrences were trivial and yet for some reason they weighed heavily on my mind at the time. While walking around in a frenzy and in a state of frustration, I thought to myself – What’s responsible for this? Is the universe working against me? I feel like a prisoner. But a prisoner of what? The environment around me? This bad luck? No, wait… I’m just a prisoner of my own desires. I slowed my stride and realized it was my own ego, expectations, and desires causing this. I was reminded of what happened during my trek in Patagonia. Being alone on the trail, I expected everything to go as planned since it already had so often. There was no compromising with a fellow traveler. I did what I wanted and somehow expected things to fall into place, always.
I soon realized it was ultimately myself that created my own agitation. And as the old Spanish adage goes, my mind was “going amongst the branches,” focusing on the insignificant. It was time to let go of my expectations and attachments.
With a new trip approaching, I hope to exercise this practice. Traveling alone in many ways motivated high expectations, so recently when an opportunity arose to travel with Ankur, I resolutely agreed. Having a companion while on the road in Southeast Asia will help to exercise patience, make compromises for both our benefit, and adventure with a good friend. In due course, my mindset to help accomplish this while facing any eventual obstacle will be to free myself of the shackles of desires and live freely in the mode of gratitude.