Journeys in search of clarity – as within, so without

The great big outdoor teaches us a lot about ourselves. As for me, getting on the road often leads me back to myself. I gain a clarity that lets me know what to do next. We can see better when we step away from the status quo, dropping the labels we carry, and getting out of our comfort zones. That’s when we really get to know who we truly are.

journeys in search of clarity
Just as in life, ever so often the mist descends without warning and you can’t see the way ahead till it clears. It’s a good time to pause and to take stock.

With clarity, I begin to know who I am and

how to make this one life count. 

Travelling is my way of getting to know myself

For the most part of my adult working life, I have made at least one trip somewhere at the end of each year. Most of the trips were unplanned and had no itinerary until the day it was undertaken. Along with my trusty backpack, a Lonely Planet guide book and my travel journal, this has been my way of getting to know myself better.

If I know who I am, then I will know what to do with myself

I believe self-knowledge has got to be the first vital step to finding purpose in our life. If I didn’t know who I am or what talents or gifts I could share with the world, then how would I know what to do or to know my place in the scheme of things? Just like in pottery, we need to know what sort of clay we are working with that is best for a certain project. If my passion is to help folks find meaning and direction in life, then it’s no good sticking me at a desk doing accounts day in and day out, right?

Which is why climbing a mountain is symbolic for me – I see further

If given a choice I would almost always seek a high point to climb and it’s interesting how my subconscious often points me to places where I can get the most awesome views. And so it was in October 2009 that I found myself wanting to climb Mt. Rinjani. And I did. My greatest takeaway from the trip has been:

Life is often like the mist. It occludes our vision.

But wait! Once the mist clears, there! Clarity.

journey

Below are some of the journeys that I have photos to show for. There were others but the pictures or videos are gone because I made the most epic journey of my life when I chucked everything out and started all over again from scratch. And I’ve just done it again reducing from things that can fill a small flat to just all I need which is a bedroom. Strange, isn’t it? The richer I feel inside, the less I need outside.

My outer journeys

Click on an image to take you to a write-up. Enjoy. By the way, I have been the length and breath of Vietnam, taking it in from north to south. I have criss-crossed Indo-China like nobody’s business and have also been all around Europe. But these were trips that I didn’t bring along a camera, yeah, I know how that sounds but that was how it was then.

Climbing Mt. Rinjani
Crossing this vast grassland to get to Mt. Rinjani before we can climb it. Why do I do this?

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Rishikesh
A splendid statue of Adiyogi sits in the middle of mother Ganga at Rishikesh. But now they have built an ugly metal ramp from shore to statue.

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A path in the forest around Prashanti Kutiram yoga ashram/university. #prashantikutiram #yogauniversity
A path in the forest surrounding Prashanti Kutiram in Bangalore where it is both an ashram for the Saraswati Vedanta monks from Dayananda Ashram in Rishikesh, as well as a yoga university.

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Delhi
The weekend fair in Delhi is a coming together of craftsmen from different states to ply their ware.

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Tamil Nadu temple caves
Carvings inside a cave at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu. Lots, lots more in this thief’s town (that’s what the locals in Chennai call the place!)

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puttaparthi
A chinese temple on the grounds of Sai Baba’s Ashram at Puttaparthi looms large. One temple each to represent the 5 main faiths.

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kuching
The iconic river that Kuching is famous for including its National Parks, all of which you must visit.

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botanical gardens kota kinabalu
The Botanical Gardens in Kota Kinabalu turned out to be an eerie experience.

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Niah Caves Miri
When you are in Miri, you need to give the Niah Caves in their National Parks at least one visit.

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Yang Shuo
I was at Guilin and made 2 trips to Yang Shuo because the place is so picturesque and the light and air is so amazingly clear.

Related article: Travel as a form of self-enquiry.

Related video: Travel journal – video 5.

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