India. A far away, mysterious country we normally don´t know much about. Most likely we will associate it with poverty and chaos. A huge country with a lot of different faces. A country I still cannot believe I will visit in only a few days, starting on the 1st of December.
I felt it now was about time to write down some anticipations, hopes and fears about this beautiful country. I want to have a clear vision of myself before and after my journey to see what I have learned and what has changed.
I will start my stay with a yoga teacher education in Rishikesh, the world capital of yoga. There, I hope to learn more about the philosophy yoga is based on. I´m also excited to learn more about the history of this beautiful practice. As yoga originated in India it is the best place to go to study. Yoga has been practiced in India for thousands of years. Such a profound knowledge and wisdom you simply cannot find anywhere else. Starting to learn something from the very roots is the best decision you could make.
In India, I will be engaging in a 200h yoga teacher training. I expect this training to be very challenging – physically as well as mentally. But I´m looking forward to it. Learning more about this practice has been a wish for months now. Now working towards it will finally pay off.
Afterward my education, I will still have one month of time to travel through India. I want to use this time to learn more about Buddhism which also originated in this country. I´ve been interested in Buddhism for a while now and there could be no better time to engage in it again now that I am travelling to its roots.
So far, I´ve only listed good anticipations, good experiences I am looking forward to making. However, I am sure I will also experience a culture shock. India must be so different from what I am used to it won´t leave me untouched. Many colors, people, odors surrounding me – way more than I am used to, at least in the bigger cities. Poverty in a whole other dimension. There are a lot of things that for sure will not be easy to witness.
Taking time for myself
This trip will also be the opportunity to take time for myself, to sort some things out I´ve been thinking about for a while, to focus on important tasks. Maybe one trip alone won´t have the answer to everything, but I am sure it will help me in one way or the other.
While spending time in the Himalaya, I want to be out in nature a lot, going hiking in the mountains. Mountains have always fascinated me, I love spending my time in the arms of these big giants. To me, nothing is more peaceful than standing on top of a mountain looking down on how far you have come, gazing over the villages and cities to your feet, miles away. They feel so distant, so far away. That´s a time where I can truly calm down. This calmness is something I strive for so much, something so peaceful, so beautiful and pure.
Just imagine yourself alone on top of a mountain now. With the wind blowing your hair, the sun gently warming your face. Sitting down, your hands grabbing the grass around you. Maybe you´re up so high they even touch snow. Cold ice cooling down your hands. Cooling down your face, your mind, your whole body. This is something I cannot wait to experience and the Himalaya couldn´t be a better place to do so.
Taking a break from social media
And now it will be time for another break. A break from social media, as well as from this blog. During my trip I have decided to not post anything. Not on social media nor on this blog. So, the next one, two or even three months I will be disappearing – at least from social media. I will continue to write down my thoughts and experiences, but I want to publish them in an organized, well structured way. At the same time this is a trip I simply cannot worry about social media or uploading content. This is a trip I want to focus on myself which means having nothing else in mind, not any distractions, no obligations nagging in the back of my mind. My overly ambitious self pushing me to upload and produce more and more. No. It´s time to stop. At least for a while.
I sometimes also have the feeling of social media taking over myself which I even have written about before. I know very well that I, for example, would read way more, would be way more productive if social media didn´t exist. I am not an unproductive person, but still, it could be better. That´s why I want to take a break. To break my habits, to get away from Facebook and Instagram which are the main ones I use.
The real life is happening outside, so why bother about what other people are uploading or doing at a certain moment? I hope that this way of not using social media for a while will break my habits and I will use it in a better, healthier way afterwards. I have not decided how long my break will go on – I will do so however long I feel like it. There´s always time to go back. Social media won´t run away. But my time to live will. Any minute you spend on social media you could have done something more productive. For me, it´s my biggest unnecessary time consumer.
Taking a huge break from a lot of things from time to time something I value a lot. Taking these kind of breaks means valuing what you don´t have in a certain moment even more. Being away from friends and family makes you miss them more and value the connection you have. Maybe it even deepens your connection.
I am a very sociable person, I love to hang out with other people, travel, meet new friends and make new connections. However, sometimes, I also need time for myself. And when you feel like you need to be alone, all by yourself, you should listen to that voice. There´s a time to make new connections and there´s a time for you and only you as well. If you constantly meet new people, socialize and never leave a little moment for yourself to be alone and process everything you just experienced, you might feel overwhelmed after a while. At least when you´re travelling as this means constantly meeting new people, making new connections and interacting.
Most of the time I do get a lot of energy from social interaction, but during travelling and without any break it eventually gets too much. That´s what always happened after having travelled for a while. Then, I need to take some days off, being just by myself At best in nature surrounded by green. These are the best moments when I can truly calm down and focus on myself.
I´m sure I will be coming back with great memories, great new knowledge and way richer than I am now. Richer in experience, in knowledge, in wisdom. It will be a long journey. And I already know that a journey that long never leaves you untouched. Never leaves you the same person you used to be. That´s the beauty about travelling. It teaches you so much you would not learn in any school of this world. It´s just about you processing your own raw experiences. You alone decide what you make out of them. You decide how much you will benefit from them in the future.
Coming back will be interesting. I love coming back and to see how much I have changed. While you travel you feel like the world is changing rapidly. You change places quickly, you are confronted with new impressions every day. Like that, it is easy to forget that everything at home stays more or less the same. Nothing is changing that much or drastically. And when you come back, that´s the stark contrast you need to see your change.