I’ve always been slightly obsessed, with issues of the existential angst kind. I’m not sure where it all began. I could put it down as one of the many disadvantages of having an overactive imagination and slightly fatalistic approach to life I guess. This belief that all things are predetermined and happen in a manner that is most suited to a particular time and place, has always inspired me to believe that I must make the most of it what comes my way, before my time is up. That I must do what my heart yearns to, when I can still do it.
The dreaded “What is your purpose in life?” question always baffled me. I’ve never had a deep and compelling purpose. No single all-encompassing mission that has consumed all my life and doing. What I have had, at any given point of time, is a list of things to do before I die. A lot of them being selfish once-in-a-lifetime events. The single thread that holds them all together, is a helluva lot of travel. Could it be then, that my raison d’être is just simply to travel? To see the world, and constantly add new dimensions to my otherwise rather flat life. To open my eyes to a new view, an all new perspective, with every new experience that I have. Seeing things through the eyes of another culture, noticing the nuances of their ways, realising differences and absorbing them is a joy incomparable. I distinctly remember how awfully lost I felt in pretty Paris. Such a charming lively city, with such cold people! I remember how I felt the exact opposite in Sri Lanka. Visually it was a lot like India, but the people were just so warm! There’s a lot I can tell myself to make this purpose seem substantial. But I won’t. I like to travel because it gives me joy. To wake up in a new place, and wonder what lies ahead is exciting. And that in itself is reason enough. In all honesty my list has always included some rather shallow things to do. Whether it is to see a new city, visit the world’s prettiest beach, to see Leh, the explore Rajasthan, to do one long roadtrip across a stretch of India, to learn a new language, trek in the Pyrenees, taste escargots, see the Spanish Tomatina, learn how to make real, homemade Italian pasta and so much more. Sure, its varied but with things ranging from wanting to sky-dive, learn Thai cooking to having a dog someday, visiting Cuba and the like, its clear to me that I don’t have a grand, earth-shattering purpose in life. I just want to have a memorable time, and have no regrets while I’m at it.
So no, this is not one of those self-questioning sessions one has when one feels suicidal. I just believe that we have one life to live, and if something compelling comes along, one must dive at it before it’s too late. Because I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Time continues to speed along in that unforgiving way that it usually does. And somehow that always outpaces the speed at which we get down to doing the things we really want to do.
I must begin by making at least two big trips this year. I know, I know, you’ve probably heard me say this a lot before. I didn’t follow through last year. In fact last year was the first year in a long time that I had very little travel. Not work travel, but the kind of travel that lets you pick up move and wander. My current list is endless and I’m working on planning the first of two big trips this year, but I’m open to suggestions for more interesting places to see, things to do. So if you have something enjoyable and exciting to share, let me know.
If my raison d’être is to travel, travel I will.
This is my post for today on Vie Hebdomadaires, where I will be guest-posting all week. You can catch the post there too!