I’m here in Surat and it’s wonderful. This is far from a tourist destination. It’s the first place I’ve been in India that doesn’t have some ancient breath taking castle or sights of the sort. It’s a residential city in a sense. The two big industries are textiles and diamonds, both of which I’ve learned a lot about staying here. But the truth is, the sights are a by product of traveling. The most wonderful part of being in another part of the world are weeks like this.
I learned how to make yogurt. I saw how obvious it is that I should own a sewing machine. I spent hours going on midnight tea runs blasting dance music in the car with my two host sisters and their friends. I spoke to a group of preschool teachers and got them all to try slacklining and acro yoga!
I am learning and growing at a landslide pace, and I can’t keep up. It’s weeks like these that leave me beaming as I fall asleep. It’s the in between moments, looking out the car window, sitting at a street food stall, feeling the wind in my hair on the bicycle… that make everything worth it.
“What is the purpose of this… this slacklining? Why do you do it?” A teacher asked at the session I gave. It’s a good question. The truth is, there really isn’t much of a purpose. But does there have to be? Balance, sure. But it’s more than that. It’s something that just adds to my life. It’s part of the journey that I want to live. It’s not about a measure of productivity, I just like spending my time this way. All these moments add up.
“What is the purpose of traveling?” This is a tough question. I think the answer lies in along the lines of understanding the purpose of my life and living the purpose of my life.
I want to really understand myself. By spending time alone, I want to spend time finding out what I think about everything. I want to know what makes me happy, scared, ambitious, and everything in between. I want to know why some times I get so sad. I need to know why I fight myself so much. I want to appreciate the aspects of me that I know are attributes. I’m already growing so much confidence in deciphering gut feelings. I trust myself. I have to! Otherwise how will I ever keep moving to unknown places?
Through all of this, I am living a journey that is based on self growth and discovery. If that’s not purpose, then I don’t know what has purpose at all! Each day is unplanned. The delight of the unexpected is found in the mistakes, the conversations, the wandering, and of course, the journey. It’s not about a Point A and point B. It’s about the in between. The time I spent idling. What was I thinking about? Who did I talk to?
I find myself filled with the most joy at the most unexpected moments. My favorite part of all, the purpose of it all, is just to be. To be here or there or anywhere.