The noise and clutter of everyday life can often be overwhelming. Tired with the constant buzz of our lives we seek a respite from our daily troubles in travel. From the moment the ticket is booked, everything becomes just a little bit easier, a little bit less numbing. Suddenly the project that was giving us such a hard time becomes less of an issue – after all, there’s now light at the end of the tunnel. Booking the tickets to China felt exactly like that. My husband and I kept on talking about this trip for months. We planned we would go to China, visit Japan and stop over in South Korea. But it was May and our June trip still remained unbooked. I began to think it wouldn’t happen. And I desperately needed it to.
The truth is, I was feeling a bit stuck in life. I felt overwhelmed, lost in the chaos that seemed to surround me, I knew I needed to find a way out of the rut I managed to get myself in, but I wasn’t sure what my options were. I got a coach. Read the books you’re meant to read. Talked to the people you’re meant to talk to. My mind was still stuck on repeat.
I like to think about myself as someone who gets excited about life and yet here I was – completely devoid of enthusiasm. I wasn’t depressed. Far from it – I felt grateful for the life I have and the amazing people in it. And yet I felt disillusioned. I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life and wasn’t feeling particularly hopeful about the future either. Until I got unstuck.
I’ve got my husband to thank. The state of inertia I seemed to inhabit in those days meant that had I been left to my own devices I would have given up on China. Luckily he seemed to intuitively know that trip was exactly what I needed.
Ignoring my sleepy “let’s wait till tomorrow” plea, my husband insisted on keeping me up till early morning hours, dispelling my sleep with grunts of despair on high prices of the flights and occasional excited “look at these flights” (soon to be followed by groans of disappointment). By 2 am I was fully awake, watching my husband’s changing face expressions reflected in the blue light of the laptop. A decision had to be made. “Let’s book this one”, I pointed. Few clicks later, we were going to China.
My first reaction surprised me. Instead of the expected excitement I felt relief. Has my joy button been permanently broken? I decided to postpone the pondering till next day.
The next day the excitement I anticipated still wasn’t there, but I started noticing a shift. Suddenly the noise didn’t matter as much. There was a notion of impermanence to all those things that frustrated me into inaction. All of it would soon cease to exist. There would only be China.
The more I planned the trip, the more I felt unstuck. The ticket not only provided the promise of a break I needed to have, but more importantly, it brought movement back into my life. With it, other things begun to move too. We finally realized the place we wanted to move to was actually within our reach. The more I read and thought about our destination, the more options for life my mind would create. I didn’t HAVE TO be stuck. It was me who was trapping myself before. My reality was temporary. My world was only one of the worlds. And if I could visit those different worlds, I didn’t have to be stuck in mine. I didn’t buy just a ticket, I bought hope. I brought movement back into my stagnant reality and nothing was going to be the same anymore. It was time for a change.