Being a vegetarian for many years I have been asked by different people about the reason behind it many many times. My answers have been varied depending on who was asking and the situation. From a serious answer to a not serious one.
Not long ago I was in a tour group with new people for almost 10 days. Very often we sat on same table during our breakfast, lunch or dinner. And we talked. During this eating time ussually someone would ask me what I was eating on this diet. Usually different person because we sat randomly. And I gave a different answer too.
I remembered when someone asked me the same question, I replied “I want to live a thousand years.” It was a apontaneous answer, of course Everybody who was there laughing at me. To become a vegetarian means to take a lot of vegetable and fruits for daily intake. Fruits and vegetables are considered to be healthy food, containing high vibre, fresh, easy to be digested etc etc. If you are healthy then you are more likely having a long life span. Well, that is the simple logic.
He then said that if I live that long, I would be lonely because probably all my friends would have died.
But then someone said “Don’t worry, I will travel with you. I will become your travel buddy.”
Have you ever thought of having a long life span? What are you going to do with your life if you are given a long life span? Will you be feeling lonely?
If you have something to contribute to humanity or to people around you, you will experience your life so valuable. Your heart will be full and you won’t feel lonely. To feel lonely is to feel lacking of something in the heart. It is feel a bit empty in your heart. A lonely heart is an empty heart. It is by giving that your heart will become full.
Think of what you can contribute to people around you instead of what you can take from them. Be where you experience yourself having enough for yourself and for giving it to others, not be where you need to take.
I just arrived from a trip to Turkey with a small group. It was my first oversea trip after 2 years. I joined the group with a friend.
We took a long flight, during night time. What do you do when you are on a long flight?
My friend took a sleeping pill to help her sleeping during the flight. After settling down in the cabin, she started enjoying movies. I decided not to touch the screen in front of me. So I slept very easily and quickly. A quite good one. Only after enough sleep, I watched one movie. A drama movie. It was about a family, about a young daughter in the family, about how she digested the way the parents and also siblings relate to one another, the relationships, the conflicts and also her self.
When we just landed in Istanbul I asked my friend if she enjoyed the flight or not. She said that she couldn’t sleep, even after taking a sleeping pill. I asked her : “How many movies did you watch on the plane?” She said : “Three movies”.
No wonder that she could not sleep. The movies are there for an entertainment. It is to entertain the mind. The mind will keep processing what you see on the screen and what you listen through the little earphone. The mind keeps busy. So it doesn’t rest. It doesn’t sleep.
It is in your hand to put the mind awake or asleep. Not in the pill.
I just finished reading a post by a blogger. He wrote his air trip recently. It was his first air trip during the pandemic, after literally one year. He wrote in his post that he made 75 flights in 90 days only before the pandemic. Reading his post, it reminded me of my last air trip. It was in December 2019. I never thought that it would have been this long not to make any trip. A friend who regularly had a vacation at least twice a year also said to me that she has not made any traveling.
What do you miss with a flight? and what do you do when you miss flying? Usually I love every part of a traveling, especially of my vacation. From making a list of what I need to bring for the traveling, packing stuff, heading to the airport, waiting for the boarding, the flight, reaching the destination till making my way back home. I enjoyed each and every part of it. I remember something ridiculous I made on my way back home after a year end trip. I just didn’t want to finish the joy of that trip too soon, that I decided to sit in a coffee shop at the airport from 10 am till 4 pm.
So I miss everything of a traveling. Another ridiculous thing I made when I missed traveling was having apple juice. I ussually put it in a fridge before I enjoy drinking it. I never bought packed apple juice before, I always prefer having fresh juice than having this packed juice. Why did I do this? This was the drink I usually had when I was on a flight.
The flight attendant said ‘We have apple juice, orange juice and guava juice. What do you want to have, madam?’ And I always said ‘Apple juice, please.’
I know many people are really coffee lovers. I should say some of them are experts at coffee. I also remember one of my colleague is really addicted to coffee so he always has a cup of coffee to start the day. It becomes his moodbooster for the day. I don’t drink coffee much, only occasionally and it would be a decaf one.
Very recently I met someone who never drinks coffee nor tea in her life. Not even once! She said that when she was small, her parents used to say that coffee and tea were not for children and when she grew up she chose not even to have a try. She gave me a very interesting reason and I really like it. She said that she decided not to have a try because she didn’t want to develop it as a habit. She doesn’t want to create a mental attachment to a particular drink or food. For this, I would agree. When something has become a habit, it is not easy to break it. The mind is craving.
If you have the habit of having a particular drink, definitely you put your heart into it because you enjoy it. You invest your heart in it. And what happens if for some reasons you don’t have one or you can’t have one? My colleague once said to me that he would get a headache without having a cup of coffee in the morning. When we were on a trip together, I saw him restless. He couldn’t concentrate.
I remember when I was on a holiday, I was staying in a Greek-style hostel. It was small but very cozy. The living room was just great, It was an open space and very clean…… and the most important thing was it had no television. I really liked it. The staff was very nice and super friendly.
I found myself sitting on a cushion outdoor, enjoying the blue sky, the air and nature, relaxing and enjoying myself. Well, what is in your mind when you hear the word of holiday? no work, relaxed and having a happy time. Suddenly I realised that I had been doing nothing there except relaxing. I asked myself “Would I spend the whole holiday doing nothing and just relaxing?” I said no. I had to do something. I had to create something, not just passing the time.
I then got an idea to write journals during the rest of my holiday instead of just having a relaxing time. I thought writing journal is entertaining the mind, and also the heart. So it is a way of an internal relaxation as well. Probably we need internal relaxation more than just a relaxation for the body. I would call it as my holiday project. To give me a sense of a project, I put a number, 50 journals!
The next morning I woke up at 3 am and got shower then started writing. Morning time is the best time for writing for me. I switched off my mobile phone and kept the door and the window closed until about 9 am. I heard from my room other guests were talking out there, they might be having their breakfast. When I just switched on my mobile phone, I got a message from the reception. He wondered how I was. He reminded me to have my breakfast. I smiled. He might be thinking of me being unconscious in the room. He is really a kind-hearted person.
In the evening I was sitting on a cushion in front of my room, writing journals. Antonia from Germany who stayed next to my room came from rafting asked me “What are you doing?” then I shared to her how I had the project. She smiled and said “Good luck!”
Very recently I joined a retreat for 4 days over the weekend. It was another good escape for me. Why good? It disconnected the soul from the mundane things. In one of the session we were told to discuss on different topic for each group. The topic was on making a preparation when something happens in our life in the future, how you will prepare yourself as individual, groups and community to deal with it. My group was discussing a topic on how to prepare when all the electronic divices are shut down. How to mitigate the risk of the shutting down? What would be the back up plans for this? It might be a new topic for many of us. We might never think if it happens in our life. Can we live without an internet connection? How are we going to handle such situation? If we are making money online, what is going to happen to us, to our business etc etc. It is so scary to think about.
Anything may happen in the future. Nobody can guarantee that everything will be fine all the time. This topic has made me realize one thing that we should not make facilities our support. We should also not make anyone as our support physically, mentally and spiritually. We should be ready with some back up system.
What do people collect from a trip? Experience or memories basically. Nowadays wherever people are going since they always carry smartphones with them, so they always take pictures. People collect pictures a lot in their smart phones while traveling and on their day to day life also. Everyone loves taking pictures and collecting pictures.
I was in a trip very recently. We were on a boat to Mt. Rigi in Switzerland. I was sitting next to a couple from Hongkong. We were sitting inside the boat on the first floor. As soon as everyone entered the boat, I noticed that everyone started taking pictures using each one’s smart phone, including the lady sitting next to me and including me. I reminded myself to enjoy the trip by enjoying the scenery and the atmosphere not busily taking pictures and missing the moments. So I did’t take many pictures.
When the lady was settling down next to me, she started scrolling the screen of her camera. She showed me pictures of their trip in several places in France. Beautiful pictures! Keeping photos is a good way to store the beautiful memories. And nowadays it is very easy. It doesn’t need ‘a space’ to keep. It only needs a space in your computer or gadget. I asked her “For how long will you keep the pictures with you?” She said “May be a life time”.
Every time I am telling my friends how I enjoyed my solo traveling, they become amazed. How can you enjoy just being alone? They ask. I always encourage everyone I meet to take a solo traveling. Enjoy yourself. Some have their own situation that becomes the reason why they can’t do it. A friend said to me “It sounds so enjoyable. Probably I can do it when my daughter has grown up.”
When you are traveling solo, you have 100% control of the decision on where to go, when to go, how to get there and what to do. You have complete freedom to choose your own agenda of your traveling.
Most people (at least people I know) enjoy shopping and culinary when they are travelling. Frankly speaking, I don’t enjoy both. In fact I enjoy what is in my mind. I am busy with my own thoughts while travelling. I am busy with ideas to write. Probably it gives me more experience for the soul.