Three weeks ago, I spontaneously decided to travel to Spain. With no goal, no plan, no intentions in mind, I took a flight to Barcelona. Just to see what’s up. There was nothing specific I wanted to see. I only wanted to see what would happen if I don’t work for a few days and just walk around leisurely in a foreign city. Here is what I learned from this rewarding experience and what you, too, can learn from traveling alone.
Evanescence was the major lesson, because the moments you experience, the places you visit, the sights you see, the people you meet, the relationships you build—they are all gone once you are gone, once you are traveling on. You cannot cling to any of those moments, places, sights, people, or relationships. You can only enjoy them in the present moment and then be grateful for having been granted those experiences. When you are back home, they are all gone.
Even the home you come back to is not stable, not lasting, will not be forever. Nor will your life, nor life itself. This is what traveling teaches: that the essence of life is fleeting, full of moments we cannot hold on to—like the water in a flowing river. We can either fight this truth of nature and be sad about it, or we can accept it and be glad, be grateful for the moments we are given, be grateful for the water that flows.
When you come home from traveling, you realize that all resistance against the natural flow of life, against the passing of time, of beautiful moments, and of beautiful people is not a strength but an inability to let go. If you cannot let go of the past, you won’t experience new moments of being, as all your moments will be tainted by yearning and sadness and non-acceptance of what is. The present moment is all that you have—and can ever have. What you can do is accept and be grateful for it.