What you seek, is seeking you. – Rumi
Ever since I started traveling, I have been waiting for this big trip that will change my life and I will come back this whole new person. While every new journey has been a completely unique and exciting adventure, I always find myself coming back and easily falling into the trap that everyday life is. Once the vacation wears off, the grumbling and complaining starts.
But Jordan was different.
To start with, I never imagined travelling by myself in the Middle East. Even though I have spent a big part of my life living in Kuwait, the idea of travelling by myself in any of the Middle Eastern countries was horrifying. But travel alone I did.
Unlike every other vacation that takes months to plan, with hours at length devoted to research and preparation, Jordan was very spur of the moment. I booked my ticket, got my visa, looked up some blogs, made a list of places to see, in no particular order and that was that. (For those who know me, know I tend to plan every single day of my vacation with meticulous details, so as not to miss seeing anything).
I started my trip with the Dead Sea (the lowest point on land) and ended it high up at Umm Qais amid approaching clouds with Israel about 6 miles off the road, sea of Galilee on one side, Syria beyond the mountains and Lebanon nearby.
However what is really important is what happened between these two points, between the highs and lows and breath-taking sunsets.
I pick locations based on nature and history or because of a book I might be reading. What I had failed to realise however was that how good a vacation is directly proportional to the people I may have met on that trip, the conversations I may have had and the stories that strangers may have shared; intimate details about their lives, that they would never tell anyone back home, but can comfortably share with a co-traveller.
As much as it is about meeting interesting people, travelling solo is also a mirror that shows you not just your strength and grit but also makes you face your demons. When you are sitting in a foreign country all by yourself, there is no place to hide from what’s troubling you. No work to drown into and no social commitments to distract you. Those moments, sometimes end up showing you what exactly it is that you seek; without all the fluff that you build around your wishes. Example: You think you want a new car, but what you really seek is greater freedom to move around.
And then there are those moments, when you stand somewhere and all you can think of is God, and how amazing His creation is. I remember sitting on a rock in Wadi Rum, desperately trying to meditate and yet every time I closed my eyes, I wanted to open them right back, to make sure I have taken in the beauty of the place, created a mental picture that I can revisit every time I feel negativity taking over.
It was a short vacation, in a country that is barely two hours from home and yet it had more moments of realisation than some of the greater adventures I have embarked upon did. Sometimes maybe that’s all you need, to stand back and take stock of what it is that you really seek and then hope that the universe conspires back. That what you seek, is really seeking you too.
Zahra Husain likes to live and think in ways she is not supposed to and she blogs at http://www.zahrasays.com