Last June I ran into an Indianola neighbor, Pam Perry, on the ferry. We sat together on our way to Edmonds and she asked how was our trip to Italy? I told her we didn’t go… you know work stuff, finances, excuses, excuses. Pam looked me in the eye and said “What are you waiting for?” Really, she said that, and it was hard to avoid her intensely blue eyes. Pam happens to be a passionate world traveler, a co-founder of a travel company, Grand Asian Journeys. She said I should consider going on a trip with her next February, a trip to Rajasthan, India. Well I didn’t say much, or even consider it at that moment. I had no desire to travel to India. Italy was much higher on my list.
Deciding to shake things up
At home I started pondering the idea, Pam’s “What are you waiting for?” kept creeping into my head. My husband, Tim, was out of town for a week or so, so I had some thinking time on my hands. Hmm, why not? I thought about it some more… maybe it’s time for a shake up, an adventure to alter my perspective? I’m of a certain age, certainly not getting any younger, I’ve been working hard for a long time without a break of more than a week or so, so why not? What WAS I waiting for? Tim came home and I blurted out, “I’m going to India” — at least that’s the way he recalls it.
A perspective shift
Fast forward, and now I’m back from the 15 day adventure. I traveled with my friend Janice, Pam and three other adventurous women and we had an amazing experience. I won’t go into the details, because there are too many. I saw the world from a very different point of view, and it was fascinating.
Anticipation can make you happier
I enjoyed the anticipation of the adventure. Where exactly was I going? The land of 1.3 billion people, arranged marriages, ashrams, magic carpets, Ghandi, and call centers? Certainly I was headed out of my comfort zone. Before I left, I read up and researched as much as my time allowed. I wanted to be prepared for the density, poverty, colors and sensations I would encounter. And I think I was prepared as I could be. Of course the trip was just a sampling of India. It’s a diverse country, with a long and complex history. Read about how anticipating a trip can make you happier in this NY Times article by Stephanie Rosenbloom.
Benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone
My perspective of the world is altered, I’ve seen a fantastic, complicated, beautiful alternate universe. Definitely India is a source of visual inspiration, and I’m humbled by the long rich history of the people and culture.
There’s a big, diverse world out there. As Americans, we live in a bubble, we’re obsessed with ourselves, our work, and our stuff. Most of us rarely consider the rest of the world. I think the we’d be happier people, and the world a better place, if we stopped and occasionally stepped out of our comfort zones. Take a chance on a new experience, approach it with a positive attitude and an open mind. It may not be traveling to an exotic destination but I encourage you to try something new, out of the ordinary, something you never expected to do. What will you do to shake things up?
P.S. I took some 360 images with Tim’s Ricoh Theta camera, below are a couple: the group and our camels on the desert – Jaisalmer, India and a beautiful morning at the Taj Mahal.
Camels and the long shadows on the desert – Jaisalmer, India – Feb. 20 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
Morning at the Taj Majal Feb. 12 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA