Saturday, January 12, 2013

Why (do I) Travel?


Have you ever seen the flight of a Hornbill framed in orange skies lit up by the dying rays of the sun?
Or woke up on a winter morning to the sight of powdery snowflakes chasing each other down the window pane?
Have you walked deep into a forest and looked up into an eerie green light filtering through a leafy canopy made of trees that resemble the lithe limbs of a ballerina?
Did you feel the goosebumps on every inch of your skin when you held your breath and plunged into the depths of the icy, blue water just as the sun was rising?
Have you gladly let the waves carry you into the sea after a long walk on the hot beach that almost burnt your naked feet?
Have you seen a young monk moonwalk on the cobbled steps of a monastery before being overcome with giggles?
Did you ever sit by the pond at a remote village and threw pebbles at one of the two large and luminous moons?
Have you ever let your hand be bathed in the light filtered through a lattice screen built centuries ago with red sandstone?
Have you stood atop an old embankment as a wild river licked your feet?
Did you ever witness hordes of marijuana-puffing, saffron-robed, malnourished sadhus with long, matted hair dancing around a phallic symbol?
Did you ever go gallivanting in an unfamiliar hill town and stumble upon a tree with blossoms as pink as the cheeks of toothless toddlers that played underneath it, and by a gurgling brook no less?
Did you ever chase the sun on a lonely highway and watch its melting orange hue suffuse the sky?
Have you ever gulped in lungfuls of air after getting down from the car at an impulse and racing your cousins down the entire stretch of the road leading to your ancestral home in the village?
Did you ever share a first kiss on the terrace of an old guesthouse overlooking the sea, as the evening air caressed your warm faces?
Have you ever hung motionless in the air letting yourself be softly blown around by the wind and a strap around your back?
Do you know the vertigo of looking down the long, winding roads you had drove so far?
Have you ever sat cross-legged and drank tea in a tree-house?
Have you ever hidden inside a stack of warm, golden and somewhat itchy hay?
Did you ever light a fire from scratch?
Have you ever turned a corner and found an old bookstore and decided to dump planned itinerary to browse out-of-print titles for the rest of the day?
Have you ever pushed a stew of unidentifiable objects down your gullet just because the host was a smiling old lady in her nineties, and because you were just so hungry?
Did you ever buy a dozen amulets because the old man who sold them had such pious, believable eyes?
Have you ever dusted off frost from your hair as you watched huge sheets of icy rain engulf a valley?
Did you ever secretly believed that there was really a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and walked around a bent in the hill road to check?
Have you ever been on a boat, as curved as a bow, in a lake filled with lilies?
Did you ever eat fruit right from the tree?
Have you ever laid down in a large green ground, with tiny white and yellow flowers, and identified faces in clouds?
Did you chat with a co-passenger on a long, train journey and he/she's now one of your closest friends?
Do you have a restless soul and impatient feet?
Do you need any more reasons?

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