Friday, January 2, 2009

People First, Place Second.


I'm home.

On July 21st, I began my first mile of travel in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The next five months would whirlwind me across America, through Europe, within India, across the mighty Pacific and back to Hawaii on December 23rd. 25,000 miles - I circled the world. 

The places were magnificent. But I am finding more and more and more that travel is first about the people, and second about the place. Always.


I could have been in hell (aka: an airplane) but if there was someone cool to connect with (an English Muslim student on his way home to Pakistan) then I was in heaven. I could recount - literally - hundreds of examples of this rule: people first, place second. 

I encountered an ocean of people in my travels; some I got to know intimately, some I didn't even know their name. I still remember the beggar girl in Vrindavan who allowed my heart to soften, and to let go of my feverish attachments. And then I shall never forget my friend, Rupa Manjari, who reached inside my heart and flipped me upside down. Her intense, beautiful expression of service and devotion has humbled me.    

People don't fit into lists, like places visited or miles traveled. It just doesn't work like that. People are the breath of travel... people are the breath of life.

Thank you. If I encountered you in my travels - even just for a moment, the span of one breath - and you're reading this, thank you.

You were the reason and the perfection of my journey.   

1 comment:

kirtaniyasadahari said...

You're most welcome :-)

You look like a lotus in Radha Kund, Beautiful picture.

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