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Life is a Trip

Ending my trip... and laughing at myself

INDONESIA | Wednesday, 8 September 2010 | Views [1143] | Comments [5]

Today, it's been six months since I started this trip... and today, I'm back in Spain, back in Madrid... I'm coming for a friend's wedding, as planned.... but I'm also considering this trip over, finished... and this was not planned...

I was supposed to travel for 1 year... And here I am, announcing an early end of this trip, knowing it's the best, yet quite unable to explain why, unable to admit an error... But fortunately I've honesly looked at this ackward feeling... it's my ego, it doesn't like to fail, it holds to its own views, justify them at all costs, even when they are wrong... The ego ties you, it makes you anxious, it slows down learning... So today, I'm gonna laugh at my ego, I'm gonna laugh at myself... and I'm going to like it, I'm gonna enjoy it, I'm gonna learn from it.

When I started, my idea of travelling was happiness in itself, nice in itself, useful in itself, an end in itself... I would't openly say it like that, but it was just there hiding in my unconcious... and this unrecognized idea was part of the reason I started this trip, part of the reason that kept moving from place to place... it was part of my ego strategy for happiness.

I did travel, at first I enjoyed it a lot, as we all do when we achieve what we think it's good for us... But, after a while, you get used to travel, you get used to it as much as you get used to a car, to a status... It's no longer what it was at the beginning... it's a new routine, still lacking true purpose, seeing nice places is your new standard, that's simply what is normal... And you keep moving, travelling is supposed to be cool, everyone thinks so, people even envy you... just as with a car or a status... but it's no longer giving you real happiness... and you feel strange, you feel something is wrong somewhere, but you don't know where... maybe in next place it would be better, maybe another car, a higher status, going shopping... You try to find solutions out there... you make a lot of effort to reach those solutions, yet none of them lasts... we try solutions without truly analyzing the problem...

Every problem you experience has causes, but we only see the external causes... If we get angry watching a football match, we blame the players... But our problems have also internal causes... we don't recognize the simple fact that we trust our happiness to a football team, the ego doesn't allow you to recognize that... it holds its own views, it keeps you tied... You have little control over the external cause of the problem... but you can reduce the internal cause of your problem... You just have to be honest with yourself, honestly looking inside... And that's what I've done, and by doing so, I haven't failed... I have actually succeeded!

I've learned a lot in this trip... that was the true objective... what I really wanted. I have still a lot to learn, and I now know that I no longer need to travel to do so. However, once, travelling truly helped... two years ago, in Nepal, I read a book which compared Western and Buddhist philosophy, I read just for curiosity... a few things sounded a bit strange, but much of Buddhism made a lot of sense... And the best is that I didn't have to believe anything of it... the Buddha himself said "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense"... Since then, I've seen much of this philosophy as logic, true, good, practical, useful in everyday life... it has influenced my way of thinking, my level of happiness... Buddha also said that his teachings are just a map, they are not the territory... the territory you have to discover it on your own...

I know some would be probably quite surprised, but I felt I couldn't finish this blog without giving credit to what has inspired me so much... Anyhow, in this territory of life, whether you look at any map or not... I wish you find success, I wish you find happiness...



I liked this phrase: >. It made me think about Tradition.

According to the Oxford dictionary, Tradition is >. I believe that parents always want the best for their kids, so what arrives to us through tradition is a group of "recommendations" from our ancestors that they considered "the best" for you. Tradition tells us not to kill, not to lie, not to have wrong thoughts, to love only one woman, get married and have kids. Tradition tells us to love our kids, to honor our parents and grand parents, to celebrate festive days in order to remember... For me, it's like a "guide for life". Not a list of rules, just a list of "recommendations", kind of the "map" that Julio mentions in his post.

Life is short, and we are not intelligent enough to understand life on its own. We need experience to understand life, like Julio's traveling experience, that helped him understand a couple of true things in life. So why not benefit from the experience of our ancestors? Why not believing in tradition? If we do, we wouldn't need to "experience the bad experience" in order to learn, we would be one step ahead.

That's all I thought by reading Julio's phrase: >. Tradition will help us understand what is good for us. The only requirement is that we need to believe in Tradition, and learn how to listen to it... that's the hard part...

Thanks Julio for this fantastic blog and for helping us to think! Good luck with the new phase in your life! I am sure you are going to succeed.

  Friend Sep 8, 2010 6:54 PM


Thanks a lot for your thoughts, very interesting.

However, I need to disagree on something. A map and a guide are two different things, a map is more like telling you what is there, explaining the whole territory... whereas a guide is more like telling you, that's where you have to go.

I personally prefer maps than guides... Then, you have a broader perspective, you see the whole territory, and then decide where you want to go, and you do so because you understand all the options...

There are many guides and maps out there, but only when you truly know the territory... then you can say, those guides are good because the go towards this, those guides are bad because they go towards that... this map reflects quite well the territory, that map doesn't reflect well the territory.

Reading a map may take more time than following a guide, even if both strategies could lead to the same place... but not all of us are ready to believe a guide... the Buddha tells not to even believe his map, but to check it in the territory, to learn by yourself, with your own reasoning.

However, different people may need different aproaches. If your guide or map is useful for you, if it gives you good results, if you are getting where you want to go, then keep it, it's good for you.

  julio_martinez Sep 9, 2010 12:21 AM


Hey there.
You actually pointed out exactly my fear of long travels: The fact that if it becomes a routine you won't profit enough. That is basically why I haven't tried doing something similar.

Thanks for sharing that! I guess It's good to know I'm not the only one :)

And good luck for the future!
Joao Fiuza

  Joao Fiuza Sep 9, 2010 10:09 PM


Thanks Joao!

I just overestimated travelling, it has good things, but it has also limitations... as everything... ignoring the limitations is just as bad as ignoring the good things :)... You can still profit from it, it depends on your situation and your motivation... and you can also profit from doing other things.


  julio_martinez Sep 10, 2010 1:45 AM


Hi Julio,

I just read your final blog entry - it really is beautiful...beautifully written, beautifully meant and beautifully understood....

  Sonia Nov 1, 2010 9:02 AM



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