Welcome to No Destination, my contemplative blog on travel, learning and the life experience in general. I spent my early childhood in West Africa and have just returned from two years in India and Indonesia – in between, from my school years in Europe to life, work, wandering and Wwoofing in South East Asia and Japan, I have been blessed to explore a sizeable chunk of our beautiful world, immerse myself in different cultures and societies and revel in its diversity. When I travel, I do so as a grateful guest of the people and place, and also, it must be remembered, as a privileged itinerant Westerner. My blog posts on these trips and prolonged stays abroad are not sales pitch, nor are they designed to dazzle readers. They are the work of a discreet (I hope) observer, and in them I try and share something of the atmospheres I experience, do justice to the locals and their territory in my portrayal of them, and convey a little of the thrill of traveling with no expectations.
I aspire to be, and remain, a lifelong learner, first and foremost at the school of life, one where I have not always excelled! Some lessons were only acquired through repetition, and part of the process was first understanding how to fully and skillfully engage with life, in order to truly learn from it. I love the words of the late Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki, ‘Zen mind, beginner’s mind’, for a beginner has everything to learn, and hopefully the eagerness to do so. On a more down-to-earth level, I enjoy studying new skills, such as languages or yoga, and the blog aims also to be a platform on which to share these learning challenges.
The phrase, “It’s the journey that counts, not the destination,” has been bandied around by so many – from self-styled spiritual teachers to performance coaches – that I hesitate to paraphrase it. But with this risk in mind, I would venture to suggest that the journey is the destination – the place I wish to reach is simply the sense of fulfillment in the experience itself, the joy within the journey,and from here, there is no place, real or imagined, at which we must arrive. All destinations, anyway, are ultimately only stopovers on the road of life.
Thank you for your visit and I hope you enjoy some vicarious travels, shared reflections and lessons learned.