While writing this blog, I glanced at the KLM in-flight information screen and was 37,000 feet above Kandahar Afghanistan on my way to India. By the time you are reading this, I will be at the ashram in Rishikesh India. The previous Sunday, I was also in an airplane above Nampa, Idaho. The purpose of that flight was to jump out the door with a man attached to my back. It must have been my week for airplanes.
Sitting on the floor of the plane with feet dangling out the open door was a surreal feeling. On the count of three, I followed the instructor’s direction and rolled forward and assumed the arched-back skydiving position. Freefall speeds reach 135 MPH and the 10,000 foot drop lasts about 55 seconds. At 5,000 feet, the better half of the tandem team pulled the chute and we had a 5-minute glide to the earth. Throughout the process, I had an insanely calm feeling that everything was going to be just fine. Sure, something could have gone wrong, but the true demon in this exercise is fear generated by the mind. The chances of dying in a skydiving accident are much lower than dying in a car wreck.
Leaping out of a plane or flying to India with the intent to leap into the unknown are excellent tools to shatter the routines of life. What do you learn inside a cocoon of comfort? Does staying inside your home, driving to work, and going to the grocery store expand your horizons? Too much of any type of comfort will lead to a big rut. Having a trip on your horizon gives you something out-of-bounds to look forward to. It is an opportunity to open your head and heart to exploring this beautiful world. Some need mountains while others prefer beaches. Some go a million miles per hour and others unplug to rest. No matter the reason, travel creates memories that prevent life from becoming platitudinous.
Travel is an opportunity to take a vacation from your life. Time and distance will always change perspectives. Why not take advantage of both by traveling somewhere that allows you to see your life with distant eyes? Your personal shore looks much different from the bow of a distant ship.
Visiting a foreign land filled with strange customs, languages, and cuisine forces people into acceptance. By being an outsider, you learn to survive everything. The new-found confidence is a hammer to the nails of fear. Experience is the greatest teacher. Creating relationships with new people and places is a perfect classroom for the lessons of life. It is a form of therapy that creates a newer and fresher version of you.
Leap at every chance to become untethered……