before you travel, read this

travel disclaimer – the fine print

Should one decide to drop ones current life, in pursuit of something unknown, and specifically (in this case) in foreign lands for variable amounts of time — it should be warned than any of the following may result, and that such effects are the full responsibility of the person, and that the world (nor solbeam or her affiliates) may not be held liable for these consequences.

1. Self-dependency. Traveling takes courage, passion, endurance, independence and an immense amount of self-dependency. Although these qualities within may not be initially recognized, it takes all of them JUST to get on the plane. And then, through continual and rigorous on-the-road application – these traits begin to strengthen and solidify. You might suddenly find yourself feeling STRONG, solid, complete and capable of anything. You might find yourself adverse to old ideas of finding someone else to “complete yourself” and instead find a new passionate relationship with life that fills an emptiness that you may have once misidentified. Self-recognition as a complete and whole person, in need of no thing or other person, could bring unlimited personal freedom.

2. Belief in Magic. Las Vegas, Disneyland, Seaworld and other such amusement facilities may suddenly lose their charm when such realizations are made as: the Luxor Pyramids actually DO exist — in Egypt; that castles ARE real — and exist is misty mountains throughout Europe; that dolphins spin, flip, smile and squeal all by their free selves in all the wild oceans of the world; and that all “performed magic” is really inspired by, and in immitation of, some greater “natural magic.” Those said American establishments may begin to take on the flavor of imitation crab and your refined tastes for experiencing the originals may become insatiable. On the road you may also personally witness the “miracles” and “magic” of life and nature personally. Such experiences may include, but are certainly not limited to: erupting volcanoes, phosphorescent underwater light shows, asteroid showers, overwhelming remains of ancient civilizations, natural hot springs, towering waterfalls, and animals you’ve never seen behind cages at zoos. Simply because things are new, and because they lack explanation, they may become nothing less that an act of magic, or of the Divine. Your interest in life may become more childlike, and your new perception, delightful. Your new belief in “magic” may even evolve into into the theory that we each, individually, with only a slight change in perception, have the power within to make everything in life mystical and/or magical.

3. New taste for the simplicity of food. Physically seeing (maybe for the first time) where food comes from and watching (or partaking) in the harvesting of it may give you new respect for the beauty of that process. You may become suddenly disturbed by the idea of eating anything that is plastic-wrapped, “instant”, or chemically manufactured. Instead, you might be more inclined to chose those items you can pick off trees and out of the ground — those foods that you can see whole and were naturally made perfect for nourishment. Also, traveling through countries where people who have so little food, and witnessing their heartfelt appreciation of what little they DO have — may inspire admiration, if not a change in your own relationship with something you may have been previously taken for granted.

4. Questioning and redefinition of Religion. As you come face to face with, and find yourself in serious respect of people of other cultures who practice religions of entirely different beliefs, you may begin to: 1. Question the authoritative forces in your life that defined for you what exactly is “right” and what exactly is “wrong”; 2. Realize that there is no “evil”, “devil” or “hell” and only that there are two different perspectives and forces acting on the end of every spectrum and question – none being more valid or less “good” than the other.; 3. Chose to reject and/or redefine for yourself new laws of living life.

5. Disinterest in materialism. After traveling, you may find yourself holding a pair of nylons or a tie in your hand, staring at it quizzically and asking, “why?” Material possessions may lose their logic…and therefor their luster. Excess of money may be seen only as “binding” to responsibilities you no longer desire. Cars and houses and other such items may become commitments you no longer want to agree to. On the road you may even acquire a renewed interest in bartering. You may begin to take greater joy in the personal exchange of services for services and find new respect for the beauty of putting “love” into something you make, and receiving in return, something that was MADE with “love.”

6. Discovery of new passions that could certainly change, and possibly consume, your life. You may be subject to any of the following: foods you’ve never tasted before, music you’ve never heard before, landscapes you’ve never seen before, cultures you’ve never smelled before, freedoms you’ve never felt before, and people you’ve never realized existed before. One or more of these new awarenesses could possibly spark something inside of you that could level everything else in your life to menial. And one of these passions or persons might even go so far as to claim itself as your “destiny” in life, prompting you to disregard or deny your *former* life as it was known in pursuit of something that “speaks to your soul.”

7. Respect for the intelligence of nature. Being subject to both the beauty and power of nature may change your personal relationship with it. Finding yourself at its mercy at some point in your travels is entirely likely. And this confrontation may justify a new overwhelming respect for life. In the midst of jungles, oceans and deserts — witnessing the ecosystem at work first hand — may bring to mind a list of unanswerable questions in regards to who or what is really orchestrating this melody of intelligence. You may be subject to a renewed interest in the cosmos, and the questions behind it. You may no longer need Ansel Adams in your living room, for after witnessing such glimpses of beauty regularly, you may recognize his gallery as petty…. at least in comparison to the living one now in your mind.

8. Conscious Living. As a direct result of placing yourself in completely foreign and unknown environments, you may find yourself with heightened awareness of your senses and life. Because everything (sights, smells, touches, tastes) in a different place IS different, you will actually notice and appreciate those differences. You might actually even feel as if you are “awake” for the very first time. This new heightened awareness, or conscious living, might even be carried BACK with you when you revisit those places you thought yourself familiar with. Things may not have changed, but your perception of them might and though your physical travels may have discontinued, your new appreciation of life may tread onward.

9. Increased concern for the environment. As you begin to experience the innumerable pleasures of this Earth, and for the first time witness the devastating effects the human race’s misuse of those resources, you may become seriously concerned about the future of the environment. When, for instance, you walk out of jungle trek, and see acres of it being ripped from its roots; or when you see a Whale Shark, and then learn that their population has decreased by 90% due to water pollution; or when you witness the crippling diseases of an entire community of people because of air pollution — not only may you begin to question the endurance of this earth, but also your personal responsibility to care for and maintain it. Any one of these c
auses might also prompt recognition of a role that “needs” to be fulfilled by you.

10. Humility as an American. As you learn the devastating and solely self-interested role the hand of the American government has played in the destruction and corruption of the countries you travel in, you may feel immense shame, as well as anger and despise for the Government and Media that has hidden this history from you. You may suddenly become aware of the “Ugly & Ignorant American” stereotype walls that you will have to peacefully break down in every interaction with someone of a different nationality. And you may suddenly feel immense guilt for the wealth of your nation upon the acknowledgment of how that wealth was acquired and of the alarming rate of how it continues to selfishly consume the world’s resources.

11. The possibility of a major change in career or educational direction. Your formal education and/or training may suddenly feel very low in value. As you recognize and appreciate it for its role in bringing you to the place you are now, you might feel that your “learning” has just begun and that your continued schooling may NOT take place in a classroom. While traveling, you may receive your most important lessons from teachers who are not literate or you may make your most startling self realization in complete silence while watching a sunrise. You may even be moved to work for something you are intuitively inspired to pursue. And you may realize your unlimited potentiality, and begin to feel obligated to live up to it.

12. Addiction to constant stimuli. At first, new worlds may feel overwhelming. But as you begin to recognize patterns in them and become accustomed to the constant bombardment of new stimuli – you may find yourself becoming “comfortable with being uncomfortable.” You may even become addicted to the high of having your limits pushed and may find yourself craving that constant and ever-upward learning curve. A former lifestyle — and its habits and customs — may suddenly become scrutinized, and may no longer be worthy of your attention or energy.

13. Heightened sense of intuition. As your prior concepts of everything “that the world is” are suddenly confronted with conflicting realities, you may begin to lose faith in the world your senses have created thus far. As you realize that not all things are as they appear, you may increasingly rely on how you “feel” in response to things – seeking direction within your intuition. And if this “feeling” proves itself trustworthy, you may become increasing dependent on IT to find Truth in everything.

14. Feeling “different”. Society and its players may subject you to the titles of “weird”, “crazy”, “irresponsible”, “lost”, “nuts” or “odd.” The fact that you have chosen to pursue something that 99.99% of world doesn’t have the opportunity, or desire, to pursue, will forever and irrevocably make you “different.” This feeling, when analyzed while under the influence of the paradigm of a particular society, can lead to feelings of discomfort BUT, on the road, and in the presence of other like soul-seekers, nothing (and I mean nothing) will ever feel so right or so good.

15. Questioning Authority. As you begin to witness first hand the international issues of prostitution, poverty, religious prosecution, political corruption, environmental destruction, etc. you may begin to question every “fact” you’ve been told, every “statistic” you’ve heard quoted. You may begin to wonder how this overwhelming reality presenting itself to you right now could ever be contained in one quote or statistic. How the rest of the world could NOT be immediately concerned, or even aware, of what is happening might become baffling. And more importantly than questioning what you have been told, you may begin to seriously question what you HAVEN’T been told – and WHO has and hasn’t been telling you those things. In addition to questioning all the “authorities” in your life, you may come to the decision, that the only conclusions you can have faith in, are those that you know intimately yourself.

16. Emphasis on the Present. A lack of concern for the past and the future, and a concentrated interest on only the “now” may begin to predominantly influence your decisions in life. As already mentioned, while traveling, you may feel “awake” for the first time. You may love your history for bringing it to this point now, and love your future because of your confidence in yourself to make it beautiful, but appreciation for this very moment in time may become the only that concerns you. You may also find yourself more in tune with those senses that perceive the “now”: the wind breezing across your shoulders; the songs of different birds in the trees; the feeling of body that is NOT in pain; or the warmth of the sun on your face. And your breath; You may find yourself acutely aware of that life giving force that is the difference between this world and the next.

17. Mental freedom. As you begin to really LIVE your life, fear of dying loses its influence on you. You may begin to think, “If I died tomorrow, at least I died living.” The words “I could” and/or “I would” may be replaced in your vocabulary with “I do” and “I am.” A growing history of personal conquests may give you a silent confidence that you will be able to confront, succeed, and learn from all those challenges that life chooses to present before you. Every event, every person, every place – becomes an opportunity for self-discovery. And simply knowing that you tried, and gave it all the chance you could — may lead you to the realization that the “outcome” was — all along – inconsequential. And finally, direct and unrelenting pursuit of your personal potential in this life may result in senses of peace and joy that may completely overwhelm your being.

Editor’s Note: It should be noted that this disclaimer was created only via the perception of one *young & naive* person and her, specifically, “travel-oriented” perspective. It is entirely likely that these same effects may be attained through other, different — but entirely equal in value — activities. The boundaries of this earth and all that one can do within it are limitless. Those individuals choosing to pursue their potential in life and the adventures wherein, will be held entirely responsible and liable for all such activities conducted through those experiences. Those said individuals — will also — hold the utmost respect and admiration on the part of the author of this disclaimer.


2 thoughts on “before you travel, read this

  1. Well said, Christina. Moving places does do all that, and does take one to the ‘edges and corners’ of life. In particular the ‘Life’ of the mind, culture, ‘Humans’, and their physico-social world, and civilisation. It makes it easier to see how that Societal System tends to either break or speed up spirit and impacts on our behaviour (edges and corners and boundaries) and our personal and interpersonal lives.
    Another way of exploring this, after all the above, once the mind is freed from its filters, is through the body, its non-sensory sensations, its sensory-based brain-central-control (an internalised form of authority – that of the self, and a survival driver), its health, its ageing, its very basic needs – often only partially met. Here too is a System, of surVival and High-jacking, assumed ‘natural’ by most because it is ‘normal’. That one is a hidden baseline, both collective and individual but it impacts the entirety of how we build our human worlds and what we find in them. We tend to separate the body from ‘the natural world’, and in youth take health for granted, having no idea of what the body will feel like in 30 years – bound in many many ways, especially for women. I wish you and others also these discoveries, as you wish those you describe to your readers.

  2. if these lessons are the result of travel, everyone in the world should take this class.
    You have an amazing list here, thank you so much for sharing your life experiences, and I will read this next time I hit the road, as a check in to make sure my head is in the right place; all the right places.
    namaste.

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