Musings on traveling, South India

My backpack is too big, and too heavy, and now is beginning to tear at the seems. I don’t know how much longer it will last. On particularly rough days, I wonder how much longer I can last. It’s been nearly four months now since I left home, traveling around India and Nepal, and living out of my backpack.

It’s real tiring some days, and in the heat of extreme summer sun I find myself longing for a peaceful place where I’m not constantly on the move and sweating like a sumo wrestler. Usually I wear the same clothes day after day- my repertoire is so unexciting. My threshold for what constitutes unwearable has risen drastically and though all of my clothes are dirty and wrinkled, day after day I continue to wear it.

When I feel it’s time for a change I reach down into the bottom of my pack and blindly grab whatever feels like a t-shirt. I begin to pull upwards, and when it surfaces I’ll consider the degree of dirtiness, and if it’s not to bad, that’s what I’ll wear.

I want to shed my possessions—all of them. Everything that I have I carry upon my back. I wish to be free of the burden of stuff. It’s the classic conundrum of my life. But when I sift through my belongings, I always return to the conclusion that I need all of the things I’m carrying—perhaps minus a pair of socks or a shirt, but that doesn’t do much for reducing the weight and bulk of my bag. In fact, I still feel that I am lacking stuff—like a mosquito net, which already would’ve saved me from countless sleepless nights of extreme discomfort. But where will I put it once I buy one?

Lately I find myself facing the exciting, but sometimes disconcerting, realization that the world is simply too big! There’s way too much I wish to do and I don’t have nearly enough time. Consequently, this travelers’ heart becomes torn as I evaluate every decision, constantly strategizing on the best way to spend the remaining days of my life. This realization becomes disconcerting when I consider the reality that I need several lifetimes to visit all the places that excite my imagination.

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