Finding inner-peace can be a bit of a joke sometimes. Especially when deep, down, we probably crave and need the same chaos that we hate so much!
We know what is good and bad for our body, mind, and soul, but we often don’t make healthy choices.
We work away all of our precious time, only to blow large amounts of money on rushed vacations and the occasional escape.
Travel and tourism is a tricky game because you can either have a great trip and come back fully revitalized, or you can come back completely exhausted, needing another day off before going back to that dreaded 9 to 5.
One of our teammates at The Omelette decided to head to the ancient, busy, and timelessly beautiful country of India, having not seen their family there for over 10 years.
India’s rich and colourful history and quickly developing future, weave a mix of spiritual wisdom and technological ambition to create a dynamic society, driven by progress, and disciplined by an appreciation for culture.
Worried about culture shock, random checks at the airport, and desperate attempts by aunties to arrange a shotgun wedding, we wished our friend safe journeys.
So having flown in the most uncomfortable airplane seats, and survived hours upon hours of poorly translated in-flight Bollywood blockbusters – here are a few snapshots of our mental breakthroughs during The Omelette’s recent journey to Find Zen and Peace in the Beautiful Chaos of India
Comfort in Discomfort
We apply Western eyes to the way that we look at places all over the world.
This stops us from being able to truly understand the experiences that other people and communities have because we are always observing things from a lens of western culture, privilege, and a lack of awareness of how we receive that privilege.
Ditching this bias, it’s a moving experience to observe how the people of India adapt and adjust to issues of poverty, crime, health crises, and corruption, in a way that they build internally-driven positivity, personal self-esteem, and optimism.
Finding internal peace often begins with accepting and loving one’s environment, and focusing on what you can control instead of obsessing over what you can’t.
Food Made for the Heart and Soul
Spices, seasoning, and a well-made cup of tea are a few of India’s contributions to your day (among numerous stolen breakthroughs in mathematics, astrophysics, and art but whose counting).
There is an organically grown awareness that the people of India have and have had for generations around being aware and conscious of good and bad habits around nutrition and the importance of eating well. Coming from the lands of fast-food and aspartame, this is definitely an opportunity for a cleanse.
Whether you find yourself in the heart of a busy village, spending a lunch break at a street-corner, or enjoying a dinner at a 5-star restaurant – the people of this country value the subtleties of taste, complexities of palette, and the constant need to treat your body like a temple.
The Fast & Slow Pace of Life
Once you touch down in India, the blast of hot air and sensory overload of honking horns and traffic, are quick reminders that you must choose to keep up with the hustle and bustle or disengage completely!
This choice is an incredible opportunity to realize how we as humans have lost the sense of how much control we have over our own time.
We govern many of our daily decisions based on external rush rather than internal schedules and this can lead to losing a connection with your own clock.
India’s constant noise and action reminds you that the world is always awake and sometimes you can lose yourself trying to keep up rather than being present in the current moment. For how busy the country is, one can still find supreme bliss on the steps of an ashram, with a cup of tea in the mountains, or simply with a post-meal walk after a dinner thali.
With over a billion people in this country, India is a vibrant mix of identities, cultures, and counter-cultures, all trying to fit in and find their space.
The opportunity to interact with different and random people is essentially the opportunity to grow and learn in a spontaneous way…rather in millions of spontaneous ways!
It’s easy to build confidence and social skills, when you’re able to force yourself into constantly communicating and engaging with others, be it to quickly communicate the right-of-way at a right turn intersection, or laughing it up with strangers at a glitzy wedding.
Tech start-ups, traffic jams, and ancient temples all fill the minds and souls of tourists and residents with learning experiences, and pearls of wisdom, grown through organic, constant, and sometimes uncomfortable social interaction.
Closing Thoughts Reflecting on a Real Vibe
Travel and tourism is an interesting paradox because we do it in search of unpredictable adventures BUT we often refer to guides, Google, and internet forums to see what we should or shouldn’t do!
Everyone finds something different about themselves when they travel, whether they intended to or not, because simply…we have stepped out of our conventional comfort zone!
India’s beautifully contrasting culture, people, history, and growth show you that you are in charge of your own perception, learning, and future. This is true zen.
Becoming lost in the busy brainwashing of conventional status-quo is a choice, and in our Western world of plastic, temptation, MTV, and Starbucks – we need to start asking ourselves how happy we really are, even in a “first-world society”.
Thank you India for your generosity, hospitality, and preservation of rich culture. Having weathered storms of colonialism, imperialism, and oppression, the Indian soil is still fertile and nutrient-heavy, feeding the seeds of innovators, movers and shakers, and global risk-takers of tomorrow.
Innovation is truly the status-quo of this land.
If your mind and spirit need a re-calibration of direction, the East should be your destination.