I was told a saying by my yoga teacher recently and it suited me to a tee: “Work within your limits, but don’t limit yourself.” Recently, I’ve been nurturing myself more than usual as I’ve been experiencing more than usual bouts of fatigue. You see, I’ve lived with fatigue at varying levels on and off throughout my life and it’s been a journey of how to live my life without flooring myself completely. I’m one to push myself to my limits and beyond; a contributing factor to the reason why I experience fatigue.
My yoga teacher’s saying also made me stop to think about if we, travellers, travel within limits. There are quite a few ways that I travel within my limits, though I don’t ever feel that I’m limiting myself while out on the road. Conversely, there are travellers who assume they’re invincible and will conduct themselves in ways that they may never consider if still at home.
The first way that I see myself as travelling within my limits is through my choice in diet and lifestyle. I’ve documented on numerous occasions here on my blog that I’m vegan, and I’ve been vegan for a couple of years now. This means that while I’m travelling I now won’t eat or drink animal-derived products, I won’t buy souvenirs made from animal materials and I won’t partake in experiences that involve the exploitation of animals. I see my vegan diet and lifestyle as a way to immerse myself into a culture further by actively seeking local delicacies and local practices that may not be as well-known. For example, I loved travelling through India sampling so many vegan dishes in local restaurants and homestays, and through my vegan perspective I discovered the religion of Jain, its lifestyle and history.
Another way that I travel within my limits is that I don’t actively seek travel experience that involve excessive amounts of physical activity. My husband is currently training for a week-long trek along the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea later this month, and this is a trip that I have never really wanted to do. It’s been a milestone experience my husband has wanted to achieve for a while now, so he will be going sans me. While I’m sad that I’m not going, I’ve resigned to the fact that this trip is just not for me. Though, Papua New Guinea is still on my list of countries I want to visit. I will get there someday, but not through physical exertion and exhaustion.
And finally, I must admit I am a complete scaredy cat. Adrenalin sports and ultra-thrill seeking experiences have eluded me for most of my life for this reason, so you may not see me jumping out of a plane or conquering a death-defying roller-coaster. Having said that, I am very adventurous and I love activities while on the road such as hang-gliding, white-water rafting and mountain-bike riding. Unexpectedly, I have been known to be in a white-water raft that flipped completely and I have hang-glided with an instructor who insisted on doing loopdeloops all the way down to ground level. I also enjoyed my hike up Mount Ijen in Java to witness the sulphur lakes at the top and the spiritual trek up Mount Sinai in Egypt alongside hymn-chanting pilgrims – both such unique experiences.
While these priceless travel moments were enlightening, fun, sometimes scary and exhilarating, I just don’t need to jump out of a plane to have a thrilling time, hike for days on end through a jungle or eat animal products to truly experience another culture or country. I’m happy and content with knowing that I’m simply travelling within my limits and I never see myself as limiting myself or my travel perspective. Ever.
Do you ever travel within your limits? Share some of your stories. I’d love to read some of them!