It’s way past midnight and sleep eludes me. I sit in my comfort chair, enjoying the calm breeze under moonlight. The soft songs playing in my headphones sets a perfect mood. I am exploring some information on the web, planning for my upcoming trip. That’s pretty much what I do on any weekend. This weekend is no different.
Suddenly, I stumble upon a great article about Bhutan. I start reminiscing about my trip to Bhutan 2 years back. Gradually, these memories start occupying my mind and I start thinking about the wonderful times I had with friends!
What makes a person happy? Is it money? Fame? Power? Well, I don’t know about these 3. But, for me, small things about traveling conjures happiness.
Waking up to chirping birds is happiness. Deep sea diving with friends is happiness. Admiring nature’s magnificence as a curious child is happiness.
Be it waking up early to catch a flight and making sure your friends are up or racing against time to catch a train, the rush of emotions before a trip is happiness for me!
I have stayed in Mcleodganj for a month, went for an overnight drives to Goa from Mumbai, camped in the middle of dense Himalayan forest, jumped off a cliff in Bir-Billing, swam with turtles in Indonesia, tasted Vietnamese hospitality in Hoi An and experienced a lot more because of my travels. The sense of achievement for me does not categorize under making tons of money. For me, completing a trek, along with a friend, in time to see the sunset behind the snow capped & glorious mountains, is true achievement!
I distinctly remember the time when I was in Bumthang, Bhutan. I cannot forget this experience as it makes me happy from the bottom of my heart, every time!
It was a moderately cold day in Bumthang. The sun was yet to rise and we decided to take a morning walk. As we were exploring the unknown terrains, through dense mist. we discovered a flight of stairs leading up a hill. We started climbing the stairs, with our hearts beating fast in anticipation of the sight that awaited us. It could be a panoramic view of Bumthang town or maybe a secret temple. We had no idea what was in store for us. Slowly and steadily, we traversed through the mist, which was now fading gradually. After half an hour, we finally reached the top and our discovery left us in awe.
In front of our awe-struck eye, there stood a beautiful monastery. The monks were chanting their morning prayers. Some monks were feeding birds. We turned around and saw a beautiful view of Bumthang city. As the mist faded, the beautiful city landscapes looked splendid. We stood at the entrance, admiring the serenity of the monastery. A monk approached us and offered breakfast. We denied in the beginning but had to concede to his humble requests.
We sat in their kitchen and waited for the breakfast. It was simple and delicious. We were offered rice with curry and some biscuits with steaming hot tea. We relished the breakfast. Next, he offered to show us the monastery. We happily agreed. He showed us the meditation room and adviced us to attend the ongoing guided meditation session. We sat in line with the monks. The meditation session started by a sound of spoon tapping a bowl. As the sound vibrated across the rooms, he guided us to control our breath and make the mind thoughtless. It was difficult at first. But, gradually, we were engrossed in the enveloped serenity. After 10 minutes, we opened our eyes. Those 10 minutes were the most calm & peaceful time we had in years! For me, reaching a state of thoughtlessness was like achieving true happiness!! It just felt so relieved to not let a single thought perturb you!
This experience is only one out of many experiences during my travels, that made me happy. I feel happy not only when I experience these moments, but also when I remember them! As I write this post , I feel happy! Just because deep down in my heart, this experience occupies a small space, which can always make me happy.