Journey to the Unknown Route Map

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Books, Books and More Books

Someone said, "We will be the same next year as we are today, except for the people we meet and the books we read."

The following is a list of books I have read or plan to read for my trip:

Around the World Travel Planners

Myanmar (Burma)
Southeast Asia

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Welcome to Journeys to the Unknown

Welcome to Journeys to the Unknown my first blog.  My name is Brian and I will be your tour guide for this adventure.  Although, we won’t be together physically, I hope that I can make you feel as if you are sitting right besides me, tasting what I taste, smelling what I smell, feeling what I feel along the way.

I have always dreamt of traveling the world.  I love seeing new places, experiencing different cultures, meeting new people, tasting new foods, but I never thought that it was the right time or that I had enough money or a plethora of other excuses I came up with through the years.  However, I eventually realized that I was just afraid.  Fear is a mighty strong deterrent that helps to keep us safe.  However, it also can prevent us from trying new, unfamiliar things and hinder us from allowing us all the things life has to offer.

Life is too precious to waste.  We are only given a limited amount of time in this life and we don’t know how long it is going to last.  Therefore, I decided to face my fears, stop making excuses and take the leap. 

“Time is the most precious commodity you have; time is life. It’s hard to get it back once you lose it. It’s hard to keep once you for the habit of squandering it.  Killing time is like deadening ourselves and wasting our precious, marvelous life.”  The Long and Winding Road – Lama Surya Das from The Buddha's Apprentices: More Voices of Young Buddhists by Sumi Loundon and Sharon Salzberg
With my wife’s blessing, I started to plan my trip in March of 2009.   Initially I thought I would be gone around 3 to 4 months and travel around India and China and maybe a few other places.  However, as I researched more and more my trip grew.  As of today, my plan is to travel for about 10 months and visit India, Nepal, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China.  I have done a lot of research and have mapped out much of my journey.  However, I want this trip to be spontaneous and don’t want to plan too much in advance. It is often impossible to plan too far in advance for a trip of this length.  Things will go wrong.  However, I wanted some plan of places that I would like to visit and an idea of how what the best route to those places may be, where the best places to get visas are etc.

I am a planner.  I like to plan.  However, I want this to be a growing experience and want to get out of my comfort zone or having everything preplanned.  I want to go with the flow.

So far I have booked my one way ticket to Mumbai, got my shots, supplies and will be finalizing my visas for Nepal and India shortly.

It is going to be hard traveling without my wife and not being with her for this amount of time.    It is always nice to have someone to share things with.  Someone to talk to when things aren't going as planned and problems arise.  Someone to watch your stuff as you use the bathroom.

I leave on February 8 for Journeys to the Unknown.  I hope you will strap yourself in and join me on this wild adventure.

What Is Our Life About?
Our aspiration, our calling, our desire for a genuine life,
is to see the truth of who we really are –

that the nature of our Being is connectedness and love,
not the illusion of a separate self to which our suffering clings.
It is from this awareness that Life can flow through us;
the Unconditioned manifesting freely as our conditioned body.

And what is the path?
To learn to reside in whatever Life presents.
To learn to attend to all of those things that block the flow of a more open life;
and to see them as the very path to awakening –
all of the constructs, the identities, the holding back, the protections,
all of the fears, the self-judgments, the blame –
all that separates us from letting Life be.

And what is the path?
To turn away from constantly seeking comfort
 and from trying to avoid pain.

To open to the willingness to just be,
in this very moment, exactly as it is.

No longer so ready to be caught in the relentlessly spinning mind.

Practice is about awakening to the true Self;
no one special to be, nowhere to go, just Being.

We are so much more than just this body, just this personal drama.
As we cling to our fear, and our shame, and our suffering, 
we forsake the gratitude of living from our natural Being.

So where, in this very moment, do we cling to our views?
Softening around the mind’s incessant judgment,
we can awaken the heart that seeks to be awakened.

And when the veil of separation rises, Life simply unfolds as it will.
No longer caught in the self-centered dream, 
we can give ourselves to others, like a white bird in the snow.

Time is fleeting. 
Don’t hold back. 
Appreciate this precious Life.