Every book is an insight into someone’s soul, a lifetime of discovery condensed into an easily digestible format. Yet not all books are created equal. Most books touch you but very few can be termed as profound. One such profound book that I read recently was Quiet: The power of introverts by Susan Cain. It touched something inside me and turned a life knob or something. I see the world very differently after having read this book.
Take a moment and imagine some of the things we do every day: speak up, speak out, push back, write about achievements, advertise our work, evangelize things we believe one. There is a common thread that binds all these behaviors: they are all extrovert behaviors to a certain degree.
As I mentioned in some of my blogs from January, I started meditating this year. I had started to not like myself because I was always ready to snap. I had long thought of myself as a cool and composed person but that had started becoming more of a fictional character. So I turned to meditation to channel some of these energies.
Meditation is a fun activity when you don’t rush it or force it. I started meditating regularly and most days tried to do it in a part of my day where I wasn’t time pressed. Once I started to clear my head of the everyday thoughts about work, traffic, food, money, TV, technology etc I got a little more mental room to follow some of the other thoughts that would pop up. Earlier I would have run out of time or energy to even consider such thoughts but I felt more upbeat after starting to meditate.
Recently I had a chance to visit Costa Rica. For those of you who don’t know where it is (like I did a year ago), it is in South America. I would say it is central america reaching out to meet south america. You can almost miss it in Maps between the Mexico at top and Colombia / Brazil below. My trip lasted almost a week and it was a very interesting one indeed. In some ways it was a trip of firsts. It was my first trip to South America. It was my first trip where I wasn’t on a vacation from work. It was my first trip to a volcano. It was my first trip where I drove a car. It was also my first trip where I felt US was cheaper.
I had been meaning to take a vacation since Gayatri had a week off around this time. The idea was to go somewhere where I can use an old Alaska airline credit but still not in USA. We kind of settled down to 2 main choices: Cuba and Costa Rica. Both had their pros / cons but what did it eventually was that Cuba was super booked. It seemed like every hotel was booked due to President Day weekend and flights were crazy expensive. As usual I tried to avoid crowds and ended up booking the tickets to Costa Rica.
To read from the starting : Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6, Part7, Part8, Part9
The last week of this vacation was upon me. As difficult had I found it to come, it was now equally difficult to think about leaving. I was at the border town of Aranyaprathet in Thailand and planning to get to Cambodia today. I had long been waiting to see Angkor Wat. With that intention in mind, I started early hoping to reach early. I checked-out and found no one at reception. So I just left the key at the door and got a tuk-tuk for 50 THB to the border.
To read from the starting : Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6, Part7, Part8
It had been almost 2 weeks in this wonderful (not unknown anymore) country. Every second seems to be getting me closer towards the end than to the start now. It was a weird feeling. To have started this trip off in worry, it was surprising I was more worried about the fact that trip going to end soon. Anyhow I was still in Chiang Rai and had a morning bus. I didnt have much to do so I just whiled away my time sleeping since and finding food. It almost felt like I was a hunter-gatherer when I had to go in search of some food that I would not mind eating.
To read from the starting : Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6, Part7
Another morning in the foreign land. It was my last day in Chiang Mai. I had to wake up early to return the motorcycle. The morning cool enticed me into a leisure bike ride around the square walls of Tapae. I returned the bike and walked back to the hotel. I had a calm, relaxed breakfast alone with my thoughts. I had sort of figured out to go up and see Golden Triangle area perhaps. To get there I needed to get to Mae Sai.
To read from the beginning : Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4, Part5, Part6
I was in Thailand, in Chiang Mai city, and I was traveling alone and I had lasted much longer than I had anticipated. It had been 10 days since I landed and things were getting better and better each day. For some reason getting up early had become the norm since there was so much to do and so many places to go and so little time here. 3 weeks seemed a short period now to experience all that you could.