After a long time without writing a new article, it’s time now to update you on what happened.
It’s been nearly 4 weeks now that I have been in „Incredible India“ and in a few days I will leave this country already. I have learned a lot during my time here and it brought me many insights. A lot has happened and previously I had planned to visit this country much longer. But the men here in India make it impossible for me to stay. I really feel uneasy because I can’t deal with this – for the most part – respectless behavior that men exhibit toward me as a woman. Everybody is yanking and pulling on me – making me feel like „prey“. Also my attempt at becoming “invisible” and trying to adapt to fit in, didn’t help. That’s why I decided to cut my stay short and to continue my travels.
Nevertheless, I benefited a lot from my time here. I helped out in the slums of Varanasi as an English teacher and I successfully completed 15 days of classes in the art of photography. I joined a great workshop at BHU, the largest university in Asia, on motivation and the characteristics of our generation. And also I learned more about the teachings of Buddha and Hinduism.
Again I found a wonderful and lovely mentor and friend, who was always there for me. This person was my photography teacher Professor Raj Kumar Chourasia, who was like a father to me here in Varanasi. He took care of me when I was sick, he visited me in my hotel and brought me medicine and food. He introduced me to his family and shared his knowledge with me. Later I will tell you more about how I met this precious man.
In Nepal I had planned to take the train to the Taj Mahal in Agra, from Delhi, where I arrived. From there I had wanted to travel on to Jaisalmer in the Thar desert. There I had arranged for a job in one of the desert resorts. I also had already booked the train tickets for all these trips while I was still in Nepal. In the end, everything turned out differently. One day after my arrival in Delhi, I sat in an air plane to Varanasi. A lot of strange things happened on the day of my arrival and for a little while I was completely overwhelmed with the situation, the reason why I got booked on a totally overpriced flight to Varanasi. After the initial excitement and after the first dust settled, I thought there must be a reason why I need to go directly to Varanasi.
More and more I’m convinced, that god, the universe or simply life offer us different possibilities on how to move on in life. You only need to go walk through life with the eyes wide open and learn how to read the signs of life. In the end it is up to us whether we will take the path that is shown to us. I never was a very religious person in the traditional sense, and the idea that there is a white-bearded man who created all of us and everything around us, seemed very strange to me. But the alternative that we all have been created by a big bang and that everything can be explained with science seems rather sad and hopeless. I don’t have an explanation for that, but for the first time in my life I want to learn and understand with all my heart.
I read a lot of great books that inspire me to keep moving forward and to find my way. The more I try to make use of the things I’ve read, the easier and the more logical everything becomes. For weeks, my parents have been calling me „the lucky child“, because so many good things are happening to me.
But what is happiness or to be happy? And how do we achieve happiness? The most logical answer to me is, to live a balanced life.
I have made up some rules for my own life and I try to follow them within my possibilities. I want to live a life that I can be proud of. I respect other people and creatures. I give love to the people around me and I’m thankful for the love I receive. A gift that is for free and that gives others and ourselves so much joy. And I try to live healthy and to take good care of my body.
It’s an illusion to think that I live solely by this principles, but to find the right balance is the challenge that I am confronting every day. During my journey I developed the burning desire to continue to grow. This desire shall keep me moving forward on my way through this world. And I won’t allow laziness, ignorance or any excuses threaten losing this desire again.
So, four weeks ago I arrived in Varanasi with the strong belief that there is something here that I must do. I walked through Varanasi with open eyes and, in the first days I got totally caught up in photography. From several people, I received overwhelming feedbacks to my pictures and I came to realize that I loved the photography for many years already. And suddenly I discovered this sign right in front of me: „Natural Photography Art School“. I called the number on the sign and so I found my Professor, who won my heart with his precious personality and his wonderful way of teaching.
While continuing my travels I want to take advantage of all the knowledge in this world and want to use it for my personal growth. I want to learn to sharpen my instincts and to learn to watch for further signs. Slowly but diligently. Rome also wasn’t built in one day.
On Tuesday I will be leaving India as stated earlier. My next airport of arrival is Bangkok, where I will rejoin with Earth, a member of my Mountain Family on the ABC-Trek (read the article here). I applied for several jobs on Koh Tao and Koh Phangan (islands near to Koh Samui) and I am currently awaiting their replies.
Two weeks later I will fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to meet with Simon, a good friend of mine from Germany. Simon is working for Adidas and, at the moment he is on foreign assignment in Malaysia and Singapore.
Starting on March 11, I will fulfill a longtime aspiration to take part in a 10-day Vipassana Meditation course in an Indonesian ashram on the island Java. This course will be a big challenge for me, because of a complete communication ban during the course. No communication whatsoever – spoken words, scripts or gestures. All electronic equipment, books etc., must be turned in prior to the start of the course. And there are strict rules to join the daily schedule that starts at 4 am.
On March 26, my all-time favorite Lenny Kravitz is giving a concert in Jakarta, Indonesia and of course I purchased my ticket already.
My further planning down the road will take me to Maria to Australia. I met her in Turkey and we hitchhiked and couch surfed together through the country for one week. She wants to do a hitchhiking tour with me through the north of Australia.
But as my plans seem to change on a daily basis, I will see where the winds will take me. For sure it will stay exciting and educational; my thirst for adventures has yet not been satisfied in a long time.
In this sense, stay alert and ambitious and get out of your comfort zone!
All the best, yours Tanja
P.S. More pictures here