Why do we travel? I seem to ask myself that question during almost every journey I take. And it always appears unannounced in my head at about the same time. It’s when I’m starting to get that settled and calm feeling – kind of like getting in the groove. The travel groove. Everything appears easier, as if you have stopped resisting the cultural differences and just start to float in the stream, that is now your new temporary home.
It happened again in Bali. I remember it clearly, it was a combination of events. It was the monkeys at Ubud that started it. I’ve always loved monkeys, their play, their constant harassment of tourists. Their ability to undo a bottle cap and at the same time sit on someone’s head without any hint of concern. The way they take the opportunity for food when ever they can, and yet they still have all the time in the world to show a great sense of companionship to one another.
And then it was witnessing the Kecak dance at a temple up the hill from the monkeys. The rhythm of the chants, the sounds of the night, as we sat underneath a large banyan tree. The flickering of the flames from the candles, and suddenly I was travelling again. My mind had wandered sufficiently far enough to remind me that travel is about the experiences you feel, not so much about what you see or do.