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Pilgrimages, other walks and travelling solo


People are intrigued (and silently question my sanity) when told that I’m travelling alone, travelling solo. I decided some years ago to not again bother trying to inspire friends and acquaintances to join me on my adventures. It was simply put fraught with difficulty. I did not move in a circle of adventurous people (rather people whose first thoughts are concerned with comfort). Well, my projects mostly do not offer much by way of comfort. They do offer instead, and much more importantly, amazing direct learning and life-changing and personality-changing experiences that follow from repetitive-long-distance-walking in foreign lands with different languages, cultures, rituals, and ways of being.

You might use such an opportunity to question authority and control by special classes of people at the top who claim to have more knowledge and rights than the rest of the populace: politicians, judges, enforcement officers, and others. You might also use such an opportunity to reflect on Abigail Suzanne Martin’s words,

Remember that nations are invented, borders are invisible, prejudice is learned. We’re all human beings who bleed the same blood and shed the same tears. Every time a person suffers, from Detroit to Gaza, that’s our brother. That’s our sister. That’s our family…To truly appreciate the good, we first must free ourselves from the prisons of our own minds and the dogmas society ingrains in us. Our empathy needs to extend toward every corner of the Earth, to every living thing.

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