On the first leg of the journey, I watched an incredible movie called About Time, in which a charming red-haired Brit and all the men in his family can travel back in time to redo moments and alter the course of their lives.
It was compelling and cute, the kind of movie I laughed out loud in my airplane seat about, and I rarely laugh out loud. The ultimate message, as he moves through life and love and family and trauma and drama and recovery is, appreciate what you have, and live each day to the fullest.
I was so excited to get to Amsterdam that I didn’t sleep a minute on that seven-hour flight but rather watched two movies on my personal screen and eagerly deplaned to wander around Schipol Airport and taste a bit of life in the Netherlands.
I had an incredible foot massage and meditated in the Meditation Center as the sun rose over the canals. Star gleam beams radiated off all the many planes lined up to go to other destinations in Europe, in Asia, back to America and everywhere else in the world.
A sign on the wall exclaimed the multi-faith focus of the meditation center, and so I walked in on the silent carpet and aimed to settle beside the stained glass for my first real meditation in a day and a half.
A man pulled a folded carpet off a shelf and said to me, “This is for Muslims.” The implicit: you must leave, woman. But you know me, and I knew where I was, believing in the interfaith possibilities of all humanity.
I shook my head. “No, this is for everybody,” I said. He knelt on the floor. I settled into crossed legs and closed eyes and began to chant my mantra inside my head.
The journey is so very much the destination.
I heard gate change announcements from my massage chair. I cooed at a little Indian girl at the gate, her nose pressed to the window glass, her little fingers pointing to the big blue 747 out the window, her small mouth puckered to say, “Go!”
When we landed in Delhi at 1 a.m. Wednesday, the smell of campfire enveloped us. The airport decoration above the immigration lines were giant hands shaped into the sacred mudra positions that help clear energy and raise consciousness.
This is the land we traveled to, the place we are settling into for the next few weeks.
By 2 a.m., we were pulling suitcases outside into the gray haze. I saw my first stray dog of the trip. The smog at night was like the echo of lights against the not quite dark sky.
Our guide Priunk, in his corduroy jacket and brown-gold button down above smart styled jeans shuttled us to the hotel, where x-ray scanners gazed through our luggage just in case.
A man on the trip’s luggage tag reads, “Take another look.”
And that’s exactly what I plan to do.