The first adventure of my three month trip around the world took me from New York to Cancun for Labor Day weekend. A trip I booked months ago, this was meant for a short getaway to experience one of the seven wonders of the world: Chichen Itza. Although this would be my fourth trip to Mexico, it’ll be my first to the Chichen Itza site.
I wanted the next three months to be filled with experiences that would allow me to learn about ancient civilizations, their contributions to humanity, and a sense of appreciation for what they left behind. To continue to thrill the senses, unpredictably and a cultural “slap in the face” had to be the cornerstone of my itinerary. I wanted to go from a learning about the Mayans in warm sunny Mexico to learning about the Vikings in Iceland.
After having experienced both, I now prepare to leave Iceland to my next destination which I’ll spend a week in; Italy, land of the Romans. I didn’t want to leave Mexico and Iceland behind without noting how these experiences have shaped my life.
In Mexico, I’ve learned that the Mayans were great civilizations that believed in so much more than I ever expected. They believed in places having magical, mystical energies; something I truly believe in as well. They believed that an individual gives off its energy to others depending on how he or she feels.
The Mayans appreciated the world they lived in and continuously attempted to find their place in the universe. They understood more of the universe, planetary orbits, the moon etc. then the average person knows today.
One key thing I learned in Mexico is that people are generally good, hard-working and naturally loving. I felt that while enjoying the beach with locals, sharing a ride to Tulum and having the driver and his young son guide me on transfers and routes. I met a few smart and bright young Mexicans who have raised my level of awareness and respect for the next generation of Mexicans who desire the same things that all around the world desire; an opportunity to allow their natural innate talents to materialize into this world.
As for Iceland, I have come to appreciate the power of the relationship that we human beings have with the world we live in. I am a firm believer that everything in this world has an energy, many things such as plants have life and a few species like our own have consciousness. In the end, if this planet gave life to us and all things on it, then it too must be alive.
So understanding that this world is our home, we have a duty to respect it and stop anyone who’s destroying it. We have reached a point in our evolution in which we humans have the knowledge and ability to stop factories from polluting our skies, end-burning non-renewable resources to power our cars, stop using nuclear energies to power our cities, cutting down rainforest to produce firewood or paper etc.
Iceland is one of a few places in the world that has taken what nature has offered it and respectfully made it tourist friendly, incorporating the wonders of nature with the ingenuity of the human race.
As I wonder upon the contributions of generations of human beings and great civilizations, I can’t help but wonder what our own contributions are. I wonder what a person thousands of years in the future will perceive of us. Will we be seen as the generation that saved the planet or started its destruction.
I believe that I’ve lived on this planet for generations in past lifetimes. Maybe in one lifetime, I was a Mayan who helped build Chichen Itza and in another, a Spaniard who fulfilled his destiny and desire for adventure by boarding a ship that would first arrive to greet the Mayans. I believe in one I was an Icelandic Viking who bathed in the thermal waters and wondered the same thing I did when I was in the Blue Lagoon; what a beautiful thing nature is.
In this lifetime, I’m a man that was born in a small town in Pakistan who emigrated to the capital of the world and in my opinion, the greatest current day example of a global melting pot; New York City. In this life, I’m a Pakistani American who’s been blessed to have the ability and desire to travel this world, appreciate the moments and have the love for all things, experiences and people that I meet.
Maybe we travel to destinations purely at random and it has nothing to do with us, who we are or who we were in the past lives. But wouldn’t it be amazing to know that there’s a possibility that we travel to these places not by chance but by destiny. Maybe my energy has always felt free and had a desire to live out new experiences rather than being predestined to experience the same ones over and over again. Maybe my calling to see this world is actually a calling to appreciate all the lives I’ve lived out thus far.