Finding Spiritual Enlightenment on the Road
I have just been reading Hippie by Poalo Coehlo, the author of the classic Alchemist. Coehlo tells about a fictional young man based upon his own journeys through the world and ultimately on the Magic Bus to Kathmandu.
While traveling a certain amount of money is necessary, unless one becomes a true itinerant like the Saddhus of India. Those Saddhus seem to be living a true life of mendicants. But as for the rest of us, we need to work or otherwise procure enough money to “hit the road.”
I started with a plane ticket and a couple hundred bucks. My family sent me money by wire transfer in Morocco, Israel, India and Nepal. I would have been unable to proceed without the assistance. So, how much does one need? Depends on your situation. Europe on $5 a Day was a book of those days as well as Lonely Planet. Many hippies on the trail relied on these guides to make it on the cheap.
Coehlo’s Paolo character paid just $70 to get from Amsterdam to Kathmandu on the Magic Bus. I was frugal and hitchhiked most of the time, but it still cost me much more to do my year-long journey.
Kathmandu and the Ganges, as well as other areas in India and the Himalayan mountain chain, seem to epitomize that Spiritual Journey. Something about that wondrous mix of Hindu and Buddhist cultures make for the realization of knowing God and the Spirit.
I felt the energy of the world’s soul while wandering the globe. Being on the road cleanses the mind and opens the spirit to a new influx of energy flow. The experience of the road changed me for the good.
– Steve Reifman