Every year, instead of resolutions, I have themes. My theme for 2017 is ‘exploration for introspection.’ This year has been full of trips that allowed me to explore such different cultures and places to reflect on how this vast world extends beyond me and has so much for me to learn about it and myself. One place that I did not foresee myself exploring was the desert…because why? But get you some good white friends and they’ll have you paying good money to hang out in nature, climbing sand dunes 300 meters high at 6am to catch the sunrise over the oldest desert in the world. So that is how I spent my “winter break” (its winter on this side of the globe right now), touring the Namibian Desert with friends. While I didn’t know what to expect, this trip turned out to be the most introspective one yet.
Here are the lessons I learned from the desert:
- The desert, in its vastness does not have much for you to look at, so you end up looking within, and introspection leads to questions. The desert makes you question everything.
- The desert doesn’t need to be like the forest or ocean to be beautiful, it owns what would be perceived by others as flaws and shines through in a league of its own, whether we take the time to appreciate it or not.
- So much beauty can come from so few resources.
- If the desert can manage vegetation (and heavenly views) while barely receiving yearly waterfall, what’s your excuse for not producing?
- Don’t fall for the hype, the desert is equally as cold as it is hot.
The campfires shed some light too : )
- Red is a furious color, but remember, blue fire is the hottest.
- Thick wood burns slower, if at all.
- Fire starts with two pieces of wood rubbing up against each other. Don’t allow your own fire to engulf you because you’ve rubbed up against another entity that’s equally as grounded and whole as you. Embrace it without the friction.
Unlike many story lines, sometimes you’re not traveling through the desert in pursuit of your treasure or anything at all (you’ll have to excuse me, I re-read The Alchemist on the road). Sometimes the journey through the desert is apart of your treasure, your journey back home to self, where your real treasure lies.