What is evidence of good travel?

Indian countryside
Indian countryside

Dreary and fresh, a serene landscape also harbors dog fights and political types

In these stretches of land, there's always a market for chai, for petrol, for John Deere tractor rentals

Through these veins flows a bus, "White Lightning," filled with fresh and/or glazed perspectives, depending on attitude, depending on where we find ourselves in the cyclical temperament descriptive of a traveler...

We blur past a single pink house, sitting alone and waiting for community expansion, which may or may not be possible, from the looks of these sweeping fields of crops

Owned by whom? Which feed whom?

Clearly harvested by hand, three elderly spines bend in the shadows of volcanic plateaus, but no volcano.

Hot, seasoned woks work all day long at plastic chair cafes

Forks in roads and rivers make great meeting locations

Though seemingly far from residences and commerce, the arching awning in front shades a resting gaggle of motorbikes in transit.

Andhra Pradesh (Telangana), Karnataka, and Maharashtra are my regional canvases of mystery material.

Women's faces I can not see, tightly wrapped for the motorbike journey

A multi-tone horn flutters wildly as the bedazzled truck blazes by

I'm in India, and I'm in the fetal position.

We burn fuel, and sometimes we observe where that takes us, hypothetically hoping it's toward patch-covered nirvana, an open mind

Regardless of the where to but focusing on the so what

What is travel, and what is a traveler?

Nick jetlagged in India, TGS, Hyderabad
Nick jetlagged in India, TGS, Hyderabad

Money advises longer trips for longer transits, many days to buffer and mentally overshadow the exhaustion by pressure and anticipation experienced from movement.

So does health, the definition of health, advise against passive movement for movement's sake, an act that becomes the emergent if the majority.

Initially pummeling through three states in the Subcontinent, I anticipated dramatically lit caverns shaped by earth and carved by water.

In the moment, I didn't stare, pining for a connection, but I moved and slow-danced with the concept of travel, good travel, all while my students ingested acts of human ingenuity.

The letter "C" pulled long, its lips stretched around a curving river that carries away all the previous ancient discards of Ajanta caves.

Monks, chipmunks, and three-day weekenders now creep around the curve of chiseled rock like ants from afar, ducking into nooks where the light no longer reaches.

Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad, India
Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad, India

Levels of arcades, rectangular windows into the inner potential of the earth; what was built to nurture a religious few, neglected, and re-discovered to be ogled for centuries.

Whistles from spectacles attempt to detract from this hidden, gorgeous scar; we are barely fazed in this moment, when we welcome a meditation on the present.

Bending, stability for now, with a Diet Coke in hand, surrounded by inquiring minds that ebb and flow

Sipping cold bubbles while exhaling the ripe wafting winds of perspiration all while processing the reality that Hinduism doesn't really exist.

But content missed me almost completely on this journey; instead I am conscious of relationships, exposures of rich stone tones, ohms on homes, all the ponies in the struggle, and what makes for good travel.

Jains attempt to live day-by-day expressing their belief in non-violence, by covering their mouths and brushing the ground before them.

Could I realistically identify evidence of the daily expression of my lifestyle?

What did I do today or how did I think today that connected with "good travel?"

When asked not just to define a word but to embody its description, we usually fall short. When in the presence of what that word is or isn't, those examples seem so self-evident.

Today, in those caves, in that hotel room, over that Fanta, in that bus through India, how did you exhibit evidence that YOU were a traveler?

We burn fuel, and sometimes we observe where that takes us, hypothetically hoping it's toward patch-covered nirvana, an open mind

Regardless of the where to but focusing on the so what

What is travel, and what is a traveler?