After focusing on freedom and flexibility in my last post, I figured I should expand upon that and discuss why I chose “Mountain Goat Travels” as the title for my blog.
First of all, check out these crazy animals:
I first encountered these amazing feats when I was in Nepal 2 years ago. It wasn’t quite as extreme as the ones pictured, but I was having lunch during a trek and I looked over at this sheer rock face nearby and there were three little goats on it. Just chilling on the side of the cliff face, practically suspended in mid air, or so it seemed. That image has stayed in my mind ever since, and now whenever I think about true freedom I think about mountain goats.
I want to have the ability to go where I want without the restriction of fitting into ‘normality’. I want to experience the wonders of the world without being held back by fear of failure or fear of the unknown. I want to be free to tread my own path without feeling I need to follow the conventions of society. These are the best reasons to travel. Seeing medieval castles and going to music festivals adds to the fun of the trip, but the sense of exhilaration and satisfaction that you gain from navigating that difficult metro system signposted solely by an alphabet you don’t recognise, that adds to who you are.
Anyone can be a tourist. I want to reach the unreachable. I want to have experiences other people only dream about. I want to get off the beaten track. I don’t want to be held back by fear of falling. I want to be a mountain goat.
I’m sure I’m not alone in seeking more meaningful experiences from my travels than what you can find at the local tourist hot-spot, but everyone has a different reason for making the decision to get going.
For me, it’s something I’ve always craved; I get fidgety if I’m stuck in the mundane for too long. But there’s another reason why extended travel is more appealing to me than living somewhere familiar. I am fortunate enough to be a dual national, I was born in Spain, but I’ve spent most of my life living in Australia. I once read an interview with a Greek man who had moved to Australia to raise his family, and once his kids were grown he moved back to his village community in Greece. He said that loving two different countries as your home is both a blessing and a curse, because you have two amazing homes but neither of them can ever fully satisfy you. Australia has never fully satisfied me. I’ve always felt like part of me belonged somewhere else. I also have no desire to spend the rest of my life in Spain. I want to leave behind the expectations to belong, to fit in, to be satisfied with where I am. I want to be free of labels and conformity. I just want to be me, wherever that may take me. Be me, be free, and be a mountain goat.
Well that’s my confession for this week, and my last post in the lead-up to my travels starting. In 2 days I will be on the plane headed for Nepal, and my post next week will be coming to you from Pokhara!
One last thing: a few people have asked how they can follow this blog. In the bottom right of the screen there should be a button that says “follow”. You can sign up with your email address and my posts will be sent to your email when they are put online, so if you want to keep up with my trip but you don’t want to turn into a Facebook stalker you have that option.
And don’t forget to be like the mountain goat! Be free, be flexible, be fearless. Live beyond social norms. It’s a truly rewarding way to be.