Beyond Boundaries: Aliya Khan

Note from the editor:
This week on the blog we have a guest writer penning down her journey of crossing boundaries and discovering far better than materialistic pleasures. Aliya is someone I have known for over 15 years, she has always been someone who does things her way and I am proud to present this beautiful soul to all of you lovelies. Stay Tangled. xx

I am Aliya Khan and if there’s anything I love about myself it is my oh-so-itchy feet. I’d like to believe that I am an avid traveller and hence I write this post. That’s all about myself because I prefer to have a humble approach towards life, those who know me would probably chuckle while reading this and throw around words in disagreement. But this post isn’t about me or my travels so to say. It’s about a bunch of disclaimers and a few certainties that unfold on the road. Also if I haven’t spelt it out clear enough in everything I’ve mentioned below, then here it is- I urge you not just to travel, but to travel alone. And because I am all about the words, I’ve used my favourite quotes to depict both important and some extremely overrated travel events.

May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. -Nelson Mandela

So a lot has been said about how you come back a changed person and I beg to disagree. Before each expedition, I’d announce to my family that am done with this mundane life and am off to find myself. This was ridiculed with phone calls and texts ever so often asking me if I’ve found myself yet? That being said I felt an unspoken pressure to force change. I’d go back home and behave differently for a few weeks- better manners, open-minded and ever changing accents. But all these fizzled out in no time because truth be told deep in your core, you are who you are and that doesn’t change. A few weeks later I’d hear my family and friends laugh and say you are just as horrible as you used to be. And indeed I was. However, the real changes remain unnoticed, sometimes even by you. Introspection is one of them. While travelling alone, you tend to spend more time with the most important person in your life- yourself. You’re forced to look within more often. With introspection, you gain little and lose more. Lose false identities and mannerisms that no longer serve a purpose in your life. You understand if you like certain things because you like them or just because it’s cool. Your people wouldn’t notice your comfort level with being alone and talking to strangers. And since there’s so much pressure in either coming back a life loving extrovert or a peaceful monk, you don’t notice these changes too.

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. -Confucius

YES!! But don’t expect the love of your life to show up with a guitar in his hand and romance oozing out of his nerve cells. Being a prisoner to the world of fantasy, I could not help but imagine every guy who helped me with my bags or guided me with directions as a potential lover if not my future husband. Sadly enough, love doesn’t work the way it is in films or books. There’s more to it than pretty backgrounds and whispering sweet nothings. So sorry to burst your bubble but the chances of meeting “the one” while you’re travelling are slim if not none. However, what I do promise is exceptional encounters with strangers, some of whom you might enjoy kissing.

You will never be completely at home again because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place. -Miriam Adeney

I rarely advocate certainty, but if there’s anything I am absolutely certain of it’s the existence of our soul tribe. And they’re waiting for you in beautiful cities all around the world. I know this for a fact because I’ve met mine. People generally associate travel friends with fun, like-minded people you go sightseeing with or get drunk with at noisy bars. They are amazing to make memories with, but ultimately, they just end up as names on your Facebook profile. While that is true for a lot of people you meet on the road, every now and then you’ll meet people who leave their footprints on your heart. They won’t just pass through your life, they’ll stay. And distance won’t blur these bonds, well because we live in the age of Skype calls.

Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and are hearts are open.-J.K Rowling

I believe being a global citizen isn’t about not believing in boundaries, it’s about understanding that even though we are separated by geographical boundaries, we are one. Yes, in different locations people might look, dress and eat differently, but inherently we are all the same. We all respond to happiness and sorrow in the same way. Having interacted with people from diverse cultures, I realised everyone and I repeat everyone, is going through the same things in life. We all speak and understand one universal language and that is love. Geographical divisions and cultural differences are only political gimmicks to create a system of control. Indeed, “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”- J.K Rowling 

A place called here.- Cecelia Ahern

“Wherever you go, there you are”- I failed to understand this for a very long time, but when I did it was enlightening. So if you’re travelling as an escape to heartbreak, don’t be surprised if you’re heartbroken in France too. If you’re someone who is obsessed with the next destination and believes that the next city will give you the exact experience you’re looking for, don’t be amazed if you feel the same restlessness even when you reach your next stop. Ever thought why? While locations might change, the one thing that remains unchanged is YOU. We are always HERE. And to get the most out of life, simply be here now. As aptly said, “The only Zen you’ll find on the mountain tops is the one you take there with you.”- Zen Proverb

Some places call you to them. Some people call you to them. When you reach them, you realise you were calling yourself. When you find them, you’ve found yourself. -Writing Ordinary

Aliya Khan

Say hello to Aliya on Instagram

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