I often joke about my good karma. Specifically, my good travel karma. I’ve never missed a flight. I’ve never been pick-pocketed. I’ve always found a place to rest my head no matter how little planning I did beforehand… I’ve been traveling for years and all of these travels have been surrounded by an air of good fortune, generosity, and luck. Or, you might say, good karma.
Whenever I contemplate my good travel karma, I find myself returning to this quote from Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist:
“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.”
The Alchemist is the story of a young shepherd who changes the course of his life drastically when he sets off on a treasure hunt. Throughout his journey, he discovers not a treasure of gold and gemstones, but an inner treasure. A deeper treasure. He discovers the treasure of pursuing one’s passion.
Much like the main character of The Alchemist, the course of my life changed thanks to one decision I made at a young age. While my friends were getting their acceptance letters and packing for college, I was booking flights and planning a five-month solo journey through regions of Africa and Asia.
When I look back on that trip, I often think what a miracle it was. Everything worked in my favor. My parents, for some reason even they don’t understand, decided to let me—an 18-year old girl with little to no experience living away from home—take off on her own to explore the world. When I thought I wasn’t going to be able to afford it, my local Rotary club decided to give me a $2,000 scholarship to support my journey. Whenever a knew obstacle appeared, so did countless warm-hearted people willing to help me. And it wasn’t just that trip.
It’s been that way every time I take to the road. Good karma surrounds me like a protective barrier whenever I take off for another trip.
Which is why the term “travel karma” became such a common word in my vocabulary. But where did this travel karma come from? Am I just lucky?
No, not exactly. It’s not luck, not really. At least, I don’t think so.
I believe that when I’m traveling, I’m where I’m supposed to be. I’m doing what I love and following my passion. In return, the universe is conspiring to help me realize that dream.
To me, that’s what karma is. It’s not a sheet of checks and balances. It’s not an eye for an eye. It’s not, “if I do this good thing I’ll get something good in return and if I do bad I’ll be punished”. That may be what karma means to a lot of people, but not to me.
To me, karma is the magical way everything falls into place when you’re on the right path. It’s the way the impossible just seems to work out. I like to think it’s the universe’s way of nodding its head and saying, “yes. This was what you were meant to do. This is the path for you.” And I truly believe if we listen to our hearts and follow our passions, good karma will surround us.
So find your passion and embrace it. Discover your true nature and live it with every breath you take. There will be challenges. There will be obstacles. But if you’re doing what you love and living a life that is true to your deepest self, karma will be there to help you every step of the way.
About the Author
Sarah Dittmore is always seeking a new adventure. When she’s not barefoot hiking in the mountains of Peru, kayaking around an island off the coast of Italy, or camping in a rainforest in Costa Rica, Sarah writes about her adventures on her travel blog, Autobiography of an Adventurer. Join her as she travels the world and documents the wild and wonderful things she discovers along the way at www.autobiographyofanadvent