Taking a Leap

Copy of Srinagar-Leh Highway, Ladakh, India

Somewhere between Leh and Lamayuru in Kashmir, India, we were cruising through the Himalayas on our motorbike, staying in guesthouses with no electricity or hot water, stopping for copious amounts of milk tea, and enjoying being the only two people in sight ­ — one of the most stunning, surreal journeys I've ever had the pleasure of taking, made so much more memorable with my love by my side. Something about snowy peaks like these just gets me every time.

Speaking of which, in two days I'll be leaving the also heavenly, snowcapped mountain town of Dharmsala, India for even more frosty summits in Nepal — which means I have just over three weeks left of my six-month journey through Asia. It's so bizarre to think about the fact that it's been nearly half a year since I left my home and how much has changed since. My travels have allowed me to discover things about myself that I could never have realized had I not embarked on them. By getting out of my comfort zone, my routine, my usual frame of my mind, by being apart from those I love, and by stepping away from "normal life" for a bit, I've been able to better understand and connect with myself and the world around me. I feel like a completely different person in the best possible way. If you have even a slight urge to go out and explore — to leave your life behind for a while — you should, and you can. It's not as expensive as you might think, it's not as intrusive to your life as you might think, and it's not as difficult as you might think. It really, really isn't. It is transformational ­— it gives you time to get out of your rut, clear your head, and to experience perspectives, cultures, opinions, and ways of life outside of your own. Please don't look at taking time off to travel as a pipe dream. You can do it, even if only for a short time, and it is something that you will never, ever regret. I promise, and I'm always here to chat about how to make it happen.

Anne Marie Rooney