Reflections 2019

The year 2019 is about to end, and like every year, I am off to a distant land where I enjoy spending my time the most – Europe.

Utpal Vaishnav (Europe Trip)

Although I visited six countries in 2019 thus far (2 for the first time), I have not posted about my travel experiences on any public forum, unlike in previous years.

I did not make public posts to observe how it impacts me psychologically (the amount of ‘craving’ to share what I observe/experience/learn) … and how it impacts my first and second circle of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who regularly read, reflect, sometimes disagree and celebrate my travel experiences virtually.

Today, I am beginning my trip to Europe, starting from Switzerland. It is one country I visit a few times every year. It offers the best of Nature I have experienced thus far, and I have not felt ‘enough’ about spending time in Switzerland.

So, for the next three weeks, we will be in Europe again, sipping mulled wine ? and reflecting on the moments of life I could generate in a (mostly) living dead ? world.

I have no goals for this trip. I only have a hope that I will be reflecting on my past year and be aware of what mattered to me in 2019 and what ‘theme’ I want my 2020 to have.

Observe. Create.

Then again observe. Then again create.

The observation is for being aware.

The creation is for engrossment.

~UV (20191223 15:15)

A life well engrossed is a life well lived, isn’t it so?

The year 2019 was full of diverse experiences: Intense personal experiences. Intense professional experiences. Growth in business. Growth in personal awareness. And more.

The year 2019 also included a feeling of sadness and low spirits for about a couple of weeks near the mid-year … and again, a recreation of my present self that leverages peace and power to its wish.

2019 was the year of discipline for me. It’s safe to say that discipline and I have never been in a romantic relationship, but that all changed in late 2018. I took a chance on discipline, and now we’re going steady and rock solid. I have no intention of breaking up with it! ?

I began 2019 with what I call ‘the 3D challenge’: Daring, Determination, and Discipline!

? Daring: I did not have any issues in this area; ?
? Determination: I was doing good in this area too;
? Discipline: I was not very good in this area. My excuse? I am more creative than many, so I thought I could trade off discipline for that. Turns out it was a very limiting + self-disserving thought.

  • I started this year by waking up at 5:30 am;
  • I remained consistent, and now I wake up by 5 am;
  • That follows a 3km morning walk followed by 45 mins of Gym-time;
  • with military discipline;
  • and deliberate intention;
  • listening to a few insightful podcasts (Masters of Scale, The Tim Ferris Show, and more).

This behavioral change instilled a sense of better meaning in my life. I recommend this habit change to anyone who wants to take charge of their life and put a dent in the universe … or not!

As the journey continued, I landed a MindValley Masterclass from Steven Kotler and started practicing in the ‘Flow’ state.

Being in a FLOW state is one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It gave me the necessary kick while enjoying the present moment. I became clearer, more straight, and more deliberate about the things and people who matter to me or I matter to them.

When I was just starting to be in the FLOW state, The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson made a  notable impact on me. The compounding principle that I thought I knew but really didn’t become so clear that I started seeing the compounding effect in almost anything that I poured my attention into. And it gives great awareness + deliberation about our next actions.

While in 2019, I did not post much about my travel experiences on Facebook; I did continue experimenting with my travels and exploration in general.

While there were 3-4 domestic short trips also this year, I visited 6 different countries. Mostly these countries are repeat countries except Canada and Kuwait, which I visited for the first time this year.

April 2019: Dubai ??, Kuwait ??
July 2019: Switzerland ??, France ??
August 2019: Canada ??, USA ??

There are a lot of observations and learnings, and I have made several conscious notes from all these travel experiences.

The last few days of 2019 are the time to reflect on those notes and be more conscious about the theme for 2020. So I thought, why don’t we spend some time at the place where I feel I belong the most and spend a few weeks there?

Stay tuned to my Facebook if you like to see/read my travelogue.

PS: This time, I might compile all my travel experiences in form of an ebook, and share it freely so you can use it to experience travel (and life) in a semi-planned way though I am not sure about it. Let's see!