Cultivating Serendipity: walk the garden of forking paths
Serendipity is all about making fortunate discoveries by accident. When we travel, we search for new discoveries, new worlds. Travelers by heart have a strong desire to go where the road takes them, rather than carrying around a detailed itinerary.
You can just wait for serendipity to happen, but I am big promoter of using it more pro-actively. Mark Robertson introduced the term Cultivating Serendipity, that I gladly adopt for this post.
This post is not about a specific country or travel destination. On the contrary! It explains why I am such a big fan of serendipity. Although by accident, I believe you can actively use it to improve your travel experience!
Pursuing an alternative reality
I hear you saying: accidental discoveries cannot be planned. You cannot control something you don’t know will happen.
Have you ever heard of the concept of parallel universes?
A parallel universe is a separate reality co-existing with one’s own.
Now that is something to think about: there might be more than one reality!
Much is happening around you, things invisible at first glance. When you travel, you need to be aware of multiple possible realities because the actual world you experience is just one of many possible worlds. The actual world is the one you live in, the one you see and breathe. But within the blink of an eye, you can move from your actual world into another one. Passing through an invisible door.
Getting dizzy already? Having fun?
Well, this is just how I look at things and how I seriously enjoy Travel Serendipity.
Let’s look at an example. You walk this road in a place you have never been before. You look around and are only able to see what your mind can absorb. This is your reality. Then another person passes by. If you turn and start following him, you have suddenly switched to a parallel world that was overlapping with yours (for a short time though). This person will lead you to the place he lives, works or relaxes. You have found a different world.
Does this make any sense?
You will not hear me talk about scientific evidence for parallel universes, but it is fun! It provides inspiration for a new way of traveling.
Discover by accident
I mentioned in an earlier post that when we travel I always create time to go out and discover by accident. I walk out of the hotel and turn right. I have made it a smart habit to look into every alley or street that I pass. Searching for an alternative reality. I found kids in an alley playing with kites while their grandfather was watching them, an elderly couple in their store showing me how they made a living. It doesn’t have to be about discovering big things. The beauty lies in smaller things, everyday people doing everyday stuff.
I love travel writing like this, just as much as I love to dream about the concept of parallel universes.
Break through your limitations
There is so much to discover and learn, as long as we break through our limitations. As long as we dare to deviate from our path, our itinerary. I believe there is so much to discover if we just walk “The Garden of Forking Paths”.
My name is Emiel, and I am a Serendipity Hunter.
How about you?The idea of parallel universes was initially proposed in the 1941 short story titled “El Jardín de senderos que se bifurcan (The garden of forking paths)” written by Jorge Luis Borges more than a decade before the actual theory came into picture. Main issue in Borges’ novel was the questioning of the idea of history as a single path or linear process; posing instead the idea of history branching out in an infinite number of different directions at every point in time and space; every space-time node as the center of a system of branching or forking paths, an ever-recurring moment/place of choice with profound effects on and links to everything else.