My name is Oxanna, I’m 27 years old. I was born in Kiev, Ukraine, but now living outside my home country.
That’s how we usually started talking about oneself on English lessons in our primary school. About the same time on Russian lessons we used to write compositions and one was about who we were going to become when we’ve had grown old. At that time I wrote that I was going to become a traveler, could there be any better profession? It was a striking contrast to usual communistic want to be a nurse, an engineer or even a cosmonaut. As I was the best pupil in the class the teacher did not comment anything, though I do not doubt that everybody who read that text only signed of too dreamy girl.
I don’t know if anybody from our class actually became a nurse, an engineer or even a cosmonaut, but as I look at my life now, it becomes obvious that a dreamy girl has indeed fulfilled her childhood’s dream to become a traveler.
It’s been already more than 3 years since I gave up home. Not only a place to live but even ideas of having some permanent shelter anywhere. Since then I never had more things than would fit into a medium size backpack and never lived anywhere longer than 2 months - that’s duration of a course on Buddhist philosophy that I’m taking in Delhi. My means of living is money that I get from the rent of the flat that my parents gave me as my ‘ticket to life’; and this $600 allow me to pay for most of my other tickets, hotels and meals.
I cannot say that my life is very easy or very luxurious, the fact that I’m seeing many places in the world actually means that I’m depriving myself of many more other things. Like I hardly ever can wear high heels or decollete blouses that I like so much. And also having no more than 2 clothes of each kind is a big challenge for a girl who still wants to be beautiful. Sometimes I’m allowing myself 3, but then there come many more other limitations that a person who’s constantly on the road has to face.
My family used to blame me of a wish to live and not to work. Though from the first sight my life can seem an endless leisure it’s not always so. And when I’m starting taking pictures, editing them for web and writing commentaries about the places that I’ve visited it actually becomes full-time job that can take up to 8 hours a day. It’s only that I’m not getting any money for it and ideas of what career I can make with it are quite vague.
The freedom that I buy with giving away my home is the freedom to do the work that I like and don’t do the work only because I have to do it. My main salary is smiles and thanks of my many readers and especially seeing how their life is becoming more free and inspiring. And then I have numerous ideas of what to write and do further in life and also where to go, so I can be ‘in business’; many years more. I only hope that there’s enough time in life left for all.
Besides travelling I had another dream. This dream was much deeper and it took me around 24 years to actually confess it to myself and become daring enough to start doing something about it. Besides showing people path through unknown places on the outside I’ve always wanted to be a guiding light for people in their inner travels. And so here comes Buddhism. If traveler’s career is quite vague then spiritual teacher’s career is even less obvious. Of course, I don’t mean some famous priests and gurus who are enjoying limousines and all the kinds of worldly luxury, though their success is clear it still has nothing to do with the spiritual path. What I mean is a dream of becoming a Bodhisattva and benefitting countless living beings. Dream of such career is a nightmare for those thinking in terms of benefit for oneself as thinking of oneself is the very first thing that you have to give up, only then comes the rest. And concerning limousines and diamonds you might never get them.
So this can be even a bigger job eventhough nobody hired me and nobody will pay me for doing it. And it also may take quite a long time until there comes any visible result. Some Buddhist teachers say that it takes up to 3 innumerable calpas to reach complete Buddhahood and before that comes you have to learn to do things without hoping for any kind of a return. Such an idea completely opposes our modern world where you are supposed to get as much obvious results as possible in the shortest span of time. And so I’m prepared that for all these 3 innumerable calpas besides some people who will be inspired by what I’m doing there will be even more of those totally neglecting it.
But it’s my life and I’m loving it. And let it bring as much benefit as possible!
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