Friday, 22 March 2019

Chronicles of a Traveler

Almost 3 weeks of traveling are slowly coming to an end.

Sitting at my gate in the Riyadh airport I am remembering details of these 20 days. My phone’s being unable to connect to wifi has perhaps inspired this meditative state…

Saudi Arabian selfie!
What makes one month to be as successful as this one has been for me? What did I make differently? Not so much I believe. I am the same Irina, but still, something is very different. It might be something about me being more at ease with myself… How so? Well, I have been traveling alone to all of my tournaments lately, having company just on rare occasions. It made me ‘talk to myself’ more. I have come to understand my brain, my body and my needs much better. I have been thinking about so many things while avoiding all the ‘social distractions’ that I feel more connected to the World than ever. The word ‘feel’ itself has also got a new meaning to me. I could literally make the joy of life flow through my veins while listening to the drum’s rhythmical bums of a Saudi Arabian traditional song. I could taste the colors of life while sipping from a glass of very sweet mint tea in the desert. I could let the wind clear my head and take away all of my worries while riding a horse. I could let the air come to each and every pore while taking a deep breath of the kindest people’s hospitality… To be honest, the length I’ve let this stuff escalate to is a bit overwhelming.

It is not easy to be left alone with yourself but it is a journey worth to be taken.

It’s a bit funny how I had to go to Gibraltar, then Berlin, then Vietnam, then Saudi Arabia, just to find myself… It sounds very much like a motivational cliché from some book, though it is nothing but probably being a bit too honest.

I have read that in search of wisdom, it is not a teacher one should seek. A teacher is everywhere and everyone, a beggar, a dog, a lake, a match. Wisdom cannot be taught, it can only be discovered by each and every one himself, living the life at fullest, travelling, exploring the World, other people and yourself.

So, is that what I am searching for- wisdom? Maybe, or maybe not.

Photo from the Closing Ceremony of the 1st Hail Rapid Chess Tournament for Women
Mom says that she’s very happy for me, that I have started to win tournaments- that I’ve become a winner. I have always known I am a winner; I just couldn’t understand why I was unable to show it to the World… Now that I have finally started to, I don’t feel different at all, but mom is happy, dad smiles and it is a reason enough for me to be happy as well.

(Photos from the official twitter account of the Saudi Chess Federation- )