Seven months ago I embarked upon a journey to follow a calling from within. I packed up my life in backpack and a few boxes, and left to explore the world. I was excited about the unknown and what was to come from there. Ready to live every experience I felt a freedom I have never felt before.
Following my gut I made my way through the Atlantic provinces of Canada and eventually to the other side of the ocean. Every step seemed like a fresh start. From the foot of the Pyrenees in France, I started walking, meeting incredible people, and opening up to the world. My days on the Camino to Santiago were some of the most treasured moments of my life. I felt, both, an unrest and source of peace within. I wanted to continue on this path, to find ways to serve, and be among those also seeking something deeper in life. I found myself in unfamiliar equilibrium.
Ask any peregrino and they will tell you that magical things happen on the Camino de Santiago. The pilgrimage has blessed me with all it’s bounty: good friends, valuable lessons, and life that I am about to set foot in – I am leaving the bachelor life to marry a wonderful partner to share my life adventures with.
Urooj and Maria a day before arriving in Santiago.
Photo credits: Sanghyup Kim (a.k.a Stevie).
Our story begins by walking the final 300 kilometers of our journey to Santiago, together. I could not have asked for a better love story or a better life partner. Following our days on the Camino, Maria encouraged to continue to travel whilst she returned home in Romania. After hopping back and forth between Africa and Europe, many emails and Skype calls, I finally flew to her in Timisoara, Romania. Several months and many journeys later we have decided to tie the knot this Saturday in Karachi, Pakistan. On Monday we are starting a new project to provide education and empowerment to children living in some of the poorest communities in the world with The Lotus Project.
I sit here today, a day before my fiancee arrives in Karachi, I reflect upon the past year. I am filled with with gratitude. I am thinking about myself a year ago when I was planning for this year. If I could send a message to myself in the past, this is what I would say:
“You can not plan life, you can only live it.“