Many years back, I watched this movie called The Butterfly Effect. It was quite captivating. The premise of the movie is that, the smallest of the changes in time can cause cascading effects. Many movies and books have dealt with this aspect of time travel.
And every day, I wonder what my actions have led to or what actions of others has led to the reality as I lived it. It’s quite fascinating. I wonder if some alien is looking at the myriad permutations and combinations of events like the scene in Men In Black 3.
Of course, even if there is one, it could very well be a figment of my imagination. But what I have noticed are things that may not have happened if the event preceding hadn’t shaped up the way it was.
And boy were there many such combinations of coincidences that happened during my trip.
For example: Had my flight to Brussels not been delayed by 4 hours, I wouldn’t have been so tired in the first few days of my trip.
This tiredness got carried forward to my second stop in San Sebastian. Then, I wouldn’t have been laid back on the first evening.
As a result, I may not have bumped into two lovely ladies from UK or spent the night chatting away to glory. Nor would they have told me about the lovely free city walking tour. And had I not gone on it, my day may not have turned out the way it did—long, tiring but fulfilling.
Then, I may have woken up earlier the next morning and not faced a series of delays and missed buses/trains as I toured across the Basque County.
And if I had not missed the buses, I may not have seen as much of the county as I really did. I certainly would not have taken the bus that took the coastal route and went through many small towns and villages. The beautiful video I did capture wouldn’t have happened. Thank God!
(YouTube link here: https://youtu.be/8_lsphOCub0)
Neither would I have gone to the end of this cliff:
Oh, this series continues forward.I may have then reached the Picos earlier in the night or been less tired.
Thus, I may have woken up earlier the next morning in Picos de Europa. I may have then taken the longer trail over the Carres George as I had intended too, instead of the smaller one I took.
And I would have never met the lovely Australian gentleman, who’s now turned into a beloved pen pal (through email, though).
Barcelona would have been a different experience too, without the debilitating knee injury caused by the hike. But then, I would’ve exerted and roamed around more—making the trip more hectic.
Instead, the series of misadventures helped me slow down and take easier breaths. Quality, thus, trumped quantity.
Similarly, when I got to know Sierra Nevada would be deserted, I had to make a choice of staying back or moving on to another location. I chose to stay back.
That one decision opened the door to meeting and learning from this lovely Barista, who was originally from Morocco.
I spent the next two days with the lady. She opened up to me about her story, teaching me so many lessons about life and living. Not to mention, the wonderful hospitality that she offered.
On the second day, she directed me to another branch for better food. There, I met this beautiful Swedish couple and a German cyclist.
One thing led to another, and the next day, I found myself with the Swedish couple heading to Costa del Sol, which was my next destination. Thanks to them, I saw one extra city, got to see more of the sunny coast AND reached much earlier than I otherwise would have.
Lovely, isn’t it?!
Many such coincidences happened over the course of my travels. Not all of them were palatable. Many were most definitely not great. I’m sure quite a few people would’ve let these ruin their mood or given up.
But that’s the thing. What seems negative may just be so on the face of it. For all you know, it could be a blessing in disguise. It could be the reason you ended up with the happy opportunities. Who knows.
What I do know is this: I don’t jump the moment something seems to go off. Think, there could be another way. And this could just be an opportunity in the making.
Like the little butterfly that has to suffer and break through the shell of her cocoon to strength her muscles.
My friend calls this the Chaos theory. I call it my secret ingredient for happines. It’s easier to live and love the moment when it’s not a means to an end.
When it’s just a single moment, and you can bind many such moments to form a beautiful necklace of the jewels of memory.