“Travel brings power and love back into your life” – Rumi. This hand-lettered travel quote is an illustration I created to try and capture a glimpse of the wisdom behind Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi’s words. Spoken by a true mystic and universal love poet, this quote applies to so much more than just “physical” travel.
In the true spiritual Sufi doctrine, travel is referred to as “Safar,” and this very word is applied to both physical travel as well as mental, emotional and mystical wandering.
Reading a book and transporting yourself to another culture is considered one form of “Safar.” Exploring new cuisines, art forms, and handcraft cultures in faraway lands, is also a form of “Safar.”
There is also another word for travel in the Sufi tradition, and it is pronounced as “Siyaha,” which literally translates into “tourism.”
The kind of tourism encouraged by Rumi is the kind that changes the tourist’s perceptions, and expands his or her horizons, making them more compassionate towards fellow humans of all creeds and walks of life, a sentiment echoed in the “Illustrated Travel Stories” blog series section.
Jalaluddin Rumi, like other Sufi mentors across history, such as Ibn Arabi, emphasise the importance of travel, as it is one off shoot of the core Sufi belief, “The only constant in life is change.”
Standing still is considered the anti-thesis of spiritual growth, and therefore all forms of travel are considered to be important keys to mystical well-being.
As I said earlier, travel can be done by engaging one’s mind in the pursuit of a craft, be it sewing, calligraphy, illustration, photography, or even scrapbooking.
And travel can be done alone in solitude, with one bag for one person, who is open to explore the world and be changed by the wonders of creation.
Hand-lettering + hand-lettered travel quote by illustrator and artist Yaansoon