“A Sanskrit word appeared in the paragraph: ANTEVASIN. It means, ‘one who lives at the border.’ In ancient times, this was a literal description. It indicated a person who had left the bustling center of worldly life to go live at the edge of the forest where the spiritual masters dwelled. The antevasin was not of the villager’s anymore-not a householder with a conventional life. But neither was he yet a transcendent-not one of those sages who live deep in the unexplored woods, fully realized. The antevasin was an in-betweener. He was a border-dweller. He lived in sight of both worlds, but he looked toward the unknown. And he was a scholar.”
When I read this description of the word Antevasin, written by Elizabeth Gilbert – favourite author, ah! – in her book Eat, Pray, Love, I knew this term applied to me. I’m a 25 years old who, since the age of 16, traveled in 21 countries in all continents (except Antarctica. Too cold for me. Brrrr). Traveling is my favourite thing in the world: it brings me strength and a feeling that everything is possible. However, no matter how amazing I feel every time I enter a plane to a new destination and while I’m discovering new lands, I always know soon or later, I’ll need to go back home. I still have roots in Quebec, I still need them.
I’ll probably expend on my “in-betweening”, on my “living at the border”, on my “never ceasing looking toward the unknown” and my necessity to keep roots somewhere, in forthcoming articles. But first, I feel like you guys need to know a bit more about me. I’m Helene, many call me Lena. I live on the Plateau Mont-Royal, in Montreal, Quebec. I have a cat named Misto. I work as a barista in a Starbucks in my neighbourhood and I’m doing a Masters in Anthropology. I am a Christian. I love, traveling (duh), people and their culture, theology, coffee, coffee shops, beer, music, books and fireworks. In this blog, I’m planning to write about all of that (except fireworks. There’s not much to write about fireworks) and probably more. But mostly about travel. Because, as an antevasin, even when I’m home, I stand at the border, day dreaming of an old or upcoming trip.