When we set out on a journey, most of us today have a detailed itinerary. If we travel by auto, the GPS or, if we prefer, a road map is essential.
However, if we want an adventurous travel experience, we wander serendipitously. Being a serendipitist traveller has an appeal which harkens back to ancient explorers who launched into a journey with a sense of dread and hope that new worlds waited beyond the horizon.
The word serendipity has its origins in an old Arabic tale known as The Three Princes of Serendip which was brought to Great Britain by Horace Walpole (September 24, 1717-March 2, 1797), Earl of Orford upon his return from Italy. In a letter to Horace Mann on January 28, 1754 Walpole used the word Serendipity as he related his reading of a silly fairytale known as The Travels and Adventures of Three Princes of Serendip.
King Giaffer of Serendippo had three sons. He had them trained by the sages of the kingdom, but he wanted his sons to have practical knowledge as well. He sent them on a quest, out into the world to encounter whatever waited for them.
So they travelled and had a series of unplanned adventures and encounters. They saw the world of man—good and bad. They met Emperor Beramo who was very impressed by the three young men.
He sent them on a quest for the Mirror of Justice which had been stolen by one of his trusted officials and taken to a distant land. There they met the Virgin Queen whose kingdom was being terrorized by a giant hand which was grabbing people and drowning then in the coastal waters. After they defeated the mysterious hand the Virgin Queen gave them the mirror to return to Beramo.
Misfortune had befallen Beramo when they returned. Diliramma, a slave girl, had captured Beramo’s heart, but she embarrassed him in public. He had his soldiers chain her and place her in the forest. Upon coming to his senses he sent for her to be brought back to the palace, but there was no trace of the lovely Diliramma.
Once again the three princes come to the rescue. Evidently Beramo and Diliramma were reunited and lived happily ever after.
After being away for several years the three princes returned home to the delight of their aging father. No fairytale would be complete with love.
The eldest son succeeded his father as king. The middle son returned to the land of the Virgin Queen and married her. You see the middle son had a voice of an angel which enrobed the Virgin Queen with empyreal melodies. Beramo gave his only daughter to the youngest son who was a great storyteller. He became Emperor after Beramo passed away.
What can you take away from this story? Be open to serendipity.
Take a chance without GPS or maps. Take a road less traveled to see what lies beyond the horizon of your experience and knowledge.
Life is too transitory to always be guided by the need to know your full day. Live life well with those fortuitous events and encounters. Those moments may be happenstance, but perhaps they are part of some cosmic plan of which we are blissfully unaware.
Be a Serendipitist Traveller and enjoy the ride.
G. D. Williams © 2012