Long sagas, big blogs, short quotes and so much more had been written and continue to pop up for read about travel and the spirit of travel.
10th Dec’13 | I went to apply for Chinese Visa today; we are already very late with our application and hence we went for an express delivery of the visa. I am so excited to get it tomorrow itself. It’s was a good start but turned little troublesome when our car’s battery started giving problems. Grrr! Almost entire day wasted at that.
Listening and tripping to AC/DC.
I travel a lot (well! a little more than many) but I still want more. It’s now much more than a mere hobby or just some pleasure break that I take every half an year. It’s become a need, a drug without which I can’t possibly survive. If I don’t travel, I can’t function properly in my corporate job, I become irritable and impatient as if life is just running away leaving me behind and as if I am dying with each single passing day (which actually, we all are).
Sometimes I travel fancy and in sheer luxury, but most times I travel without shopping a single trinket for anyone or myself, I book the cheapest flight and train tickets but stay in lovely hotels and expect world class service(that’s my hook).
I was on a rebound when I started travelling and I fell in a relationship with it. You fall in love with the places and it’s people when you travel and then with a heavy heart you move ahead to explore another destination. You fall in love with the hellos and byes become the hardest part of any trip. To Travel is a great high, it teaches you so much about every thing including the journey called life.
1) First day in Egypt 2011
2) Running across the deserts to the Pyramids
3) Embracing the Pyramids view (being such a tourist)
4) Feeling the stone relief
5) Outside the Luxor temple
6) Bunch of school girls getting a picture clicked with me (making me feel no less than a celebrity) outside the Hatshepsut temple
7) My first ever visit to a Mosque
8) Tahrir square; in middle of the freedom revolution (first day of first ever elections in Egypt)
9) Northern Egypt: soaking up the view
Just about everyone I know has the similar love affair with travel. Everyone lists it as one of their passions in life but not everyone is able to follow it. Why is it so? I hope I am able to help you break the curse and start with your own travel diary.
Most common misconception: It takes a lot of money to travel. It does take money, but that’s not the only or prime consideration. The most important consideration is to prioritize and be sure about what you want to leave behind in terms of appointments, commitments, work etc.
The best way to start travelling is… JUST PACK AND GO!
I know sometimes (well most of the times) it’s not as easy as I make it sound, especially considering how we’ve made our lives so busy and complicated with the EMIs, jobs, family and commitments etc. that whenever we even come close to planning a real trip, we end up finding an easy reason to slam all the plans. Anxiety gets the worst of us and we give up saying ‘One Day I shall Travel’. So, to avoid the hyperventilation of anxiety, take a globe, rotate it and just put your finger on the map. Once you’ve selected a place you’d really wish to visit, put all your energies, money and INTENT to make it into a reality.
For people at specific phases of life: Read On!
Note: To travel is planning a trip and going anywhere aside to your grandparent’s, uncle’s or cousin’s house.
1. Too Young to Travel? If you are smart enough to figure your ways out, to explore places and people, age won’t matter. And if you are not, travel will make you smarter. Invariably, travel will serve you best.
Take couple of months off, take some part time job and save some money. If you are really desperate, dream to travel and have no qualms about taking money from parents or others, beg and borrow for a trip of a lifetime. If you are from western side of the world, go not to the Americas or the UK but to the adventurous places like China, India and other parts of the Asia. You’ll get to see and learn a lot about how to survive not only in these countries, but in life.
Additional Perk: you can have a month or two long trip in these countries in the same amount that you would spend in a week in some western part of the globe.
For younger lot from INDIA, you’ve worked and studied way too many books and most of you have got those thick spectales on. It’s high time to take a breather and get one with nature. Go to Rishikesh or Nepal – The LAST RESORT, a brilliant and not too expensive an option to get a taste of adventure (rafting, bungee, rappelling etc.) and of the wild. Amsterdam and Spain are good options too that will leave you exposed to the ideas that might have never crossed your mind while you were busy studying those science, history and mathematics books. Best part is that you can go to these places alone even if you don’t have company of a bunch friends. Travelling will help you make friends who like to travel.
2. Too busy working? Or no leaves available? Or will travel after retiring?
Whom are you kidding?
Yes, that house is important, but is it really worth it if you toil away the prime years of your life for a matchbox sized apartment? Are the memories in any which way comparable to that rafting trip, when you jumped in the chilling water of the calm rapids and then hiked through the forest to get back to a hot cup of tea and grilled sandwiches in lunch.
You might not remember the number of late nights or Holidays you sacrificed for work, but you will remember each and every holiday you went crazy having fun on.
If you are working, my guess is you would have saved some money or has a potential to get the basics together for this first ever dream trip of yours. If you are short on time to plan, take help of a professional for trip planning and tell them what all you want from your dream vacation. A trek or a beach view or dinner with the locals or interaction with the wild whatever it is, travel planners shall make it possible for you. All you have to do is be focused and determined to achieve the desired results to get the sweet reward of wonderful memories that will last you a lifetime.
Reevaluate your priorities. What will matter the most 15 – 20 years down the line? That promotion and little appraisal after numerous late nights you put in or the pictures of you having a blast with a bunch of fellow travelers.
PS: Take cues from various corporate professionals who are avid travelers. Feel free to write to me with your queries, I will be delighted to help and will put you to right people who can help you plan your first trip without leaving big holes in your pocket.
3. I am a Girl: So?The biggest weakness we have is that we give ourselves way too less credit for everything. Before anybody else, we are the first ones to doubt ourselves, our potential; we are first one to question our own strength. To this, many of you might say, that it’s not safe for girls to travel or my parents don’t permit me to go out etc. You don’t have to be a rebel to be able to travel, all you need to be is determined to do it. Imagine if you, your girlfriends and the girls all over the world started traveling without any doubt in their heads, world will be such a free flowing zone for women, no taboo, no ho-ha about women exploring the world all by themselves, one city at a time, one country at a time.
Please question, to what extent are you willing to live under the shelter of your parents, brothers, boyfriends and husbands without having a chance to develop your own perspective of how the world functions? Take a call, pack your stuff and get out.
So how should you start travelling?
Leave everything BEHIND, collect your savings (meagre or big); throw in a pair of jeans, comfortable flat boots, a bunch of T shirts, a couple of party dresses with a few other basics in a mid-sized bag and GO! This is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution but it’s probably the only solution and shall serve the 90% of the people with a dream to travel “ONE DAY!”
Listening to Jon Bon Jovi’sgreatest hits – you give love a bloody bad name
Rant: Nothing is more important than knowing life. You know life not by eating or blindly following a school of thought in the name of religion or being aimlessly tied to a fellow human in the name of marriage. You know life by seeing life, life of others, life in various setups, life in different forms. You know life by trying to understand it and how and why it functions the way it does. You learn to live life by knowing about it and when you learn to live it you respect and appreciate it, which increasing number of us are failing to do.