Blessed are the travelers for they will have adventures!
My first solo trip of sorts was Hong Kong. I didn’t speak the language, didn’t have people to hang out with. I got lost, got food poisoned and had a time of my life. I have not stopped since. I have learnt more of this world on the road than I think I ever will otherwise.
On this the first day of 2014 make a vow to yourself that this year you will get out of your comfort zone and explore this beautiful world. Exploring need not involve buying an expensive flight ticket . It can be as simple as venturing to the nearest town. All it takes is the first step from you.
In my favorite E.E. Cummings own words
Listen; there’s a hell of a good universe next door: let’s go.
May this year bring adventures of all sorts right to your door step. May new experiences and lovely people find in everywhere. May this blog inspire to travel and travel some more.
This is a picture of an actual map taken from the textbook of a fourth grader during the time of Communist Hungary.
Every time I look at this photo it just cracks me up. Communist Russia sure had a way of handling its enemies : – convince the world that they do not exist.
Mother Russia is at the center of the world. She dominates the entire world. Poor Australia is squeezed into the right bottom corner almost as an after thought. Maybe the fact that our first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had a socialistic outlook helped in India’s size and position in the map.
Europe I suppose had to be there owing to the proximity. I mean you could not simply ignore that large land mass next door. Or wait maybe its because some of the Eastern European countries were communist. Yes that must have been their saving grace.
Poor Africa has been cut in the middle. At least she gets a place ( half) in the map.
Oh dear! where is South America? I mean understand why North America is not part of this map, but what in the world did the unfortunate continent do other than perhaps have an ‘America’ to it’s name?
The first ever edition of Lonely planet India magazine had for its cover hot air balloons over Cappadoccia. That was the first time I had heard of the place. There was an article on Cappadocia too. I never read that article. That was way back in February 2010.
Fate has it that I have my very own pictures of hot air balloons over Cappadocia and what do you know, I have an article to go with it.
Our ride was not a smooth one. It came with a bundle of hiccups!
You can read it here.
Adventure is out there!
The Gwalior fort , sprawling fortress in Madhya Pradesh is song in brown and blue.
Now there is a positive and a negative attached to everything, the two sides of the coin that the (clueless) noble souls keep talking about. How do I know about this binary nature of all things travel? I experienced it. Just yesterday!
Lets start with the bit that I want to spend the rest of my life forgetting; the not so good ( but could have been worse) bit. Here goes
There is this nagging feeling that devours all peace of mind, it eats away at the layers of self-confidence and happy anticipation even before you board the train. Don’t ignore it. That’s your gut telling you ‘ Adventure is good, alright, but hey baby, baby its a wild world’. I had a lot of it on this dare-devil trip.
Travel is supposed to be relaxing. It’s supposed to fill the vacuüm and clear away the rubble. It’s supposed to be simple happiness. It’s a place ( pun un intentional) you go to, to find yourself, re discover forgotten strengths and explore new possibilities. It is not supposed to wear you down. It’s not supposed to make you jump off the train ( at the platform, just clarifying) , rush to the nearest airport and sprint to the booking window and scream “Get me the hell out of here!” Then after hours of delays when you finally get home, shut the door and drop your back pack and sit on the floor with your back against the door you smile for the first time in days.
Travel is not supposed to do that.
Then there is the proverbial silver lining.
When everything is going wrong. When every day you fight with that part of you which wants to turn back, head home to all things familiar and safe. When you are exhausted even before you wake up. When you have tears in your eyes. When you are alone. When you feel alone in an all crowded train. When you begin to wonder why God bothered with Adam when He should have got to Eve first and then been done with creation. That’s when you come across something that makes it worthwhile. Sometimes its a towering fort lined with turquoise elephants. At times it’s as simple as a perch with a stunning view. And when you sit there and all the things that have happened from the time you boarded the train till that moment flash across your mind, the lesson reveals itself. It tells you “Adventure might hurt you, but monotony will kill you.”