Many years ago while sharing a unique and wonderful experience I had with a friend in exploring the underbelly of Budapest in 2004, I realized how different experiences can change one’s thinking and one’s life. And not wishing to contain those learnings and the urge to share some of those experiences led to the birth of “Life in Two hours”. And the more I started to pen down my thoughts on different experiences, I realize how wonderful a teacher travel is. As a child, having a travel bug for a father meant being initiated early in life into being curious about people and places. I have lots of memories, some good, some bad, some divine, but all really powerful…of all the places I have visited and more importantly the journeys. As I grew, the opportunities to travel increased, both as a student invited often to music festivals and like and as a science student to explore nature up close. And when I started my professional journey, somehow travel became an integral part of not just what I did but who I am. On World Tourism Day today, I try to analyse how travelling around the world, discovering people and places has shaped me and my thinking.
- Travelling to the same place can be a different experience- depending on who you are with and the circumstances of the journey. Teaches you that life is constantly changing. It makes me adaptable and lowers my expectations about people and their behavior. I guess that’s what makes me forgiving.
- Travelling helps one understand different cultures and appreciate that there are different ways to live and be. And it teaches me never to just accept status quo just because its “the way it’s always been done”.
- Travelling to destinations and the journeys to reach there makes one realize that miracles surround us every day. We just need to open our eyes to see them and rejoice in them. Makes me believe that I don’t need to go to a temple and pray five times a day or engage in complex rituals to find happiness. It makes me spiritual.
- Lying on a remote beach under the night sky, or gazing at high peaks in awe helps me put things in perspective on just how small I really am in the bigger scheme of things. Keeps me humble.
- Learning how to cook and eat foods that I have never tasted before makes me curious and hungry, in more ways than one!
- Lots of travel comes as a package with unexpected experiences. And reinforces in my the importance to trust my gut and instincts. It’s never let me down until now!
- Knowledge and experiences from travelling are powerful when shared. They are of limited value when they are trapped inside you. It reminds me always to be open and giving and share what I know. For it always comes back to me!
- The only place where life exists and the only time you are sure of having is NOW. Enjoying surreal moments while travelling makes me realize how important it is to live today and now. And teaches me to appreciate my friends and family for what they are to me today. And more importantly teaches me not to wait for life to be “perfect”. It never will be.
- Living like a nomad for the last two decades and still not losing my aspirations to create a professional niche for myself has made me innovative and make the most of what I have.
- And lastly, my crazy experiences make me realize how true what my mum always used to tell me when I was a little girl- that “Everything happens for a reason and it all works out in the end!” And this knowledge keeps me happy. Always.
Travel’s been my biggest teacher. And best friend. Funnily enough, my little fellow, who has inherited this love for travel from his grandfather and me chose to talk about his experiences in the camp he went to in the Himalayas when asked to comment on his views on sustainability!
Life is not about finding yourself, it is about “re-creating” yourself. And its all about memories. Travel, explore and go create them! Happy travelling!