“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls” (Anais Nin)
The people who have to put up with me usually say that I analyse too often and too much. I have never been good at taking the sap out of the tree. The charm of the decision-making process allures me and also the sense of commitment that comes subsequent to it. Even if I end up making the wrong decision, it still teaches me a lot.
The wisdom in my choices will not be evident until later. So, when I started travelling I wondered why I travel. Is it only because I like travelling? Travel is exorbitant, time-consuming and most of the times offer you the same opportunities that you can gather sitting at home. Apart from this, people have a lot of excuses for not travelling. What was my reason for travelling?
Before starting with why I travel, I realised that it is much easier for me to say what travel does not mean to me. It isn’t just sight-seeing. Also, I don’t travel only to relax. I don’t travel because I need an escape from the daily life. I love what I am doing, where I am and I am incandescently happy. Travel isn’t going to solve your problems or magically heal you even if it is capable of providing an escape for a few days, at the most.
Travelling for me has always been fun even if I have gone to places alone and didn’t make new friends (I am not too good at conversations). I am that person who spends days in a place people suggest you should stay for a few moments and then few moments in places where you are supposed to stay for a few days. My most significant revelations have come from places where I’ve least expected them to; one being Kerala, last year.
I won’t say that I had a very nice time over there, courtesy to the culture shock and people who were too reluctant to help me out but nonetheless, it was a change. And that’s the reason to why I travel. I travel for change. I am not an escapist. I am simply unable to conform to the daily mundane mediocre life.
Change is a wide term but the word with all its vastness, pretty much sums up why I travel. I travel for a change of clothes, for a change in the environment, for a change in the landscape, for a change of culture (even if it means a great culture shock) and for a change in my routine. However, most importantly, I travel because I like to see a changed, better version of myself. When I ponder about the most crucial moments of my life, travel has always been a significant fragment of it. I along with people who come into contact with me, have noticed that the person I am when I leave and the person I am when I come back are different.
Another not-so-significant yet important reason for travelling is because I want to find solitude. Solitude is the best way one can self-introspect oneself. The basic nature of human beings is to buy some solitude when they have the means i.e. opportunity or money. Greater the amount of money, greater is the amount of solitude we are able to purchase. We isolate ourselves from the hullabaloo of the hoi polloi. Thus, I travel. When I don’t like the surroundings or want to sunder myself from them, I travel.
This time last year, the wish to be separated was so profound that I ended up taking a job in Kerala. Little did I know that I would be working every night and unwind in the mornings with little or no sleep. When you travel within India, the foremost feeling is that you’re travelling through an enormous kaleidoscope. The landscapes, the culture, the attire, the language, the people and everything under the sun changes as you move from place to place.
While at Kerala, I had the good fortune of seeing and knowing how the locals lived and their day-to-day lives. Even if the phrase everyday life sounds boring, it can be quite fascinating but maybe it seemed to me so as I was an outsider. The humongous number of coconuts on the porch and the beautiful women with beautiful hair going about their daily lives were quite mesmerising. Kerala is not only about cows and temples and religion but the way the rituals brought everybody together.
Another amazing advantage of travelling to different cultures is that you get a different standpoint on issues that you never even thought about. My philosophy is travelling is different from others and I think that it is healthy. My reason for travelling is different than yours and so, the results experienced by you are going to be different from mine. The act of travelling, contemplating on past travels and concocting future travels hold a paramount position in my life because as I have already sad, staying at a single place will stagnate my mind and I cannot afford that.
I am a firm believer in equality and through all my travelling experiences, I have learnt that no matter how people have been raised and how different they seem to be from the outside, we are basically, all the same, and everybody is worth getting to know.