Who Inspires?


Storms Don't Scare Me. I do.

Photo of Who Inspires? by Jaya Joshi

Those who follow or have unfollowed me have guessed that I'm a moody travel writer. Actually writing is consistent but posting is moody. This is one of my most honest facebook posts, which came out while I was travelling to Koh Samet, one of the quieter islands in Thailand in 2014 and I felt like sharing it with you. You who I don't even know but would like to. Have you ever felt the same? Write to me.

Photo of Ko Samet, Phe, Mueang Rayong District, Rayong, Thailand by Jaya Joshi

Koh Samet

Photo of Who Inspires? by Jaya Joshi

'It's my 25th day of travel. I'm soon going to be touching the half-way mark. I'm watching the waves, sitting in a tiny restaurant, sipping tea and having breakfast all by myself. People around me are either in twos or threes. I'm tempted to jump in and join their conversation like I've done before. But I don't and instead, I'm gloating over Rachna's message saying that I inspire her daughter. Jaya inspires! How lovely does that sound? Of course, she inspires and why won't she. She's such an independent, strong and inspirational figure.

Terrific! It's a beautiful, delusion and rather heady.

It's heady because it's so far removed from the truth. What one sees on Facebook is how I'm exploring and moving on from one place to another. How I'm doing it all by myself and yet keeping it together and enjoying it too.

What all those posts and pictures have cleverly kept away were my actual struggles and not just those of sharing my bathroom, wondering what to do with dirty laundry, how to eat strange new foods that I was presented while couchsurfing or finding my way without a language.

This travel was not meant to be all fun. It was not meant to be pre-circuited. There were no reservations or booking made from before. It was not just beaches and mountains.

I went on it knowing this in advance. But did I really understand it well? Not at all. I'm embarrassed to admit that it hit me in the very first week of my travel that I may not be ready for such a long period of hardship. It was a confession that I thought I'll never make. See, there I crossed another 'never'.

I missed the comfort of my home. I missed my cats. It sounds funny but I have a bond with them so strong that even I don't understand. I missed my mum. I missed my friends who I met or spoke to every day who sorted my mess every now and then. They were not going to be around for more than 2 months. I was on the verge of a breakdown. I was about to hate travel. I was about to lose that one thing that made me, me. Till a gentle intervention from my trusted rock - Damayanti put me back on my map. I don't thank her enough but I'm just so glad that I'm never without her and Bhavisha who ensures that my mum who I worry about constantly is not alone.

Of course, I'm no different. I'm posting stuff to make you all jealous. But I think, more importantly, I'm doing all this to ensure that even if I go without company, clicking my own selfies, there are always people, spread across the world are remembering me. Even if I do it by imposition, I'm keeping myself in your conversations and you'll never know how much that means to me.

I still don't know where all this will lead to, but for once, I'm not worried. I think I'll find my way back and I'll be alright.