We all have our own reasons to do things no one else does as much. Mine is travel. A funny imagery is put forth by my Grandma every time she hears of another weekend trip; she says I have a pair of springs attached to the base of my feet and hence, I cannot stay in one place even if I would like to. So apart from these un-removable spring attachments, below are a few reasons I travel:
Say these to yourself and you will find these apply to you too!
1. If I do not travel, I will live and die in the same little nest
There was a poem in our school curriculum; here is the crux of the story – the bird in the egg thought that’s what her world is, and then it hatches and thinks, the nest is what her world is, and one day she learns to fly and finds that the world extends beautifully infinitely around her and flies all over to see it all.
You don’t want to be the bird who thinks the nest if her world, do you?
2. I am born at the right time and age and I do not take that for granted
Every time I meet my Grandma, I realize how lucky I am to be able to spend the money for things I like and have the freedom to travel. I listen to her stories of marriages at 13, children at 18, never studying, never working and I thank my timing even more.
I travel just to take advantage of the fact that I have been given this chance, I would like to appreciate it.
3. I travel to get away from the sucky parts of life
Well, this may sound a little grim but every time I have a bad week, I run. I get away, as far as I can so I can forget the problems for a bit, until I am reenergized enough to face them again.
It really helps to know that you have an active happy and fun life outside of your office. And when you know that, you will be able to come back and deal with the problem like it’s a small do-able part of your life, not life itself.
4. I travel to feel good about myself
Everyone has their sets of talents and skills. Mine is navigating through places and using my ability to blabber and befriend to my advantage. I feel proud when I only take the Local when I get to Mumbai or am comfortable in my skin anywhere in the world; I feel thrilled when I can reach out to anyone, not knowing the language for anything at all. I feel great when I dude-up and sit in the rickety Roadways bus and give the shocked rude guys a “you mess with me now?” look. I love it when people I do not know like me for who I am and can connect to me instantly.
I travel because on a journey, my risk taking abilities expand infinitely, and I feel capable of taking almost every challenge put in front of me.
5. I travel to hear stories
I have always had a crazy passion for stories, happy endings, tragedies, mythology, mysteries and histories. I travel because however much I may read or make my Grandma recall and tell old stories, there are many more stories I can gather by travelling and meeting all these people and places. They all tell stories.
I once met a drug peddler who drove me around on a scooty helping me find an ATM, and another time I met a really old farmer who told me about his crops and of the difference between cows and buffaloes, and this other time I met this owner of a taxi stand who helped me catch my bus to Delhi, and once I met a rikshawallah who knew phrases from the vedas and this other time I met the owner of a poultry farm who also owned a taxi business in Punjab and also did wholesale business for clothes and discussed his business with him.
There are tons of more stories from people I met and spoke to, absolutely tons of them. Every chance I get I sit and I talk, and I get a story out of it.
6. I travel to learn and be stronger
Nothing teaches you more than travelling. It involves all things needed for a good learning – You read, hear, see, memorize, socialize, work hard, walk, write and most important of all, you experience. I also travel to feel stronger, to be able to do things myself, live by myself, know that I am not alone in the world with so many people to know and so many stories to hear.
There is a reason why saints and scriptures tell you that your attachment for your home, family, money, and friends will chain you down, give you pain; to learn, you will have to free yourself of all those things binding you, weakening you.
7. Travel helps me reflect, introspect
What is a better way of seeing yourself clearly than by finding yourself in the most unfamiliar of places and settings?
You have been living in your city for so long now that you have melted and merged with the people and life around you. A lot of times, your identity is lost in who you have to be in the office, or around friends or even family. It is crucial to tear yourself away from that boring old canvas and let yourself be seen in a different set up. In the new place, with no worries about perceptions and reputations, you will be able to find a different, more adventurous you sitting inside.
When I travel I am free to be who I really am, without having someone tell me to work 9-7 or not meet and talk to strangers or talk or say politically correct statements.
8. I travel to see all sorts of crazy cultures apart from mine
It gives me a viewpoint. When I met the old farmer from Morena-Village, he never looked, judged or made me feel uncomfortable about my shorts or legs showing. He blabbered on about his daughter who just got married and about his crops of potatoes and the cows and buffaloes he owned. I learnt of hypocrisy in my own city and of the beautiful culture of accepting and adapting in the country. I went to Mumbai and I saw how people have the freedom to be out till whenever, I saw that the couples getting mushy at the beach are not frowned upon as those in Delhi. I saw the immateriality of people judging people for anything and everything. I went to Pushkar and saw an extremely skilled little kid at a dhaba talk in all sorts of languages and I saw how a village known for the Bhrama temple can transform to this firang little hippie haven.
If you travel, you will see the pointlessness of a lot of things you are so hard bent on believing, and the importance of appreciating other things about your own society. And if not all this deep stuff, it’s always amusing to see new cultures do things that are crazy to you.
9. I travel for Languages and for people
Every single place I go to, the most amusing part of my trip is their language or accent. I do not know why, but it is an excellent feeling to communicate in no language at all, or try to mold your own language to be able to share with more clarity. What is the point of being shut down in your tongue when there are so many ways you can listen and share? I adore the accents of the Bongs, when they say they eat water, I love the way Mumbai people say “Boss” and not “Bhaiya” and I found the Madhya Pradeshi’s Hindi very tough to get with words from his own language mingled with Hindi.
I find it outright boring to be inhibited by my own tongue, and so I travel to hear people speak so many languages and to hope that someday I will be able to understand and speak a small fraction of them.
10. I travel to be able to tell stories
I travel so I do not blabber about clothes and shopping; for these things wear off, or go on about any other inconsequential annoying gossips and woes of the day. I travel so I can share stories that will stay with me forever, so I can be inspired to write – my first ever passion.
I travel so I know I have known and seen things that are above the talks of daily mutterings, of bad offices, and horrible bosses, of too much traffic and of too less to do, of broken hearts and of cheating spouses, of rising prices and of falling netas; I travel so that for some time in my life, I am above it all, so I can be a story teller.
Hope you liked these and found enough reasons for travelling yourself.
Do not hold back the wanderlust you feel; because if you do, it will die off quietly someday and you won’t even know what you lost.