My tryst with travel began as a means to escape the mundane things of life and gradually became an addiction. And, somehow along the way, I turned from a tourist into a traveler. Travel is a powerful teaching tool and I would like to share a few things that I learned:
You are just a small dot in the universe:
You may be having a good job with a very respectable position and all the material comforts of the world but when you travel you realize that there are so many things to see, to learn and you just occupy a small dot in this universe in front of those magnificent mountains, vast oceans or never ending deserts.
It teaches you patience:
Even if you plan down everything stringently, Murphy’s Law can come into picture and there is not much we can do. A bright sunny day can turn cloudy with heavy rainfall within minutes, flights maybe delayed/cancelled, your day trip for which you were excited since ages may not be possible due to some reason or you are forced to stay in hotels due to bad weather. In short, anything/ everything can go wrong if it has to and you won’t be able to control the situation. At such times it’s best to let go off of our controlling streak and be with the flow. Sometimes these unplanned things can turn into most memorable moments so learn to let go and enjoy.
It makes you confident and creative:
With each new trip, you become smarter and innovative. If I look back, I can say that I have come a long way since my first travel. Minor obstacles are always going to occur in spite of taking care of all the details. Instead of fretting over, we learn to overcome these hurdles and enjoy, making our journey a wonderful experience.
Be humble and compassionate:
You meet many people on your way and remember everyone teaches you something. Always be kind and caring particularly to waiters, housekeeping staff, porters and hotel staff. Never underestimate the power of a smile-even if you don’t understand their language much can be communicated through gestures and a genuine smile. Engage in small talk, ask about their families, hobbies. You never know what the other person is going through and your kind words may bring some sunshine in their lives.
You learn about different cultures and traditions:
When we visit a new place we get to know about their customs, traditions and lifestyle. You enrich your perspective and learn to respect all human beings. There are interesting stories behind all the cultures and you have so much to talk when you come back home!
People are the same everywhere:
In spite of the differences in race, colour, religion, clothes or appearances people are almost the same everywhere and they want peace just like us. Initially I used to be sceptical of all the things during travel and not able to enjoy wholeheartedly but then you meet many good people along the way and know that not everyone is bad. Also never judge people based on their appearances as you never know who will come to your help in certain circumstances.
You make new friends:
You have never met them before but the bonds that form during travel are so strong and many a times you may find your travelling partners for future trips. You get to know so many people with similar interest and you know that you are not crazy alone! I really don’t have to tell you the magic of those interesting conversations over multiple cups of tea/coffee in those amazing surroundings.
You are capable of so many things:
Any travel always makes us come out of our comfort zone and recognize our hidden potential. The things which seem impossible or not manageable can be conquered by us and when you come back from such experiences, you really become proud of yourself. You always learn so much and in the process get accustomed to the newer version of “YOU” which wouldn’t have surfaced under ordinary settings!
Lastly, I would like to say that learning is a never ending process and this is just the beginning for me. Still, many miles to conquer and learn along the way:)