Honey, I don't need that diamond ring ....instead take me to some place I've never been!

24th Dec 2018

My husband was planning to gift me a diamond ring as my birthday gift and thus was asking me to accompany him for making a choice. Unlike most of the other women my reaction was

"Well well! Hubby dear...

i don't want to wear that stone in my hand. Once in 3 months take me to explore some new land."

For us Indians, going on holiday is once in a blue moon affair. We don't travel much to different places. Moreover, Indians are mostly deprived of holidays from work because of work culture that prevails here. Here, getting leaves is more of a worry than the budget. Whenever we take that much needed vacation we end up going to our native place to meet our relatives. There are some people who can manage leaves but think that going on vacation is an expensive affair. Not really...its all about the choices you make. You can choose to go on budget holiday or a luxury one depending upon your pocket size.

Many people think of vacations only as going to some exotic place or some international destination. But that's not how it should be...You can go to some place nearby where you have not been before or some place far. It may be natural beauty, man made beauty or different adventure experience altogether. Traveling makes you the person you wouldn't be other wise and hence traveling should be a frequent affair.
Here are some of the reasons in my view why one should travel more and often:

1. Traveling broadens your perspective towards life. From "frog in a well" you become "frog in a field". Before it was all about my life, my pains, my worries and my happiness. Once you travel you get to know what life is.... How people in different parts of this beautiful world make their living, what are the problems they face. It may seem very rosy picture for us to sit here and think what a life Europeans are having....but when you go there you realise what harsh climatic conditions they face. They don't get to see sun for days unlike we Indians. It was on my recent trip to Maldives I met few foreigners and got to know why they came here... to soak themselves in sun. They don't get sunny weather there and are prone to many skin diseases. Thus they are in Maldives to enjoy tropical weather and get some sun.

2. Traveling improves your overall personality. When you travel you meet different people, exchange views and ideas. Not every one you meet will agree to you and vice versa. You learn to agree disagree with other person's view point amicably.

3. Traveling makes you adaptive. When you travel, most of the times you may have to adjust with situations. Be it weather, food or people. You get out of the comfort zone and adjust to circumstances and eventually learn to enjoy life. What is life when it's all cozy and cushy? From my personal experience, I had never taken a ST bus ride before. Whenever we traveled as a family my father tried his best to make it comfortable for us by hiring a private vehicle thus we never traveled in state transport bus. Once after marriage, we went to Shegaon ( a small religious place in Maharashtra). It was a sudden plan. We managed onward tickets via train but couldn't manage the return journey tickets. It was vacation time and hence couldn't get tickets in any of the private buses. Whatever we could get were in black and like 4 to 5 times higher the price. I wasn't convinced paying so high fares and let people take advantage  of my situation. My husband was ready to pamper me with private vehicle ride paying high fares. That is when i explored the ST bus option and lucky enough there was one going to Kalyan near Mumbai. There are no reservations for such buses and we had to reach the depot before 6 am to take the bus. My husband wasn't sure if I was making right choice. But I  convinced him. There were we at the depot at 5.30 am and managed to take the bus. It was my first ever ST bus ride and trust me it wasn't that bad. It wasn't AC nor having that recliner seats but still I could comfortably sit. It was  12 hour journey. Though difficult, but new experience. We tried some of the local food and fruits that came across. You don't taste life until you travel, adjust and adapt and that's what brings out the best in you. Now I can take ST bus rides without any hesitation. ;-)

4. You get to meet different people and taste different cuisines. World is indeed an exciting place and when I say this I also mean food. When I travel, I don't always take that sack of food from home with me unlike normal Gujarati. I want to try the different local food and hence I carry very limited options ...thinking what if the local food doesn't suit me.. then?? I visited Amritsar some one and half year back. Trust me, it wasn't only for the golden temple but to try my hands on...savory buttery amritsari kulchas, thick lassi and desi ghee sweets. I have tried all this in Mumbai with similar names.... Amritsari kulchas and Punjabi lassi but trying out at the place where it originated...is worth the experience. You will never ever get to taste the same khada prasad as the one you get in golden temple. Hence, you need to travel for your taste buds sake ;-)

Variety is the spice of life and thus we should explore this variety in climate, flora fauna and demographics and enjoy the difference. As rightly put by Air BnB, When you travel, you should not just go there; you should  live there.