Ever since I came to Delhi, or I should say, ever since I started exploring Delhi, I met many people who wanted to travel for some reason or the other. Everyone has this zeal to pack bags and leave. It was sometime later when I realised that I too want to travel, apart from writing, which is my first love. Now, as thrilling and adventurous it sounds, a question popped up in my subconcious, “Don’t you think travelling is a cliché? And you want to do it because everyone wants to do it?” Even my closest people were convinced that I was ‘fascinated’ by this idea which of course will be short lived.
I battled with this thought for a very long time. Travelling and writing, it surely is not as glamourous as it sounds. Moreover, as a matter of fact, every third person does want to travel! But then I look back and see that every second person wants to do MBA, Chartered Accountancy, engineering, etc. and such mainstreams are not questioned in India. May be, social acceptance of travelling will take time.
After convincing my parents for 10 months, I finally got permission to go on a trek and that experience in particular taught me that travelling can never be a cliché. It’s entirely different if you want to travel for fancy facebook pictures but those who yearn to find where a free mind wanders and see foreign land and culture, it is meditation.
Travelling can never be defined, it is experiential. One thing that stays as a constant is the fact that it is a learning experience. You will never know everything until you do it. Sometimes, even after you are back, your heart will be entangled in so many mysteries that those places will keep calling you. Also, it is not always about the land, sometimes, it is warmth of the people, their interesting cultures, local events, personal stories, clear skies and gigantic mountains. To add another point, the experience is different for every single soul. Unlike those academic courses, travelling is unique. What I’ll extract from my experience is exclusive to me. Just go by a book store and buy travelogues of different writers on a same place, you’ll know the difference.
For the sake of calling things cliché, there are many, yet you don’t want to become rich or attain best of the facilities because everyone is aiming for it. What I am trying to emphasise is not imitation but hunger to learn. It is not wise to stop yourself or anyone from travelling because many are into it or to raise the question of whether or not they have explored the place they live in.
One sees the different lives led by people, the terrain and socio-economic conditions of various regions. A few go around these places to observe while some discover their purpose of life in those journeys. Read ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ by Che Guevera and see how an adventurous trip turned into a social revolution. Travelling can also be an escape from tragedies of life, as it was to Colin Thubron, who decided to climb sacred Mount Kailash in his late 60s after losing his family.
As I said, it’s an exclusive experience to each one of us. The aura of these places will hit yours in such manner that will make you go deeper into introspection, every emotion gets magnified, some important things become irrelevant and all of a sudden nothing turns into everything. Let the world out there blame travelling and travellers, but if your soul gives that call, listen to it as this experience is the purest form of learning.