I have always been what you call a ‘Lazy Bum’. It is a herculean task for me to complete even the most required tasks. Leave alone traveling. After all it’s the same trees, roads and mountains everywhere!
However, it just took a trip to Europe to change my mind. It was my first solo travel outside of India. Well, not exactly solo, but I was just not accompanied by my parents. A cousin of my dad’s and his wife were with me. We played safe and booked a packaged tour with a reputed travel agency. As the travel date neared, I had butterflies in my stomach (not sure if it was due to excitement or fear, maybe a bit of both).
The ‘D-day’ arrived at 6pm on a Saturday, when we flew to Mumbai and took a connecting flight to London. That was the only city in UK we visited, before taking off for Europe. It was here that I had an ‘heightened’ experience. I had never before attempted a ride on the ‘Ferris Wheel’ or the ‘Giant Wheel’ as you call it back home in India. Understandably, I had jitters looking at the ‘Giant’ London eye. I literally did a double take when I came to know that the ride was included in the package. The guide and my fellow tourists convinced my saying I wont even feel its movement as the rotation will be very slow. We reached the place just as it was beginning to get dark. I must admit the surrounding was soothing with cool winds blowing. There were various musicians displaying their talents to who ever had the time to listen. Not to mention the food stalls. After a walk around the area, it was time to get into the ‘London Eye’. I stepped into one of the ‘cars’ with great trepidation.
I must admit I hardly felt anything as it began to move slowly. Its slow movement was sure to have given a turtle a race for its money. Jokes apart, it was the ride of my life. The next 30 minutes did not seem enough to take in the breath-taking views of the brightly lit city. The view from the top was out-of-the-world. I would have surely missed an experience of a lifetime had I given in to my fears.
Of course, I remembered to take plenty of photos as a proof of how I overcame my fear of heights or ‘Acrophobia’ as it is called medically. To this day, this remains one of my memorable trips. It always serves as a reminder that anything can be achieved or overcome if you have your heart set to it.