I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world. ~Mary Anne Radmacher
I remember the first time I saw Chandra Taal in Spiti. From a narrow valley view, it widened into its full form. Amongst the rain, I stood frozen in time and gasped at her beauty. It is a moment difficult to articulate in words. A moment which forces you to completely surrender to nature.
Every now and then I find myself going back to this memory and re-living the feelings it evoked in me. It is moments like these that make travel an integral part of my life. Travelling, whether solo, with friends or with family, has changed me a great deal and yet, made me understand myself.
Initially, I used to travel to lose myself in a place, its history and culture and its people. Over the years, this has changed and now I find myself wandering to discover myself amongst strangers. Here are some reasons why travelling is the only way I can live my life complete.
Experiencing The Fleeting Wind Of Freedom
As momentary as is the feeling of freedom, its repercussions are as addictive.
Freedom comes with a price. It is the price we pay to surmount our fears, move out of our comfort zone and take chances. And trust me, it never disappoints. Every time I did something I was scared of, I came out feeling lighter and more independent than what I used to be.
In one of my solo trips, I decided to try Scuba diving in Goa, even though I was petrified of water. It turned out to be a phenomenal experience, prompting me to earn a certification in Scuba Diving in the next few months. Breathing under water can be the most surreal and meditative state. I felt so completely liberated.
Reconnecting With My Belief System
When was the last time you did something you truly wanted to without questioning it?
Travelling has taught me how to believe in myself and what a uniquely rewarding experience trusting one’s instinct can be. Whether it is choosing a solo-safe destination or navigating across unknown streets, listening to my intuitions has always been fruitful for me.
Spending time outdoors amongst nature and letting your intuitions guide you infuses a new kind of strength in you. Travelling solo has also made me believe in the goodness of people. In my travels, I try and engage well with the locals and blend in. In unfortunate situations, it is them who have come forth and helped me.
It is beautiful how human relationships can be redefined by a small leap of faith.
Looking At Things Differently
With a new India ready to surprise you every 50 kilometres, our cultural practices and ritualistic beliefs take different forms across districts. It is good to know how lives are lived and how happiness is a definition different for each one of us.
Opening up to facts I didn’t know existed has changed my perspective on life and earth vastly. When I saw how solar energy can revolutionise homes in Himachal Pradesh and how far the women in Assam villages travel for their daily supply of water, I started doing my bit to minimise global warming.
A traveller’s life is nothing if our experience doesn’t actively support an evolved perspective.
Accepting Change As The Only Constant
There will always be situations in our lives which would be out of our control. Accepting change comes tough on most of us and when on the road, there are a number of things that can and do go wrong. How I overcome those situations and welcome the difference is a rare but lasting learning.
I find myself voluntarily introducing change in my life and constantly pushing my limits to grow further.
Being Forever In Love
Whoever said we fall in love only once, didn’t travel.
I fall in love every time I travel – with the mountains, the chai, the laugh of the man at the next table, the warmth of the lady’s eyes or the wag of the adorable street dog.
Whether it is Chandra Taal, the Eiffel Tower or Michelangelo’s Pieta in Vatican City, each travelling experience has reaffirmed my belief that this is my life’s calling.
It’s true when they say that travelling is but a journey we make to discover ourselves!
So, why do YOU travel?