What has Travel really taught me?

One of the first few articles I managed to write when I had just begun writing (and travelling). The first few instances when I truly felt entitled to my space, feelings and words.

Read more words from the novice writer here.

What started out as a fun college trip with my friends, turned out to be a trip of discovery — of self. It was more than just clicking pictures, ticking off items from my bucket list, checking in on Facebook and every other thing you can expect a millenial to do. It gave me a deep sense of (be)longing to go back to the same place. Not because I wanted to click more pictures. Not because I missed out on places to visit. And definitely not because I was secretly meeting someone there :)

It was because, for once, I truly felt alive and I craved for more of it. I had had a taste of what it felt to be amidst breathtaking dawns, blankets of silence, daunting mountains, jungle wilderness, deep sea blues and possibly every other call from eternity. There was no looking back ever since. Travelling in my mid-twenties, these are things it has taught me to become the person I am today.

1. To Dare

I’m an ambivert. I have always been one. Sometimes, when I am with my friends, I grow into one pompous, loud teenager( years younger than she actually is) who cannot stop laughing her heart out. I would get into an uncontrollable laughter mode - with absolutely no sense of surroundings and self. Sometimes, when in the same group, I simply want to breathe, just be and be left alone. It’s my way of finding the balance between my mad and sane self.

Travel showed me the guts I thought I never had. I always carry bouts of self doubt with me. Travel showed a completely new world to me- version 2.0, an upgraded, better version of the world. Travelling taught me to stop worrying about tomorrow, to happily embrace today’s challenges, to laugh , to love and to live like there is no tomorrow. I have stepped out enough of my comfort zone to an extent that I can now live without a home and without any borders ( to be read - shackles of the society). And travelling solo has taught me enough to face the world and just be Game-On all the time.

2. That Happiness is subjective like everything else in the world is.

To each his own. And this applies to almost everything in life. No. Strike through almost. It applies to everything and everybody. Until I started to be the hippie feet that I am today, I thought money was all that was required to be happy. I could do anything if I had more money, I would think. I haven’t traveled outside of my country yet, but India has enough diversity to put me through introspection. Through extensive travelling, I realized how happy one can be with a simple yet captivating and charming lifestyle that is in stark contrast to the urban ones. Money surely buys me happiness in a way. I cannot afford my flight tickets without it.:)Yet, it was not ALL. And when I state this, it isn’t supposed to be a philosophy I send out as a universal truth but rather an emotion I can easily relate to, which is why I quote “Happiness is subjective like everything else is.” I was happy I could respect what the word subjective means.

3. What passion is

I have never understood the true meaning of what passion is until I could no longer be comfortable in that cushy corporate life, that gave me everything a graduate wants -a ‘real’ job, a fat paycheck and a sophisticated society status. Yet, all that wouldn’t make my soul happy. Once in a while, I used to peep out of myself, in a backpack, to see the world with a broader perspective and that is when I realized I wanted to do this full-time. Since then, I have come to understand what passion truly means. I no more earn like I did in my corporate life and I work more than ever before, but I don’t regret it one bit. This time, life was for real. It has dreams, happiness, adventures and solace raised to the nth power of all of these in my previous life-choice. After all, life comes down to choices.

4. To stop judging

Right from the day we are born we are subjected to constant judgement. And when we start growing up we tend to give it back too. Travel has taught me to look beyond a person instead of judging him. It taught me to listen instead of talk. It made me understand someone beyond prejudices. It showed me that judging someone is a time that could be spent on something more valuable (literally anything else!). It gave me the strength and the reasoning to move beyond my own enclosures and my fixed opinion on everything. And if I know today, that someone is judging me right away, I’ve grown to the point where all I do is to just smile back.

5. What a free-spirit truly means

A free spirit is not just to be a hippie on the roads and to have your itchy feet wandering around but it also means to be wise in your act and strong in your soul. I repeat. Wise in your act and strong in your soul. It means to be truly human. It means to give without intending to receive and to stand up for yourself and for something you truly believe in. It is to love unconditionally and be impulsively compassionate. It is to have the courage to make decisions for yourself and find your inner peace (like the Kungfu Panda:D). In short, a free spirit is to be able to live beyond the conventional norms of the society not exactly in terms of being rebellious but to be able to see the world much beyond than a normal person can and evolve as a better human being in the finest sense.

To most of my questions, I have my answers today. In search of the rest, I start to travel yet again!!