My Bhutan Diaries

The Return

I’ve never been good at ‘goodbyes’. Well, I suck at it. So, naturally, I was aware that the return back to Chennai was not going to be easy for me.

Early on 6th Jan, we bid goodbye to Karma and Nivvana, and to Kiron bhaiyya who’d taken us around Paro, the last three days. At Paro taxi stand, we booked a shared cab to Phuentsholing, and waited for more than an hour at the stand, while the driver looked around for another passenger. During that time, we walked around the vegetable market, enquiring about the prices and source of their produce. We discovered that around 90% of it was brought in from India and very few fruits and vegetables were indigenous to Bhutan.

We set out on the longest journey and at around 18:00, reached Phuentsholing.

He loved us enough to share one of his oranges with us — At the Paro Taxi Stand

We checked in to Hotel Shelgoen, headed out to the market for a few souvenirs and made our way to Kizom Café, a cool place we’d eyed on our first night in Bhutan.

Around 7:00 the next morning, we crossed over Phuentsholing back to Jaigaon, took a cab to Bagdogra airport and flew in to Chennai via Kolkata airport. We were back home that night.

So, for the last time, why do we travel?

Some say, the whole purpose of travel is to return home; others say, it is to lose yourself and to find a renewed version of yourself; some travel for rich experiences — I’ve read a number of travel bloggers who feel they’ve lived most in their six months or one year of travel than they have in their past 25–30 years of life; a few cynics also consider travel as a sort of escapism, a way to run away from the hardships of the ‘real world’.

The night we returned from Bhutan and for many days after, I felt orphaned. My reality didn’t seem real to me anymore: a sense of belonging nowhere and everywhere at the same time. Since then until now, I’ve tried to organize my thoughts around it. Throughout the trip, I’ve discovered my love and comfort in the unknown; my childlike curiosity to see, smell, hear, taste, touch and feel those that I haven’t in my 25 years of life. It has pushed me to re-evaluate my priorities in life. Apart from all of the above, what enticed me most were the stories I picked up from the trip, and a yearning to put it out and share it with you. I believe this is just a beginning to the many journeys I want to head out on.

How about you? When are you making your dream trip a reality? :)

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