Journeys & Stories — An Introduction

Traveling has always been a dream of mine in some form or another — whether it was to explore the Pacific Ocean for underwater zoology, being a mountain climber or a straight-up Round-The-World trip. This dream has been kept alive throughout the years, growing and evolving as I was.

I had grown up with books around me, it’s natural when the entire family consists of bookworms. I’d just pick up whatever was on the coffee table, in the common bookshelf, my dad’s collection, my sister’s collection until I was finally old enough to have one of my own. The books I would pick evolved with age — from comics to fiction to anthologies and collections of tales.

A lot of times, the stories would be set in really exotic places — the most obvious example that comes to mind is The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. The characters in this novel travel throughout the major cities in Europe, touching the historical ones and attaching some significance. Reading through it, I didn’t care if what was presented was fact or fiction, I’d consume it and imagine myself on the streets of Paris or inside one of the old cathedrals. The places came alive, rather than being just another item on the sight-seeing list to tick off. Similarly, The Millenium Trilogy was a window to life in Scandinavia, and Sweden in particular — the tunnelbana system, the weather, differences in the city and countryside lifestyles and other little details.

In my very short life so far, I couldn’t wait till I earned a sufficient amount for a proper Round-The-World trip. The high-paying corporate jobs weren’t exactly my forte anyway. So I’d save up little by little and check off each place in the form of vacations and weekend trips whenever I could. I can’t say I’m an avid traveler yet, but I have been to 7 countries, had adventures in most of them. Each of the cities I’ve ever traveled to had a distinct flavour evoking distinct emotions and thoughts that only ever belonged there.

In this project called Journeys & Stories, I will be chronicling each trip, trying to capture the place’s flavour. There will be two parts to each place in this project — a Journey and a Story. The Journey is the tale of travel; the Story a fictional tale inspired by an element in the travel — any element, a particular landmark, a picture or the place itself.

Why this project?

So I can inspire another person who is on the fence to take the journey in any little way they can. So I can give back to the people what I took from authors before me. So I can provide a little window to a different world to an armchair traveller. So kids can enjoy some more stories in the world and maybe dare to dream.

I’d like to imagine that a consequence of writing about travel and culture as seen from a foreigner’s eyes would be a teeny-tiny contribution towards world peace, but it is better to be aware of delusions of grandeur and nip them in the bud. Still, a small optimistic dreamy part of me hopes to bring people together by showing parts of the world through a random human’s eyes.

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