February 22, 2010

Why we travel

It always happens – there comes a point atleast once in a week, when I think I've had enough. With the work pressure continuing to drive me insane, all I wish to do is pack my bags, hit the road and run away to a serene land far far away. And I’m sure, each one of us has felt the same many-a-times. I wonder if it is triggered by the urgency to escape the routine or the need to explore something much more rewarding. Which brings me to the raison d'etre of this post.

Afterall, why do we choose to travel?

Travel, I believe, is not merely a physical getaway; it's a state of mind. It is the willingness to move out of our comfort zone, to shed our inhibitions and escape into aimlessness. It is an outward journey to get a deeper understanding of the inner self.

We travel to become young fools again – to take great joy in the simplest of things and to unlearn the old ways of learning.

It lets us see the world with inquisitive eyes, which in turn bring in a fresh and renewed sense of wonder.

Suddenly, every colour...

every sight...

every taste arrests our senses...

...giving a different kind of high. And we are more than willing to become a slave of this sensory roller coaster ride.

Traveling makes it possible to tear away the ‘tags’ that we live with and see ourselves in the naked light. As Ray Bradbury puts it, “Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness”. When I am in a foreign land, I don’t think of myself as a sindhi , a gujarati or an advertising professional. I am just another face in the crowd. And in this process of losing oneself, we create an opportunity to decipher our true identity

To travel means leaving assumptions far behind, killing prejudices and seeing for ourselves places we thought we knew. And from the comforts of our home, we can only get a myopic view. No amount of google earth can bring us closer to the land we wish to visit. No amount of social networking can substitute the joy of getting to know people for real. And no matter how small the world becomes (thanks to all kinds of technology), there are always vast lands waiting to be explored.

So travel, the way I see it, is nothing short of some kind of divine intervention. It is the love of the unknown. And the lust for knowing it up close and personal. And this one time, I shall let lust take over love.

pics from my trip to Singapore last year

P.S.: This is my 100th post and this one’s dedicated to Prashant, a travel freak himself and who motivated me to write after a sabbatical of almost 2 months :)