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How Traveling Changes your Life


This post appeared in Women’s Web

Traveling is the tonic for life that keeps the soul replenished. Every moment brings in a new perspective to the journey called Life.  It needn’t be an exotic location but a local market that brings out the colours and flavours of the inhabitants.  It could be a life altering experience for a few or for that matter an adrenaline pumping experience. The benefits of these encounters that I term exuberance are multi fold.

  • Live life to the fullest –

Traveling opens the mind and the deepest recess of the grey cells. You live and breathe every moment of life.  Simple facts that we seem to miss in our daily grind are enjoyed and absorbed though our senses. When I had visited Toronto I made it a point to visit the CN Tower which is the tallest free-standing structure in the western world. I gathered courage to walk on the edges of this observation tower which stands 553.33 m high. I must say it was the walk of my life for I could feel the rush. The experience is out of the world and completely worth it. One could be watching the raging bulls (Jallikattu during Pongal) running down in Madurai or a beautiful sunrise in Rishikesh.  It could be the delight of a painter’s brush stroke or the verse of poet, every experience would be a memorable chapter in your life.

  • Blend with the culture –

Traveling introduces you to the culture and the history of the region. It could be the local food, the vivid colors, the cacophony, the smell or the language. You never know you might end up learning the local dialect or the cuisine of the expanse. Few years back I had managed to book an accommodation at a homestay in Harnai, a beautiful hamlet in Konkan. Imagine my surprise when I reached, to find that the accommodation was in a fishermen’s colony with the smell of fish hanging heavily all around us. I was skeptical of their behavior and wondered if they would be well mannered. We stay put for the next three days and by the end of the trip I had a very different view to it. They had the humanity in them to help and care for others that we seemed to have lost in the burgeoning city life. These people lead a simple, no frills life yet they were content with it. Meeting the locals of the region brings in a new perception to the trip. You could tap a foot with the locals on a Lezim folk dance during Ganesh Chaturthi in Pune or marvel the Taj Mahal’s architecture, the choice is enormous.  The earthen symphony indeed refreshes the rancid soul.

  • Respect the Ecosystem –

Sivakasi, a small town in Tamilnadu receives scanty rainfall and experiences hot and dry climate throughout the year. The water table is salty which makes consumption impossible. Drinking water would be supplied through water tankers twice a week. Ladies would run to fill in their containers whenever they would get to know the tanker has arrived. When I was in my sixth grade I visited my grandparents who resided in a small colony in Sivakasi. The colony hadn’t received drinking water in the last five days and we had no stock at home. As me and my cousins played in the scorching heat we all were very thirsty. The six of us had to visit the neighborhood locality and borrow three bottles of water from one of the families. I was in for a surprise when I faced this stark reality. At that age I had not considered water to be a valuable resource that needs to be conserved and not splurged upon. When you travel to the western countries or places closer like Singapore, the startling observation is the clean roads wherein people never drop dirt.  Next time you would think twice before you ditch that plastic bottle in a sea shore in India. Traveling embarks the values of cleanliness and the need to go for sustainable travel solutions. How about cooling your heels on a bicycle in Coorg, sounds interesting?

  • Plan, Budget and Manage

Traveling teaches you to live a disciplined life. Though you are independent, carefree and live a life of your choice it brings in a sense of budget living. It teaches you to live a life within the best possible ways and not go overboard. Traveling tightens the strings and enables to lead a life that doesn’t burn a hole in the pocket. Prior to any trip you do your homework be it items to be carried as per the place you are visiting, cheap tickets, budget hotels or homestays, visa process, places to visit. The whole exercise sort of trains you to plan and manage effectively. Every trip has a lesson learnt that would help in the future jaunts. Traveling light is always better, when being with kids, in a group or solo. Doesn’t a homestay with the locals in Kerala sound exciting?

  • Enjoy some ME time – 

    You inhale the allures of life be it traveling in a group or solo. It’s a sense of liberation from provincial thinking and a break from the mundane. I had solo traveled on an official duty to London for two months. Being a mother of two kids back home my time is spent juggling between office and family. But in those two months in London I got the time of my life. I could spend some ME time with my friends, visit the Cornish coast (as a child read the Enid Blyton books which have references to it), dig into the local cuisine and bask in the English countryside. There weren’t any strings attached or for that matter I didn’t had to answer a single soul. I was a bird set free to fly to the land unknown and explore the limitless sky. It is to break free from the usual lifestyle and experience the unknown and the unheard. One needs to recharge himself from the daily stress.

Above all it is to have an open mind to embrace, accept and experiment which is the essence of Traveling. Are you game for it?

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