And still be a full-time Travel writer…
Blog after blog celebrates the bravado of smashing the shackles of the safety net to ‘live the dream’. Admire it or envy it…most people just keep wondering what it’s like to travel full-time. Calls for more than just an adrenaline-junkie spirit go all the way, few can actually take the leap of faith.
Reality interferes…family life, children, work or finances are always higher up in priority. If travel was your true calling, it would make the list no matter what, wouldn’t it? Isn’t there’s always a choice? Don’t we consciously pick what suits us, one way or the other. If something else is more important, that’s just what it is…something else IS more important! Simple.
For the more mainstream of us, travel is not a future ambition, but a parallel existence. High points of our lives are defined by the presence of long weekends in new year’s calendars. Trip planning is an endless agenda which fills our bookshelves, our weekends, our social media news feed, all the nooks and crannies of our cerebellum folds and nearly all our significant conversations with important people in our lives. Travel is a much-awaited escape ritual, a gateway to intensely enriching experiences, that defines the pinnacle, even the objective of our lives. Yet, I pass the opportunity to travel full-time? Why? Why? Why? And why? Four reasons. Good as gold.
1. I did not quit one rat race to join another
Running after targets, chasing deadlines, pursuing ambitions, tracking goals and shadowboxing competition. Been there, done that in the corporate world and in the media world. The problem is even if you win, you don’t really win. Right? Because you’re out of breath from all that puffing and panting. And wondering…was it worth all the heartache? What about all the ‘journey matters more than the destination’ jazz? That’s the station I’m tuned into right now. Living my dream, my way.
2. I’m selfish. I travel for ‘me’
They say travel is the only investment which makes you rich. By broadening your horizons, widening your perspectives and enriching you with varied experiences and sights. Hey, the key word is ‘you’, remember? Then why crowd your itinerary with museums even if you are more activity-driven? Why worry about not having visited the ‘most-recommended’ destinations of the year, even if they don’t whisper soft-nothings to your heart? Why not just go with the natural flow of what attracts you most? Not sure? Try this. If there was no one to see your pictures or hear your stories, what would you be happiest doing and where in the world? Bingo!
3) Math and I were ‘anti-buddies’ at school
Number of countries in the world could have been 150 yesterday and may be 240 tomorrow, but I’m not keeping count. At least not from the point of view of getting visas ticked off. I don’t want to pressure myself into counting destinations for the sake of making or breaking records. Math and I were ‘anti-buddies’ at school. We just didn’t see eye-to-eye. And never will. I would rather spend a few weeks delving into the soul of one amazing country / continent till I get goosebumps poring over its heritage monuments, restless feet watching its lively folk dances and a lump in my throat waving it goodbye.
4) I’m the worst multi-tasker ever born
Life is one big journey, granted. Not meant to be spent rooted to one place. Agreed. But, while some people prefer to keep moving. Home sweet home for some rest, reflection and reminiscence. Respite from travel, to travel again! I need to neutralise my senses to be ‘wow-ed’ again. Like smelling coffee beans between sniffs of ten different perfumes. To get over the travel fatigue caused by the unending whirlwind of images casting a greying cloud, dulling my senses, diminishing my capacity to appreciate and slowing my impulses to imbibe. What is it like to never go home? It wouldn’t be a trip anymore…just regular life, with the inevitable saturation. The charm lies in the unattained…something undone, something yet unachieved, to aspire for. Always a little untravelled?
As part-time travellers, our hands are in both pies, we have the best of both worlds. Revelling in the happiness of each trip while we’re on it, and revelling in the hangover of that happiness while waiting for the next trip…again and again and again. It’s a full circle! And if that doesn’t feel like heaven, tell me what does?
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