Backpacking trip can mean different things to different people. For me it’s a combination of budget (not dirt-cheap) stays, semi-planned itineraries, occasional adrenaline rush, breathtaking landscapes, ancient architecture, long walks and of course, a backpack. The first time I traveled with just a pack on my back, it was a Himalayan trek in Uttarakhand, with 9 strangers who became friends by the end of coming down the mountains. While most things went well, a few smaller ones did go wrong.
As much as the mainstream Bollywood movies are known to be far from reality, let’s just accept all of us have at least one favorite. Be it a young girl living on the streets trying to copy Anushka Sharma or a business tycoon hopping from one luxury hotel in India to another, we all have that filmy keeda we group up with.
“How did you go?” “Well, I bought a ticket.” “How did you know where to stay?” I didn’t. It was a risk worth taking. “How did you eat alone?” Just how I eat in someone else’s company, with my hands and mouth! “Did you ever step out of your room?” “What did you do?” “How did you roam around?” Sometimes, I roll my eyes on these questions before answering. Yeah, I can be rude.
Every time, I am out on the roads, I overhear people complaining about traffic and pollution. Have you ever thought who is responsible for it? Commuting to work, just by yourself in a car, for 30 odd kilometers one-way, makes you the traffic more than anyone else. Similarly, it astonishes me whenever someone blames the world for global warming while their own TV sets are switched on without an audience. My own family does it, for that matter! In recent years, people have started travelling more than ever. But, sadly a lot of them don’t know how to do it
While spending 1st day of the year strolling around the beaches of Pondicherry little did I know ‘2015’ would turn out to be ‘Travel’ focused. Or so, I’d like to put it. Because, on second thoughts it was much more. It was about having a lot of me-time, which is becoming a luxury these days. It was about taking chances. With extensive research, planning and a few thought-out decisions, I managed to do things I hadn’t done before. Here are five of the major ones, in chronological order:
After all the posts and stories I had read on Social media about more and more women travelling alone these days, I was not really prepared for the reactions that I got. One of the most surprising comments came from a guest house owner in a tiny town of Maharashtra. In his words, “It’s okay for foreigner females travelling alone in India. We have all seen that. But now when I am seeing an Indian doing it, it’s strange. You are brave.” He had a genuine smile on his face and even innocence in his thought but it was disturbing for
While I am writing this, I can’t even recall all that has gone through my mind in past 30 days, in a positive way of course! Here are top five emotions I’ve felt after bidding goodbye to the routine life and entering a new phase of uncertainty:
An ancient charm, a sense of belonging, a place that makes my curious instincts alive by presenting numerous questions and eventually answering those itself. It can be a monument, an old village, a barren land, ruins of a king’s fort or just another building at the same place where my grandfather saw it as a boy. It can be the way people dress up or talk. In fact, it can easily be a way of life. Heritage to me is all of that and everything else that is preserved over the years and deserves to be protected for the times to
“Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart’s tears can dry at its own pace.” – Vernon Baker A lot of times while introducing myself, I am asked about my hometown and when I say I really don’t have one or I have too many to count, I am bombarded with a lot more questions. Then I have to explain my dad’s job which again raises a lot of eyebrows, though I still don’t understand why (more on that later). Almost always, my introduction becomes more of a storytelling session than a small talk.