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4 years back (2016), my life was too boring, no travelling, no excitement, nothing. It was very difficult to hold on to a monotonous 8-5 job, that paid decently, but in spite of the pay, it was so depressing to go through the same roads all days of the week, meet same people with their same old school attitudes, the same old colony, the same shops serving the same food I have been eating for years and years.
Luckily, I had found myself happening and adventurous friends that heaped me out of the monotony from time to time. I used to hang out with them, sometimes hitting the bar, sometimes a house party, or many a times the movies.
How all this happened
One fine day, a girl from my group asked me, “Would you join me and my sister for a trip to Bhutan.” I was excited at the thought but I had no idea what on earth is so special that they wanted to go there, when we have all the beautiful places in India. Honestly, I hadn’t even heard much about Bhutan as a travel destination back then.
Also, I never believed that my family would ever allow me on a bag packing trip with friends, that too with all girls, so it was almost impossible for me to think that I was on it. Unlike others my family was quite conservative about travelling and not much to be the ones getting out of their comfort zones. However, I geared up courage that day to try my luck. I went home from office, the traffic didn’t bug me up, as the longer it took for the traffic to clear up, the longer time it gave me to think on how to convince my mother mostly, who is generally very concerned about my safety (but that’s what mothers are all about)
Did I need convincing at home?
Finally, I reached home, unzipped my jacket, and had this weird expression on my face, looking at which my mother understood I was up to something, and asked me what was cooking up in my mind, I still remember gasping at her intuitions to know things. However, I sat beside her, and carefully without revealing any information, just to make it look like I was wandering my head to look out for possibilities, I asked, “What if I want to go on a trip with my random friends to an unknown place for over a period of 10 -15 days?”
There was a long silence…..I didn’t know if I was going to be hit by something nearby, or if I was going to get a scolding, or a real long lecture, I had no idea how she was going to take it. The anxiety caught me, and I unknowingly crossed my figures, for if she says a no, I am not going to be able to go, and I so very much wanted to.
I turned my focus to a song on the television, just when I caught the lyrics of it just to make the question seem less like a planned question, and more of a crossing thought, I heard my mom say “I think you should go, but first tell me about it”
Me shocked at the surety by which she asked me, sure that I wasn’t just asking this out of wandering curiosity. I told her all I knew about, and she seemed pretty okay with it.
How we got ready for our 1st travel
Soon the week later we had our flights booked, my first flight since I remember. We girls (my friend, her sister, and a colleague) kept meeting on weekends, deciding on the itinerary, buying stuff, as this was our first plan ever, we had to start buying right from bags, to trekking shoes, and to sling bags and of course the rest girly stuff shopping follows.
Days passed away soooo soon, that soon it was the day we had our flight. I had already packed my bag very carefully listing down all I had to take along. I was restless with excitement that I couldn’t even sleep for an hour that night, and I kept looking at the clock.
Stepping out of home to Travel and Explore the world
Just for information, we had included Darjeeling, Gangtok in Sikkim to our Bhutan itinerary. So our flight was from Pune-Delhi-Bagdogra. I started to the airport early morning around 3am as our flight was around 5.30am. Biding bye to my dog who I was worried about, as never in 10 years had I stayed apart from him. And my mom of course, a vulgar kiss planted on her cheek, and I headed off.
To my surprise all others were on time as well. As this was our first bag packing travel, we all were way before time. This was the first time I was visiting the airport. I didn’t much like the feel of it though, as PNQ being a defense/commercial airport, there was nothing ‘happening’ about it, no big shops, no bars, not even eateries, yet I still remember every minute I spent there, as this is what effect a first experience has on you, you cannot deny by forgetting any part of it.
I was too happy, that what seemed like a dream, had finally come true. Once the trip started, I understood things about myself that I would never have understood if I hadn’t taken a step to get out from the monotonous life. I always wanted to travel, experience the world, explore destinations, connect with different people coming from different cultures, to learn about their culture, their traditions, their way of living, and enjoy every bit of this learning.
What travelling taught me :
When you meet new people, learn about their stories, their traditions, a new set of struggles, a new perspective to things, dealing with all new experiences, makes you a more humble person.
You learn different cultures, perspectives, new struggles, you relate to them with your own life. This experience makes your mind more open to accepting things different than what you have seen and believed until now or in simple words you accept the diversity in cultures.
When you hear/see other people’s stories and the struggles in their lives, you tend to think how blessed and grateful you are for what destiny has stored in for you, for there are many people fighting fierce battles than you ever even imagined. Not only struggles, but you also learn to appreciate the present, letting go off the past and fear of the future. It teaches us that there is so much more to life when we unplug ourselves, take a step back, and seek the present moments we have.
I believe Independence is putting yourself in a position where in you have no one to lean on, and you have to be stronger for your own sake. When you are on your own, out of your comfort zone, you protect yourself from every unwanted situation, making yourself more responsible. These responsibilities in turn make you independent. You will also be surprised how good you handled all o which you never thought you could handle.
5. Beauty in the bad:
Disappointment is created when there is gap between the expectations and reality. It is a human way of rejection of the way things turn up to be. Remember there is a beauty even in the bad, especially when you are evolving into a fresh mindset. Sometimes things will go wrong, and when they do, you will be pointed towards a new direction. There will always be a new experience in ranging over this direction.
Now when I look back to the old me across all these years, I find myself as a different person, a more accepting, a more understanding, a more grateful person than what I was. Now that I have travelled many more destinations over the span of 3 years, I will be sharing more and more experiences with you all sooner, hoping to inspire people to step out of their comfort zones for their own wellness and for the hunger to explore more.
Stay tuned to read about my travel experiences and more, coming up soon!!!
I promise not to disappoint you.
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