December 20, 2015 by
I remember those days where all we would know about our destination was from a folded brochure. These days, people travel based on the 10 best selfie spots in the world (please tell me you aren’t one of them).
Well, it’s a brand new year ahead. So why not do something new with your travel plans too? After all you’re all making resolutions for 2016. And if you’re looking for inspiration, or are just wondering why the hell do you need a resolution even for travel, fear not. Here, have a look at my travel resolutions for 2016:
• Be the lone ranger
Confession time, folks. I have always travelled with 3 or more people. Always. So you may ask, on what basis am I saying the above? Well, my old school friend recently went on a bike trip, alone. And I was fascinated by his account. His bike developed technical snags, he met some rowdy truckers, drove on a nearly empty tank in an uninhabited region of the hills. But the best part, according to him, was none of these. It was that, through it all, in all the doing things his own way, he learnt about himself better than he would have ever learnt in any other way. And that got me hooked. After all, these are my resolutions too.
• Room at homestays, not hotels
You know, whenever I go home (my parents are living a quiet post retirement life on the outskirts of Udupi, Karnataka), I notice the little things my parents do that I, in all my modern city life, don’t really have the time (or inclination) to do. That’s what we call culture, the details, the tiny things we do. and it’s something that you can see only in a home, not a hotel. We miss all that in our lives out here, that’s true, but when we go somewhere new, somewhere where we can look at things in a different way, why not go the whole distance? Ain’t something new either, staying at someone else’s home. Check out Couchsurfing or Homestay on Google; you will be surprised seeing the number of people ready to invite you inside their homes, at prices less than that of a sterile, anonymous hotel room. They can even guide you in sightseeing around; you can always SeekSherpa if you’re looking for a local tour guide. Makes for better memories too. Take my word ;)
• Stay in the moment
This one is for all the click happy people. The point of clicking a photo, whenever you do, is to record the totally awesome moment you’re having; it’s not the memory, it’s the record of a memory. So put that phone or that big tablet down. Listen to the noises; see how the way they pronounce is different from yours? Look around; take in a view which doesn’t involve your same commute and office/ college surroundings. Travelling can help you meet some people you wouldn’t normally meet, and maybe even strike up a friendship. So when you take that selfie, you know exactly what happened to make that moment special enough to demand it being captured on your photo roll.
• Spread some sunshine :)
This one will take some elaboration, so stay with me. You know those Snapdeal and etc ads where some random bloke in some random place in India suddenly discovers e-commerce and starts raking in the money? We i.e. my dad and me, actually made that happen once. I mean, I don’t know if he’s raking it in, but the guy we helped is a registered seller on Snapdeal. All because we showed him how it worked. This phone, the one you are reading this blog on, can do quite a lot of amazing things, which while we take for granted, can transform the lives of the people in rather not so well connected places. So if you think the kid scribbling in the corner can do with some help, show him Khan Academy and Coursera and what they can do. Plus, you will have the satisfaction of doing something good. Be a ray of sunshine for someone!
• Travel In India
No, this isn’t another Modi initiative (though he could do it, you know; just saying). I have been to Dubai and Singapore a couple of times, with family, and it’s not as if they are bad; they are amazing places and you can have a blast there. But when you actually think about it, our country has so much of diversity, of which we haven’t even scratched the surface. The Himalayas, the Hornbill festival in Nagaland, the beauty of Arunachal Pradesh, the varied (and quickly disappearing)tribes in various parts of the country , the Andaman and Nicobar islands, the Lakshadweep, even Big B’s Gujarat…just look at that! All these places to see, and we go holiday in another country. Tch, tch. Go, be the chosen one, and bring balance. As the flavor of the season famously says, may the force be with you!!
Any thoughts or comments? Email me at [email protected] Happy holidays!!