Today ‘travel’ has become a default dream for pretty much everyone we encounter. What do you want to do in life? “Oh, I want to travel the world. Witness culture, climb mountains, taste authentic flavours, revel in the exotic setting”, and on goes the list. While this has become a ‘trend’ today, there are only few who understand the authenticity of travel and exploration.
Now before you start pouring hate over this, I understand that we have a rather subjective take on this topic. One of the main outcomes that come out of travelling is a new gained perspective on things, I believe. Travel for me means a change, a change that will inspire or instill something new in my lifestyle or me. Otherwise we are just an audience to the zoo that is the world – enter a new land, witness everything through a glass, and get back to our comfort zone.
Why more and more people are attracted to the idea of exploring a new place is because as humans, we’ve evolved to not just witness but also be a part of this ‘something new’.
What does travel exactly teach us?
Stereotypes speak of only one side of the story, and that is what creates a barrier. Exploration does not mean getting to a new piece of land, but it also ensures new, hopefully refined answers to questions.
Heena D’Souza is a 30-year-old filmmaker in Mumbai who has her heart set to exploring new destinations; be it on a bicycle or on foot, Mumbai streets, the Sahyadris, or even diving in Philippines. Heena continues to stretch her avenues of travel. “It is more than just discovering a destination for me, it’s about what I learn through the journey.” Travel has made her break the stereotypes she’s set for the unknown people and undiscovered land.
Importance of a community
Community.living.matters. Period. Why are we afraid of stepping out of our comfort zone?
In my recent travels to the Konkan Coast, I came across communities who welcomed me into their homes even though I was a stranger to them. Families looking out for one another while also respecting personal space, exchanging smiles and laughter, extending a helping hand are the small pleasures of life that we often overlook or even forget.
Another globetrotter Chriselle Baptista from Mumbai shares her experience of a community living – “Summer of 2016 was spent traversing through the countryside of several smaller countries in Europe. I spent days next to a river, took pottery classes in the local community, met generous people who looked out for me in a land which was unfamiliar to me.” What Chriselle takes away from her travels is the knowledge, consideration and importance of a varied lifestyle that keeps the diversity of a location intact.
A concept that is not just economical, but even lucrative if you are looking for a more refined travel experience.
Sometimes stumbling upon the local lifestyle has a profound impact on us than designing our way around it. Who doesn’t love a hotel room? Sure, we do, but we often forget to get in touch with our roots, and budget travel allows for a desi, raw experience. Imagine this – Travelling in the midst of foggy hills of Darjeeling, would you rather stop for a kulhad chai on the roadside, or sit in a posh AC room with your Darjeeling tea only to be an audience of nature?
Interaction builds communication, which further builds experience. Rewind back to your travels, and discover your happy place; did it involve sitting in a room or was it amongst strangers who taught you how to fall in love with the world?
By- Sukanya Sharma