All posts filed under: Travel Inspiration

12 Travel Goals To Accomplish Before 30

I hate bucket lists. The whole idea of penning down name of places and then pursuing them, one by one, never intrigued me. It doesn’t suit us backpackers lot, either. The real charm of travelling is only when you set off to a place, the minute you find yourself intrigued by it, not two years from now. Because two years from now, that place might still be there, but its originality, its vibe, will totally be washed away, or at least, altered. So, I hate bucket lists. I think they’re crap. Also, as a hungry nomad, there’s no place in the world where I don’t want to be. But I think there are some places, some experiences, that I want to see (or try out) sooner or later. They’re more like priorities. And to keep a tab on them, I’m writing my travel priorities (not a bucket list!) for the next 4 years, in order to stay focused. 12 travel goals to accomplish before I turn 30: Complete The Appalachian Trail Ever since I’ve read the book on …

The Joy of Slow Travel

I was recently trying to put all my logical judgments and answer a burning query of mine “why do I consider myself a traveler, when I address most of the people, including many friends, as tourists?” I mean, I take the same road, experience similar locale, and possibly meet the same local people. So why this demarcation? Is it the term ’a traveler’ which has some sort of bounding appeal to it? What makes me a traveler? I realized the answer, on its own, while having a conversation with an old friend, who came home for a quick visit, a couple of days ago. He is getting married in 6 months from now, and is busy working his ass of, in order to get promoted before the marriage. Under such convoluted circumstances, I asked him if he fancies a ‘short biking expedition’ in Himalayas (I really did mention the word ‘short’). His response – “For how long? Give me dates when we are leaving and arriving back.” I took a little breath, pondered, and then …

Why Mountains Attract The Traveler In Us

The air condition of the car felt like a whiff of cool air emerging right from a timeworn refrigerator, trying to choke my throat with every inhalation. And then, in just a matter of few long minutes, it gave a quick but restless comfort – something I was not much familiar to, at least not from the last few weeks. I found myself struggling with these boundless, wasteful thoughts as I grabbed myself riding my sister’s car, on my way to pick up my mother from the nearest metro station. In just 5-kilometer drive, I remember bothering about half a dozen drivers. And their indignation was quite visible through those irritated, disdained looks they willingly offered me, while overtaking. They seemed to be following some sort of cultural hurried routine, while I was still controlled by the periodic episodes of peaceful blackouts – something you get addicted to, after experiencing, for some time, the stillness in Himalayas. It’s crazy how man has developed technologies for a speedy comfort, yet at the same time, he knows they’re making his life harder …

9 Best Experiences I Had In South India

No matter how little or how deeply traveling interests you, the southern part of India is one of those places, that can’t be missed. From carefully watching locals getting hold of their lungis to discovering a culturally intriguing way of life, this is where you will never find yourself getting short of most expected, and a little stereotyped, Indian experiences. But to tell you the truth, I was a wee bit unsure about my survival here, given all the distinctions between the India I was familiar to, living in New Delhi. But when an invitation landed in my inbox (from a friend living in Kerala) I’d long known, I knew I had to go there and test the waters. Though I was only staying at his place for a couple of nights, but it came out as a security that I’d, at least, survive my arrival, and it seemed enough for the moment. Thanks to that friend and to many other I met on the way, here are some incredible moments I had: Tasting The …

Why We Travel

We travel to learn new ideas, new philosophies, far distinct and much alien to our contemporary beliefs. We travel to chase memories. To grow, before time. And we travel, for much more. It was 4 in the morning and my alarm clock pulled myself, almost incessantly, and a little unexpectedly, from the sleep. My eyes were swollen, blood shot, as I looked outside my window to find nothing, but a temporary gloom. For a moment, I was almost convinced that it is a ruthless dream, but then I rolled over and saw my rucksack – zippered, and ready to be lifted up, all over again. In exactly one hour from now, I realized, I am catching a train to my next destination. Often we find ourselves waiting for trains and taxis, in the orange glare of a streetlight – before even getting time to drink a cup of coffee, and no, there is no fun in that. And there is no fun in letting out a sleepy groan either, or in being nervous because your …

One Year Of Uninterrupted Travel, And Here, What I learned

People often ask me a question, which otherwise sound so simple from its outlook, but when attempted an answer, becomes no less than a tiring puzzle. I find myself struggling to give a clear, calculated reply, not because I get confused, but because of the fact that its answer lies somewhere in the whirlpool of possibilities. One year of continuous travel, feeling unsatisfied and curious than ever, and what did I get in return. For one year, I have moved, uninhibitedly, as much within as without. Like a bird, without a nest, swooping down different places, learning new ideas, adopting new (and better) philosophies. Traveling is broadening of horizons incomparable to reading a book or watching a documentary. Once you engage with a foreign culture, whether it is sharing a meal with a local or attending a cultural function, you gain larger perspective on the world outside your head. “Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions” Peter Hoeg Though that’s a different thing that different people collect different learning, from same experiences. Some are more realistic to a …

What Adventure Means To You?

So, I often talk about the term ‘Adventure travel’ in my blog posts. But I never shared here what do I mean by Adventure. Is it skydiving and all those extreme activities that spike in us adrenaline a little more than, say, jogging or cycling? I don’t think so. Here’s what I understand by Adventure: Adventure For Me Is The Power Of Thought When we first look at the brochure and imagine in our head who we’ll become when we go to that place. When we fantasize about that beach, that sunset and dream of what, of who, we might become in that moment – Adventure is that power of thought. It’s in hacking the reality of our yet-to-be-discovered journey and a desire for self-transcendence, a desire for rebirth, for apotheosis. That moment when we create itineraries or book our tickets or call our friends – for me – is the purest Adventure of all. Adventure For Me The Joy In Getting Lost We are bliss junkies, chasing the ultimate truth. Sure a secured job, a regular source of income …

A Wonderful Way To Navigate Through Places

The sun was scattering diamonds as we left our campsite – home to our few temporary nights – and started heading back to Bangalore. Driving through the wilderness and the many sleepy settlements around Coorg, we slowly turned onto the snarl of bigger roads that clog and clutter the modern city life. The final drive, back to where it all started, was rather strange. Everyone kept silent, despite much going in their head. I think it was the melancholy, kicking in hard, as no one, it seemed, had a perfect set of words to start a conversation. The silence felt awkward, creating a sense of discomfort, almost the way you feel the moment you first meet a group of unknown people. But this silence had some meaning to it, some memories, which kept reverberating in our head, with every passing minute. As I personally drew it out, everyone was, at least, quite satisfied with how this three-day trip went by. We were quite thrilled, in fact, with the experiences and the memories the journey had …

Why Are We Always So Uninterested To See Our Own Country?

If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with” Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz Their names have escaped me now but I vividly remember that interesting, yet stupendous conversation I had with a young Indian couple from south of India. I was waiting for my appointment with an immigration officer in Thimpu – to extend my tourist permit in Bhutan. It started with one of those moments when you meet another traveller from your home country and you find yourself excited to exchange the usual banalities about how amazing this place is, followed by the ubiquitous gamut of ‘where are you from in India’ and ‘where you’re going next’. As we finished that, I asked them about their favorite places in south India. I had long desired to travel south of India. [Update Oct’16: But Now I’ve Been To South. Read About Why I Loved Kerala So Much Here] That was their home after all, I thought, no …

Impermanence And Change Are A Part Of Life

It has been almost two years since I’ve been travelling (updated October 2016) after quitting my job and having decided to live like a nomad for as long as I wanted and my budget allowed. Great many things have happened to me all this time. From meeting unknown friends to spending nights on slatted benches to hitchhiking on world’s most dangerous roads – I went through it all. And in the process I’ve learned many great life lessons. “Travel imparts a new vigor to your mind,” said a great Roman pholosopher once, and I can’t agree more. It allows you to accept new cultures, new ideas, as you open yourself to world philosophies. Travel has probably been one of the greatest educator in my life. When you travel, you make your own decisions and throw yourself into situations that you otherwise try to avoid. It schools you in more ways you can ever find out, and my experience has been no different. Travelling has taught me much. But the biggest lesson it has taught me is to realize that impermanence …