All posts tagged: Travel Lessons

Travelling India – Where Every Step Is A New Learning

It has been more than an year now, since I’m travelling India – exploring its horizons and stretching through its boundaries – from days on end.  And during the stint I’ve come across, this repeated question, a predicament rather, that why am I busy travelling my own country, when there is so much to see in the world. “What is the reason behind this abiding fascination,” someone once asked. I give people different reasons – that start right from the obvious mentions of its cultural diversity to the warmth of the people. When you’re in India, not only you feel more alive, thanks to the country’s colourful ambience, but you also lean a lot – about yourself, and about the world around you. Not to mention all the ways it familiarises you with the many imperative spiritual truths. Here, some of the most important life lessons this country has taught me: People Are Not Bad, After All Before I started travelling, and during the days of my bustling life in New Delhi, I often heard people saying …

7 Things I’d Tell A New Traveler

Hope. Anxiety. And Excitement. Such emotions are inevitable, when you leave for the first ever grand adventures of your life. When I’d initially quit my job to travel, I had no idea what to expect. No one I knew had ever done it before. I was feeling a bout of jitters. To compensate my unpreparedness, I followed a few guidebooks and hoped for the best. I was an inexperienced and a hopeless wanderer, and my actions spoke about my condition well enough. But now, after travelling for a few years, I know better. And if I could sit my younger self, I’d give him this advice: Don’t Be Scared Walking off the beaten path and travelling places you’re not familiar with, might be a little scary, but you aren’t the first person doing so.  There is a well-worn travel trail and hundreds of online blogs and guidebooks to walk with you along the way. So don’t be scared. And if thousands of people can make their way around to the world, and to the place you’re going, …

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 …

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 to answer, thoroughly, become no less than a tiring puzzle. I find myself struggling to give a clear, calculated reply, not because I’m confused, but due to 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 out of this. 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 people are more realistic …

Bylakuppe: A Visit To The Tibet Of South

If you catch it at the right angle, where I found myself sitting, inside the premises of Namdroling monastery, Bylakuppe, surrounded by the bright and cheerful company of Buddhists, among which many were the first generation Tibetan immigrants, it can give off something of the light of fairly-tale. Speaking of the fairy-tale, I remember, I was once told that one of the greatest miseries of human condition is that we are not always keen to give up on our fairy tales. We expect our lives to turn into something magical, something extraordinary from this moment and far-off from the world we know. We spend our lives cradling such hopes and in the end realise the truth, almost impatiently. “We are like dogs barking at the injustice of the universe when our keeper goes out, to buy us some more food” William James Most of the people of the 21st century are found either making false promises to their future, or finding excuses to shroud the mistakes they had done in the past. But the people here, …

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 …

What The World’s Second Largest Monastery Taught Me

Tawang valley in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh is wrapped with a hulking mountain range which always seems to cast a special magic on the mind of travelers. The entire valley is a patchwork of stunning mountain ridges and vast fields – so beautiful that every moment you find yourself awestruck. And when you are not being enthralled with its natural beauty, you are captivated with the Buddhist prayer wheels of Monpa pilgrims wearing a traditional black-yak-wool overcoat. Well there are many reasons to visit Tawang, but the prime reason why it stands above the crowd, is that it is home to the world’s second largest monastery – something that makes Tawang exclusive, and culturally rich. Located at 10,000 feet with a commanding view of Tawang River, Tawang monastery is one small city in itself. It is an ideal epitome to some 500 monks, many of whom are small children. Their sole place of refuge is the monastery premises where they learn and follow Buddhism. During my visit to this monastery and a small …

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 …

In Search Of Happiness

I found Bhutan a rather charming and fascinating place. No matter how worldly and materialistic your approach towards life is, if you travel Bhutan with an open mind, their philosophical and idealistic culture would force you to think, and moreover deliberately contemplate, on some most confusing and absurd questions concerning human existence. During my visit to Bhutan, I happened to spend a chilly evening with a couple of friends I met in the capital city Thimpu. They shared with me some crazy ideas about their culture and a unique Bhutanese philosophy that left me spilling my guts out. These young men had no decent excuse to ponder or even believe in such crazy ideologies – and their firm belief left me startled. “There’s a very simple solution to be happy in your life,” said one of them “Just think about death few times every day.” The entire conversation around such a cheesy topic started when – during our philosophical conversation – they happened to ask me about that one thing I want from my life. “To be …