camping bonfire

A Wonderful Way To Navigate Through Places

The sun was scattering diamonds as we left our campsite – home to a few temporary nights – and started heading back to Bangalore. Driving through the wilderness and the many sleepy settlements around Coorg, we slowly turned onto a 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 this three-day trip. We were quite thrilled, in fact, with the experiences and the memories the journey had left us with.

We knew, despite the places we had seen, the treks we did and the food we ate, it was something else that made this trip such a complete success – something that, time and time again, has proven to be far more important and rewarding than any other aspect of travel.

It’s the people. And their great, unforgettable company!

group photo

“It matters not where or how far you travel – the farther commonly the worse – but how much alive you are” Henry David Thoreau

I think sometimes while travelling, the places we stay and all activities we follow in the itinerary don’t matter. Because when you sit down and think of your time, the people you met on the riad is the first thing that comes to your mind. And every time you think of them, you find yourself smiling.

I remember sitting still with this great bunch, drinks beers and listening to the sound of the guitar – while gazing, almost incessantly, at the twinkling stars. While at other times, playing simple games or giving our romantic viewpoints during many half-baked conversations. We laughed, had arguments, played our parts, and did nothing but relished all those little experiences from our days together. Though the trip lasted for only three days, the memories it left us with are countless.

I realise I was one of those people who, on any given day, would ostentatiously say ‘I travel alone because this is the best way to travel’. The idea of travelling with others never really made much sense. What if I didn’t like their company? What if we had an argument in the middle of the journey? Many such insecurities always played their part.


But this time, as I sat down for some time, upon my return, to make an outline, a linear A-B-C guide of the last trip I had, as I often do, I came up with the realization that this journey – of travelling in a group – now seems much more rewarding.


As I began discerning the features, and with them, the possibilities, the learnings, this journey has impacted on me, a little more clearly. I have realised that it has taught me about how, sometimes, going with a group of people with the idea of following them, could just be yet another best way of travel.


It’s only by taking myself away from the clutter and panic of making my own itineraries, all the time – which, however, has its own charm – I began to comprehend something, with complete mindfulness and realisation, that such experiences can also be, sometimes, much more invigorating than giving voices to all the thoughts and prejudices you keep struggling with, for days on end.

It’s only by making no plan — by sitting still, or following the things as they come your way — you realise that the thoughts that come to you now, almost unbidden, are far fresher and more imaginative than the ones you consciously entertain.


You start your journey as complete strangers, trying to break the ice with every passing minute. But in just a matter of a few days, you develop a comfort zone, a sweet reality, almost believing that you know these faces for a long time.

I think it was the charm of the great company, of these awesome people, I luckily ended up travelling with; or perhaps, it was our host, who, despite the highs and lows, did some magic. Guess that’s what going with ‘aMadNomad’ on a trip is all about. They care about your experiences, give you many unforgettable memories and spare you to part with saying, “what a wonderful way to navigate through places.”

Categories Miscellaneous


I am Dev, and I've been travelling full-time since 2016. I was a journalism student & started my corporate career as a documentary film-maker in England, before moving to India & becoming a full-time nomad. 25+countries. 50+ Brand Partnerships. And the adventure continues...

  1. These are the reasons I love travelling with people. For me, travel is about the experiences of other people just as much as your own, and the stories you can continue to share.

  2. Lauren of Postgrad & Postcards

    I have felt the same way before, going into a journey alone with a bunch of others. Turns out, everyone else was solo too and everyone got along very well. I enjoyed your insight.

  3. The people are definitely a big part of why I travel, and it’s so hard to part sometimes. I sometimes get so caught up in making my own itineraries and over planning everything, I think it would be nice for me to participate in a group adventure like this sometime. I really like your writing style by the way, very evocative.

  4. What an adventure to start a trip with strangers and finish it with friends. I have traveled solo and with friends I’ve known for many years, but never have I explored this type of trip – where creating bonds is what makes it special. Beautiful piece.

  5. Patricia

    I haven’t done extensive group travel, but I can see how the bonds you form with people you meet while traveling can be quite strong. And I love the photo of everyone around the campfire — it looks so warm and relaxed.

    • Yea, I wasn’t much of a group person either. But this trip sort of opened a new way of traveling to me, and I’d give the credit to my host – they are really good in organizing group trips.
      Glad you like the picture.

  6. Wow, what a great post, you’ve really captured what travel is all about, the people and the experiences!
    Thanks for sharing, I doubt I’ll be able to do this topic as much justice as this beautifully written post.


  7. Wow, what a great post, you’ve really captured what travel is all about, the people and the experiences!
    Thanks for sharing, I doubt I’ll be able to do this topic as much justice as this beautifully written post.


  8. The people you travel with is so important. I am glad you had such a fabulous trip. I went sailing solo with a group of 20! I was nervous at first, but had a blast. But now when others ask me about the trip, I say go, but try to make friends because they people you share the experience with will make or break your experience!

    • Yea if you end up lucky, being with a great company it just adds up to your overall (good) experience. You got that right.

  9. DrifterHannah

    Very thoughtful and well-written piece, but I’m a bit confused as to what the ‘wonderful way’ actually was. Was it a group that randomly collected, or were you on a group tour? Either way, it looks like you had a great time. I always think that new experiences lead to very sudden and new friendships, catalysed by the experiencing new things together for the first time. Very special.

    • It’s good I confused you, it earned me an extra comment, haha! Well, I meant ‘wonderful way’ with both the things actually, and perhaps much more than that. When you meet strangers under the perfect setting of time and space you end up having a strong bonding with them. Much stronger than the people you know from ages. Good luck with your adventures Hannah, and thanks for your comment.

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