Recently my dad told me that we all had been to a family vacation at Nainital when I and my sister were 5 and 3 year olds. In early 90’s, it was a scary time in northern India as militant activity was in full form. Dad says, throughout our night journey he couldn’t sleep as our car with many other tourist cars were escorted by a military van at the front and back. Unaware of this that time, I now feel how worried he must have been. I still remember lots of things from that trip, that we had missed a connecting train to Kathgodam from Agra and that we had to get down ticket less at Mathura to catch that train, in the wee hours of night. I remember us drinking hot tomato soup with heater on and still shivering in Nainital hotel. The germ of travelling was sowed from that time.
There were many trips that we did with our Travel Loving parent. Shimla, Kullu, Manali, Bangalore, Ooty , Mysore, Kodiakanal, Madhurai, Kochi, Munnar, Alleypey, Kanyakumari, Jammu & Kashmir, Harihareshwar, Shreevardhan, Kolhapur Amboli, Kolkatta, Darjeeling, Gangtok, Mahabaleshwar, Pachgani, Aurangabad, Nashik, Daman, Goa, Raigad, Lavasa. I & my sister, we both remember peculiarities from each & every trip.
Later in Life I joined an Art College where this Germ intensified. First college trip to Alibaug & that too in a Catamaran was so enthralling. These used to be study trips, so we used to sit with sketch books on roadside shed or a tree, beaches & sketch for hours as there used to submissions of the same. Then in 3 years of my Interior Design college course we went to Jodhpur Jaiselmer, Goa & Pondicherry-Auroville.
It has taught me many things– That Life is Beautiful, That Sometimes breaking free is required, how people live on this face of earth, vitness their traditions, enjoy their delicious food. This wanderlust feeling is beyond understanding. All I can feel is the inner happiness when I am at a new place. All I can feel is the new me…..every time! All I marvel is that there exists a place, there are people living in it. The zest & the greed of seeing new place, is worst than any addiction. This so called addiction has taken me and people like me too, to many wonderful places. It is rightly said- “Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.”