Sunday, May 26, 2013

It's a beautiful world

I stuff my whole world into a backpack, and leave a lot of room in it to gather more of the world that's never been mine, but magically becomes mine the moment I set my feet on the land.

You know the stereotypical backpacker, the lone traveler.. the one you see in travel channels? I could never really identify with them. Yet, I've always had that itch for travel. To travel alone. It sounded exciting to me.

And then reality kicks in. If you don't think of it, people remind you of it. The constraints, that is. It starts off with A) You are a woman. B) You are so small and how fit are you physically anyway? C) It's a big bad world out there. D) Do you have any clue how much it costs?

Then of course, there are the practical constraints. Budgets, Information, Research about places, Travel itineraries, Hotel reviews, Reservations, Best deals, Best routes, Bookings, Preparedness for exigencies, Backups, Contingency plans. Stuff your travel channels don't tell you about. If they were to tell you about all this, you wouldn't be tuning into their show to unwind when you are back from work, do you? And there's also this sheer frustration and despair that really hits you on your face during the planning phase.

But as I am out crossing country borders, meeting interesting people, buying my breakfast with one currency and dinner with another, missing trains, silently thanking my back-up plans, making choices every 5 minutes, avoiding trouble, finding fun, questioning the soundness of some of the choices I make on my way and thanking my lucky stars for some others, I realize travel is not just about the places I go to, or the views I see, or even those amazing people I meet. These, unfortunately are the only part of my travel that I can share with others through pictures or stories.

The real fun is in the way I feel when I set out with a map and the very basic things I need (along with the very important things I need in a foreign country)..
The sweet anxiety when I set my feet in a new country unsure of what to expect in spite of all the research..
The way these places make me feel at home..
The way my mind quickly analyses situations and prepares my reflexes..
The 8 hours long walk-sprint-trek routines on most days..
The way I connect with different people..
The goodness of the world that is never acknowledged enough..

Most importantly, the kick I get out of just being alive. It thrills me and humbles me at the same time. And I feel grateful for being a small part of this amazing world. A small block in a huge jigsaw puzzle.

4 comments:

  1. Keep rocking and return with loads and loads of fun filled memories :-))

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  2. Put some images to make you blog look more attractive to read, you write really well.

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  3. The trouble is - there is a *MASSIVE* difference between backpacking for 2 weeks and backpacking for 2 months and beyond. So massive that you will forget what the actual difference was, if it's the latter. Very similar to somebody deciding to train for a marathon, and run for 15 minutes only to decide that running is hard. The trick is: its the first 20-odd minutes which is hard, and it keeps getting better later on. Most people give up, not ever reaching this stage. Ditto for long travel - do it for a few months, life takes massive swings. Isnt it incredibly funny that human beings dont need to explain why they want to spent 4 years getting a college degree, but explain each and every way of why you want to take a year off?

    Ignore the random musings - have fun. If you are anywhere near Sofia, go listen to Abagar Quartet for me!

    oneiro.

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  4. @Sundar: thankyou! :) yes I will.. it hurts me that I just left this blog like an old ghost town. Have been too busy with stuff. Thanks for still coming back to the bog.

    @Panchgani: thankyou for stopping by. I'm glad you liked what you read here. I'll sure consider your suggestion!

    @Oneiro: Good to hear from you. No, that is no random musings. I hear you. It all makes absolute sense.

    Although I'm just taking my baby steps in solo travelling. This Eurotrip is a 2 month plan, but I'm not on the road all the time as I got to get back to my base in Germany in between for my other responsibilities. I met so many people in this trip who are taking a gap year to travel and I wish to do that someday too.

    Bulgaria is not on my list this time. But I have a dear friend from Sofia who's going back home tomorrow and I'll tell her about that.

    I'm almost in the last leg of my travel here, but I will be back for more. Europe is truly amazing, and I like the little surprises that it throws at me from time to time :)

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