Travel Girl

27 Aug

Because this is Post #300 on the new blog, and because such numbers are of significance to me, I have decided to write about something that has always awed me and continues to do so. I’ve also been wanting to write about it because I find the need to engage in it, again and again; strong enough to write about it here, again! Travel.

I’ve been thinking of where to go next since I can sense that bug within me stir. I love the concept and thought of taking off whenever (better late than never). And so even though I’ve done a small share of weekend getaways, the heart and soul don’t feel like stopping at that. I came back feeling satisfied, albeit temporarily, only to be well aware that this moment would visit me yet again. It’s something I’ve grown accustomed to and I’d like to acknowledge as and when I can. Given a choice, I’d step out whenever. It’s just that I haven’t been gifted with that rich uncle who loves only me or has left me that huge pot of gold.

I’m a traveler within my means and comforts. And I’m very happy being that way. I cannot forgo safety, hygiene and a scarcity of necessities. I think I’m a balanced, happy traveler who will make do with what she has, but to an extent. So I can compromise on the AC and the TV and the comforts of a luxury room. I cannot however compromise on a decent bathroom, forget a place without one. Please, that’s asking for too much. From me at least. I tried something like that once, and I’m absolutely positive it’s not going to happen again. So yes, I have tried and given it a shot. But that’s not my cuppa. No, no.

Anyhoo. Having established the ground rules, I proceed with that aspect of life I’m truly, madly and deeply gaga about. Please pardon me if I garble. It’s just that when something as stunning as traveling leaves you speechless, overwhelmed and all that, such falters in one’s expression are totally excusable. And because I am the person I am, I will spam this post with photographs (you should know my love for them by now).

So here goes.

Travel’s about hitting the road, and just going. It’s about driving through those forests you’ve heard about in poems, anecdotes and other’s experiences you got lost in while reading in class and imagined experiencing at least once in your life.

It’s about booking yourself on that train and heading out where no road can possibly take you: through ravines, tunnels, jungles and the marvelous countryside. It’s about getting absorbed in the sun, sky, fields, people and feel of what is quintessentially India – rain, shine and massive fog delays (for those of you who’ve experienced the treachery).

It’s also about being so engrossed in the phenomenon I like to call the Indian Railways. I’ve written about it before. I’ll write about it a million times more. I have a thing for trains. Sheldon Cooper and I will have something to talk about, I guess. :P

It’s also about just taking off by road: at dawn, dusk, noon, morning, afternoon, evening, midnight… you name it. It’s about packing up and just going. Try it sometime. It’s exhilarating, to say the least. And while you’re at it, you try and have the wind boom in your ears. It’s deafening in such an awesome way, till it starts hurting of course. :)

And while you’re driving past the wonderful landscape of India, you make time to stop by and visit cities of sunflowers and marigolds, say hi to them, swoon over them, marvel at how beautiful they are and then proceed. Oh yeah, I pose with them too. It’s a done thing for me.

And somewhere in between swooning over flower cities and flooring that accelerator, you try and catch the fantastic roads ahead of you. Roads, railway tracks; they speak so much. They let you believe what you want to believe at that very moment. You want to go somewhere, then you go somewhere. You want a point of no return, at that very moment, you get a point of no return. You want no destinations, you get no destinations. You want only milestones, you get just that, too. I love them. So significant. So massive.

Travel, to me, is an awesome mix of knowing and not knowing. So yes, you give me my map and let me be. I’ll survive, yes. But that’s that. Maps show. They don’t direct. That’s left solely up to you. And go, you do. Wherever you wish to.

















And somewhere between the roads, fields, cities and railway tracks, you get engrossed in the wondrous countryside. Its vast expanse, man there’s something to it. It’s boundless, it’s seamless, it’s so expansive. It’s overwhelming how large and ceaseless it really is.

And when I’m feeling particularly luxurious, I like to take things in at a different level altogether. Here are cloud cities near home. Haven’t you ever wanted to float away in clouds, even in your imagination?

Having said that, commuting is just one segment of travel. It matters where I go to. But what matters more is what I take from the place or what the place makes me feel. I avoid cities unless very necessary and unless I want to get lost in the rush and feel of Mumbai, or the spirit of New Delhi or the feeling of Kolkata. I keep my distance otherwise.

I thrive in the lavish monsoons of the rainforests. To feel rain in that measure and at that moment as one does in the lush rainforests of the superior Western Ghats is something to experience. When you’re surrounded watching rain in a place where it so truly belongs, where it’s lapped up with such fervour, you’re in for a treat. Everything blooms and blossoms and sings. Literally.

















When you sit under a pounding, breath-taking waterfall, you’re rendered speechless. To have something so powerful make you feel so comfortable is massive. Letting go, that’s what it’s all about. It never comes easily to me. It’s something I really have to try with, but manage at most times.

















And then when you walk through tea gardens along with the clouds, you know you’ve tasted that slice of life you’re so damn privileged to have got. Walking in clouds, I’d never have thunk!

Travel talks. Places speak. Especially when you’re walking through periods of history. This is at Nalanda, the first university we ever had. It speaks of learning, of peace and of so much serenity. Now learning at a place like this; I can only imagine. It exudes calmness as you learn about its Buddhist ways and principles. Nestled in fields, one is only left in awe. Every single time.















And then, traveling awes you. Nature inspires you. All seems well with the world when you’re faced with a sight like this. You’re put in your place, you figure there’s hope and that what is to be, will be.

And while you’re at it, travel’s about chasing those sunsets. Every time. Everywhere. Sunsets, beaches – they are just it. It’s not like I actively chase them. It’s when I spot that beautiful setting sun that something happens to me. It’s quite weird. But yeah, I try and chase sunsets.

















































Travel’s never, ever complete without letting go. Never. I refuse to believe that one can feel the true sense of a place without letting go and allowing oneself to listen to what they’re being told.

















It’s also never complete without food. Midway, small tuck shops, highways, dhabas, fancy restaurants, shacks… you name it. Like I mentioned before, travel cannot be possible (for me) without those essential necessities.

And last but not the least, travel is not the same unless you’re out there, with the wind in your hair, the sand in your feet, the mist all around you. It’s not when you’re sitting in a sterile environment. Never.

And at 300, WordPress told me this:

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.

Gustave Flaubert



8 Responses to “Travel Girl”

  1. thebudgetwanderer August 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM #

    Looks like you really had a good time in those photos! :)

    • Babushka August 27, 2012 at 12:46 PM #

      I really, really did! :)

  2. Ubiquitous August 29, 2012 at 9:59 AM #


    love the quality of pics on WP!

  3. The Girl Next Door September 1, 2012 at 10:48 AM #

    LOve, love, love this post. It echoes so much of what I feel about travelling, too. I am a passionate travel lover, but have never really done a post on why I love to travel. Thanks for opening up a new stream of thought for me.

    • Babushka September 11, 2012 at 1:30 PM #

      Glad that happened. Would love to read it! :)

  4. D September 10, 2012 at 1:16 PM #

    Have you thought of breaking the ground rules occasionally? There are some relatively undocumented places with breathtaking beauty out there which are just waiting for you..

    • Babushka September 10, 2012 at 1:19 PM #

      What are these ground rules? Gimme pointers, which I’m sure you have. I’d love to take off and explore these places. :)


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