So why am I the reluctant traveler? Looking at the number of FB pics I put up, most of my friends tell me that the name is such a misnomer. The more honest ones also tell me that it’s quite annoying to have daily updates on what I ate in which country, and where I went swimming, and which guy I had a crush on. I agree. But then you still have to put up with it 🙂
So yes, why the reluctant traveler?
I am not sure when the travelling bug bit me. I come from a middle class family where money was only for a solid education, a long awaited home, a second hand Premier Padmini, and a rainy day. Travel never figured – not as a hobby, not as an interest, and certainly not as a passion.
It’s easy to blame the lack of a travel gene to a normal if slightly bland Indian middle class childhood. But the truth is that I never had thought – never even wondered – on how it would be to see the world, how it would be have friends across the world, how it would be to venture into the unknown. As a voracious reader, I read about places and people and lives, but I never thought that existence could be ever mine.
But things changed.
Over the last 13 years, I have done a fair amount of traveling. 28 countries, 10 states, myriad experiences, and a few soul-stirring emotions later, I still feel I have a long way to go. Probably one reason for that is that I started traveling for the wrong reasons. Well, scratch that – that’s not true. When I first started going on trips, it was a holiday – a holiday to spend time with friends who wanted to travel the world. Am not sure when that changed, but soon it came something more.
I had always talked about travel a lot, but it was always with a kind of reluctant acceptance, as if my interest was never my own; it was as if I had borrowed the interest from people around me, and so I could never really claim it to be part of my identity. So the name of this blog stemmed from this deep rooted resistance to attribute my essence to something ..something I had discovered so late in my life. The question remained – if it had lay dormant for so long, was it part of me? Would I ever know?
Truly love is supposed to be passionate right? Intense, emotional, and gut-wrenching. So what about the love that creeps into your heart when you are least aware of it – one that is subtle, but joyful; one that’s quiet, but not desperate; one that’s thrilling, but not demanding?
Is love any less, if it came without the fireworks, but arrived with a slow joyful warmth that embraced your soul?
It’s not, and I had to learn that. And accept that. Today, I know that my journey, and my love, both are unique – as am I. As I discover different parts of the world, I discover both the forgotten and the unknown parts of my self. I discover the best of the world, and the worst that could go wrong. I discover that heights I can reach, and the depths I could plummet to.
More importantly, I discover that I could be a better person today than I was yesterday.
This blog is part of my travel journey – not just through places and countries, but also through the experiences and moments that I discover and cherish in every single trip. It a journey through my questions, my searches, and my illusive quest of a love .. whom I am yet to truly acknowledge.
Another post written long back on almost the same subject: On why I love traveling