By Shivangi Saxena, Batch of 2014
The present NSIT world is still grappling with the ever haunting question of what is the meaning of their life. The contemplation of this pious question has been debated since time immemorial. It is the reason for the existence of multi-million dollar business of self-help, phenomenon of sudden liking to the rom-coms, indulgence in rum (more than the recommended dose) and also travelling to discover the meaning of life.
It is about the latter that I would like to talk. Travel is like the new tweaking fad amongst the youth who pride themselves to be more awakened than their peers who ponder the meaning of life over Vodka and poker.
(NOTE: *The author is also a disillusioned traveller who thought undertaking tedious travel to a remote location could change the course of her P.B Shelly-ish life.*)
I am regular at the inspirational and rejuvenation and other such intellectually approved blogs and websites. Like a true devout, I try to make sincere attempts in ‘Living my life to the fullest’ and ‘Welcome each day as new’ and adhering to my new year resolution of waking up early for the first 4 days. A regular feature at these is travel…exploring new places…and then exploring yourself.
Like a newbie wannabe enthusiast, I decided to try this as well to figure out the meaning of my life and shit. I, being an extrovert, love the crowds and big groups of hooligan friends as they complement my eccentric personality. However, this time I wanted to be cooler and planned a self-trip for self-help. The bags were packed and dresses meticulously discussed with excited girlfriends who were eager to try this out as well. I had watched too many movies to know that travel is all about discovering new things, meeting super hawt strangers, being entitled to privileges like free wifi and free food…and nirvana for sure. Also, add scenic beauty and a Facebook display picture worthy of 1k likes.
Reality, harsh reality:
I will spare the details that led me to the life-changing realizations and get directly to the point.
- You can never run away from your problems. Be it architecturally jaw-dropping or aesthetically wondrous streets of Rome or the deserts of Pilani, you’ll never be liberated from your problems if you don’t face them like a raging bull i.e. head on. Get yourself together before seeking the escapist route.
- The people in your life are important. Super important. I am lucky to have socially challenged friends who wholeheartedly participate in antics, which have been condemned since dark ages. You’ll meet people when you travel but the warmth and the quality of jokes that you have been sharing with your buds will never be same even with demi- greek-god strangers.
- Following a fad/ blatant copying is a sin. I followed advice from a website without evaluating myself. Travelling alone? My extrovert nature allows stag entry only at the washroom breaks.
- Don’t wait for things to happen. The movies will advocate that you’ll get presidential suites, CIA style adventure, inspirational 5 minute talk by Dalai Lama, or a chance meeting with the CEO of the consulting firm that you have been eyeing since you were 12. Take the situation in your hand. Make things happen. This rule is applicable even while travelling.
- Expect the unforeseen. Like every minuscule happening in your life, the outcome can never be predicted. Travel will make you realize that sometimes life has a zany sense of humor regarding the stopovers.
- And lastly, you can always have a happy ending. By making an effort, and by valuing things which you took for granted.
The travel was not a failure because I came back with wise lessons. I knew the people that I cared for, because I missed them. I knew the value of time because I felt it slip by. I knew the value of warmth when I roamed with strangers. And lastly, I knew the value of life when I actually fought back all odds.
Will I do it again?
I guess I’ll wait for another upheaval in my life, read the article and probably go for a shopping trip. Or better, just take the problem head on.