They say if we were meant to stay in one place we would have roots instead of feet. Probably that is why schools planned for a picnic day each year. It would be the most fun filled outing to kick back and enjoy with buddies, a highly anticipated one at that.
A temporary recreation.
Then, of course, comes our classroom.
A 10-minute nap in class can take you to all the places you want to visit. But why limit yourself to the boundaries of those walls? What if you are told not all classrooms have four walls? Ever wondered about taking a call on those dreams?
Being punctual, dressing neatly, talking politely were just some of the norms we were taught to follow in our primary days. However what they did miss out on telling us out loud, was it is bad manners to keep a vacation waiting since THAT is what gives you an eye – a view that leaves a lasting impression.
Ultimately it comes down to this. If you haven’t heard already, the greatest education you will receive is by travelling.
Rich exposure: The intangible experience of a night under the starry sky under the moonlight in a dessert. The Adrenaline Rush that rattles your entire system, shaking you out of the monotone you are so used to.
The darkness in the caves that keeps you on the edge hiding whatever lies beyond.
The ancient walls of a Palace that whisper stories of Kingdoms that were built and destroyed in the same place.
You will know from the sheer experience it is better to see something once rather than hear about it a 1000 times.
A movie with friends, lunch outing in a mall, a burger from Subway can make you feel like the typical Uber cool kid but going out from your comfort zone to explore can make you live a cooler life.
From the beginning till the end, learning is endless here and you don’t even have to break a sweat over anything.
No math equation. No Science diagram. It all starts with the prerequisites for travelling. Booking. No matter how old you are as a student you are bound to be restricted by your parents to work your expenses on a budget. However, this would probably be the only thing you buy that will make you richer. Smarter planning, cleverer execution and higher problem-solving ability become naturally a byproduct of independent decision making.
It removes your narrowness, superstition and assumptions making you more and more self-reliant.
All those life skill norms you have learnt in the classroom can be acquired in one go on practical terms by travelling. While learning about natives – their culture, different ethnicities – basic communication skills are what you will acquire. Ok forget learning about the traditions. At least to find directions in places where connectivity is low while requesting directions, you will learn to talk your way through.
Majority of travel destinations provide adventure camping facilities. Facing the wrath of nature, endless obstacles to make it more difficult than relaxing, motorbiking through rugged terrain – these are all really popular for a reason. Scuba Diving, paragliding, snorkelling, walking on glass-bottomed boats and landlubbing activities in places like Havelock Islands give you a thrill which cannot be undermined. Getting a hold on your fear is what you will learn.
One of the most forgotten facts is that your journey to any place in the world would have something to fuel your passion and dreams.
Take in India for instance.
Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Kutch to Kalimpong in the east. The diversity, rich heritage, varied growth of modernization has some or the other thing in store for each of us. Glorious stucco buildings lining almost every street of Jaipur. Hawa Mahal and Amber, everything in the Pink City teaches a passionate student about architecture through the Monumental Marvels.
For those who enjoy subtle and artsy picturesque landscapes, their destiny lies in Udaipur.
Only a student with true artistic imagination can appreciate the sparkling lakes against a backdrop of Aravalli hills.
For the dreamers. Those dreamers with a wild imagination, because all they care about is the sound of wind through the trees. They follow the maps that their heart tells them to follow.
To be more specific, a place like ‘Little Lhasa’ is for the real trekkers. Better known as McLeodganj in Himachal Pradesh. Put in a few days of your life in seeing the place, and you shall not regret.
Bhagsu falls, Triund trekking spot, Dharamkot and innumerable places to bond with nature, this suburban at an altitude of 2,082 m has it all. Set amidst the lush greenery in a pristine atmosphere are the falls.
With breathtaking grandeur, 9 km from McLeodganj is the mesmerising Moon Peak-Indera pass view.
Escape into the mighty Himalayas while trekking through the panoramic views of Minkiani pass, not to mention the snow-clad ranges that provide a flattering view of the Kullu Valley lined with pine and deodar trees. Everything here spells phantasmagoric.
The future entrepreneurs who have their eyes set on business should know travelling broadens their outlook. Go to any metropolis, you will see trade and commerce is promoted by coming into personal contact with merchants.
And lastly for the lazy ones: East meets West in the sun-soaked state of Goa where beaches have long served as a magnet for hedonists. To each his own. You get what you want.
Remember those episodes from Modern Family where they bickered all the time with each other? Surely at home, you would have faced the same, arguing over trivial things. But if you travel more, spending time with family and friends, it brings back power and love to your life.
You are bound to desire about being on the receiving end of positive things. At the same time, having each other’s backs, being a little less selfish and a little more solicitous will show you, the destination is insignificant as long as you stay with your companions together.
But above all, travel teaches you about modesty, about finding and keeping humility. You will have your feet firmly set on the ground. Self-centred, so wrapped up in a world full of books, Instagram posts and exams, once you go out to explore you will see what a tiny, tiny place you occupy in this world.
This becomes your reality.
There is no denying – adversities in life is what you will face at one point of time or the other. Moving around prepares you for it, making you stronger – giving you an upper hand in knowing about things beforehand.
A hotel you have booked may not have the supplies for all your needs.
The healthy all-vegetarian food you are so used to may not be there, with only half uncooked rice being available.
You may wander to a place where Wifi is weak and get frustrated but you will soon realise Google can’t teach you everything. If you end up carrying your regular pair of shoes to a wet place it won’t for a fact tell you, it is not the best idea.
Your own experiences through your travels teach you how to deal with unexpected problematic situations on your own.
Scoring 100/100 in a math paper? Or getting an ‘A’ in a project? It doesn’t matter much because there are bigger lessons to be learnt.
By now you would know every important aspect of life can be shaped while reconnoitring. Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passbook. It tells you, you have taken memories with you leaving behind only footprints. Create your own identity. Even if it is to a hill station 60 km away or to a tourist spot in your own City.
To know about shed sized dhaba that serves heavenly paranthas in a small town. To run away to a place, leaving behind all your inhibitions.
Pack your bags and leave.
If not now, then when?
It is time for a new adventure.
To quote JRR Tolkien – “Still, round the corner, there may wait a new road or a secret gate.”
And while it helps to start at a young age, this advise is meant for all ages.
Go. Visit. Explore.
Also read: Tips for travelling with small children