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‘Travel should be impromptu,’ says Olympian Rehan Poncha

Image courtesy: Rehan Poncha

Having represented India for over 15 years now it’s easy to say this five-time national champion swimmer and Arjuna Award recipient has come a long way.

While the Rio Olympics are underway, we caught up with Rehan Poncha for a quick chat on what travel means to him. Here’s an excerpt.

Describe travel in three words.

Peace, Escape, Retrospection.

How would you describe the traveller in you?

I don’t like to plan and travel but then when travelling for sports we have to travel with a plan. In my opinion, travel should be impromptu.

Where was your last trip?

My last trip was to Europe, Prague and Paris. It was late last year. I, also, recently went to Sri Lanka to this hill station called Noralia.

How’d you come to like golf?

Golf lets me be me. When I stepped onto the golf course I could do my own thing, even when I was playing with other people. I find a lot of peace on the golf course.


(Also read: #Rio2016: a tête-à-tête with badminton ace Jwala Gutta)

(Also read: ‘Travel is religion, cricket a passion,’ says Gautam Bhimani)


How do you utilize your time when in transit? 

It’s different now but when travelling for sports, you could get really tired and dehydrated so resting is the only thing I could do. If not for sports, I would just take a cup of coffee, play on my iPad and relax.

Your fondest travel memory?

Flying to Rome for a World Championship where I outperformed as a swimmer.

Which destination is on the top of your bucket list?

Bali or Mauritius

Your favorite travel souvenir?

An Olympic tin badge.

Do you travel light?

I always pack light but when travelling with my family I can never seem to do so. The baggage makes me feel as if we are travelling for a complete year. (Laughs)

Any travel advice for fans?

Whenever you are travelling with a group of people or family, don’t be afraid of what you want to do. You should do whatever you want; like my mom likes to sit in a room and relax. On the other hand, my dad is an explorer; he would go window shopping or exploring the streets. I am somewhere in the middle. No matter who you travel with, be yourself.