World Tourism Day: What the travel community says!

Travel is food for soul
Image courtesy: ©No Thongthimahaxay/Shutterstock

Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover….”

Words of this famous 19th writer are inspirational enough for one to pack bags and set off towards new horizons, make new friends and yes, most importantly, soon meet a new person inside you- one who, away from the tensions of city life- is consequently, healthier and happier. And why not- travelling helps you shed many of those baggages of everyday existence that bog you down, and helps you collect a plethora of charming, memorable experiences.

On this World Tourism Day, our travel community has a few experiences to share and some advises to give to the travellers.

Abhishek Hajela says travelling is a pattern breaker!

We have fixed patterns and routines in mind- life goes on in a continuous loop which we all adhere to- a time we go to work, what we do, eat, go home- and that is how it follows a set routine usually.

What travel does is disrupts that pattern or routine and we are thrown into the unknown. We go to a new place where we don’t know what to expect, whether it a small tea stand around the corner or a meal at a restaurant; from the sites to the sounds of a new city, everything in the process of travelling brings the Unknown Element. This very breaking of the mind’s pattern and the change, is exciting, invigorating, almost like a drug that elevates- which is why travelling is addictive, something you can’t ever have enough of and very important to keep the mind energised!

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Image courtesy: ©Ami Bhat

Ami Bhat says- Travel is about finding the best in me.

Travel showcases different sides of the world that not just brings out the obvious unusual about a place and its people but also, makes me discover a few aspects about myself. It helps me appreciate the smaller joys of life and gives me a new lens to view the ordinary.

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For Purnima SharmaTravelling helps enrich life

Each corner of world- be it a tiny hamlet in Uttarakhand or the lyrical vistas of UK’s Lake District- offers you magical moments that you’ll never have enough of. Like my meeting these two young lads on the outskirts of Jordon who, after learning that I was from India, did an impromptu sword-dance to ‘Qurbani, qurbani…’ in my honour; or seeing a middle-aged man driving a swanky car into the parking lot of Jerusalem’s Old City, who was really a beggar. Later, walking towards the Walled City, when he asked us for alms, we couldn’t resist asking him if he was collecting money for petrol. And sure enough, got a smart reply in return, ‘No, it’s for a Mercedes next”! Going back more than 25 years, both these incidents still make me laugh; they show how even small actions and statements by strangers can make them so endearing and delightful! Yes, that’s what travelling does- it enriches and adds immense joy to your life. So, keep travelling!

Image courtesy: ©Pallavi Pasricha

For Pallavi PasrichaExperiences matter destinations don’t!

I’m often asked what’s the most interesting place you travelled to. But what I feel is that it’s the experience and not the place that counts. Like I was at a gurudwara in Patiala recently and posted a picture on Instagram tagging the place. Someone who follows me said you’re in my city and I would love to show you around. I met them and they turned out to be such warm people. They took me around the city, to places which only a local would know of. Destinations will remain the same, but at the end of the day what will change you and remain with you is such experiences. I want people to travel so they make such memories.

Image courtesy: ©Nitin Gairola

Avid traveller and photographer Nitin Gairola says-Learn to travel, travel to learn

Travel is transformative and has the power to change the world. It connects us with each other and our planet. It reduces all kinds of distances and can undo our assumptions of each other. The more I travel, the more I realize how little I know about the world. I have been to almost every corner of Earth and I have seen myself change in the process. I am more appreciative of what’s around me; and far more respectful towards people & cultures which are different from mine. Once you get involved, you live a life of intensity and not apathy. Travel makes you care about your ‘only planet’.

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Image courtesy: ©Garima Verma

Travel makes you understand life, says Garima Verma

Nothing else gives life perspective like travel. I have stood besides huge mountains, sat on the banks of mighty rivers and lost myself in huge jungles. And, they all have made me wonder at the humbling presence of one human in the equation that is universe. My travels have made me understand not only myself but many other people and their cultures. When I met the tribals of Nagaland, I got to know communication needs no language. Once you shun your inhibitions and open yourself to the world, it’s then that you realise the universal warmth and general good that exists in all.

Gitika Saksena’s advice to a fellow traveller-

Travel within own city and country before you travel the world. Do not worry about checklists/ bucket lists, learn to enjoy every moment of your travels. Meet new people wherever you go. Discover how people are so diverse, yet so similar. Respect the local customs and traditions. Respect the people you interact with. Have fun, but not by inconveniencing fellow travellers or local people. Do not litter. It is your duty to keep all places clean.