Friday, November 22, 2013

Travelogue - Experiences

I have been travelling since the last two weeks. Boy! What a time I have been having.

Beijing, San Francisco, Napa, Sonoma, Berkeley, Saint Augustine, Orlando so far and the list will grow over the coming weeks.

I have seen, read, heard, talked, experienced so much in terms of cultures, people, food, life that I am still soaking it all in. I had promised myself a daily record, and even though I am working on it, I am just on day one, I am going to try and find time to get the words on the paper before they start fading away.
But even if the words fade away, the stories won't be entirely lost, they will remain in pictures, experiences, feelings and memories.....

A sneak peek into the experiences -

Beijing - a myth busted, china explored, cultural contrasts, colours, The Great Wall, a new sensual awakening.

San Francisco - found  myself again, rediscovered the traveller, explorer and entrepreneur in me. Faced my fears, struggled and got beyond them. Found my crazy un contained, uncontrolled source of energy back while falling in love with this city.

Napa and Sonoma - a sensual delight. The lovely colours of autumn, the fairy tale houses, wineries and vineyards. The poet within me was awakened again.

Berkeley - quiet city. Churning within it's urn countless minds. Oh! Didn't I feel as if the slate of my mind
had been wiped clean and I was ready to begin again. To start afresh, to become a student again.

Saint Augustine - took me to Spain and Mexico, partying on the road, sound of music wafting through the street, the care free aroma of the weekend in the air, pitchers of sangria and Latin music. A long drive in a convertible with wind blowing through your hairs. What more does one want from a weekend.

Orlando - quiet laid back, city of lakes and Disney ( as everyone keeps telling me) , a little time of hibernation before I let loose the wanderer within again.

                        As I travel I find again the bits of me that I had lost to this world.
          We travellers, we are a strange breed - Finders Keepers. Treasure seekers. Treasure keepers.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Begin Again - US travelogue

Yet again I find myself sitting at the airport, waiting to begin another journey and wondering in my mind, why am I doing this?

This is the most exasperating part of the whole journey, as far as I am concerned. More exasperating than all the crazy planning, bookings, budgeting, convincing the family, applying for leaves blah blah (the usual list of a frequent traveller's rants).  It is especially exasperating and annoying when you have spent over 3 months planning for the trip, only to find yourself sitting plagued with self-doubt, questioning your own motives.

Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh. It is exasperating. This is the moment before every trip when all my euphoria, excitement and lust for travel disappears and is replaced by the black hole of worries about all the things that can go wrong on the journey, worries about having burnt my hard earned bank balance on probably a pain in ass ( I mean the journey and discomforts that come along with being away from the comforts of home), worries about missing my flight, forgetting my passport (these are the few reasonable ones but there are absolutely hilarious ones as well) worries about family, my patients and what not.

It is no wonder people find me in absolute tatters at the start of my travels, and if I were to ever marry I am sure my husband would send me on vacations just to enjoy watching me in this state of absolute discomfort.

And this makes me wonder if this anxiety comes to me because I am not a natural traveller. It is a
passion that I have acquired. It also makes me wonder how I have let myself become a puppet to my fears and my limits.

So, I am off for a month long vacation, beginning with Beijing to San Francisco to Florida to New York before I get back home. And yes, even though I can hardly figure out all the things that I planned to do, maybe it is a good thing, because then when I begin I will no longer be slave to planning. Instead I will have fun exploring, discovering, learning, testing myself in the waters beyond my comfort zone, in short tasting life as it is.

And it is worth it. This experience with all it's worries and hassles and mental and physical stress because it is a reminder of the limits that we have set for ourselves and how it is important to push ourselves beyond those limits and that unless we do, we shall end up limiting ourselves into a tiny shell, while there is huge wide world which is still awaiting to be explored, paths that yet lie untrodden, lives yet untouched, our stories yet incomplete, awaiting to be written, while we let our courage become a hostage of our fears and the limits they confine us to.

I travel to break these limits.

And this time I am going to keep a daily travelogue of my journey to share my experience. Feel free to drop in your suggestions, feedback or just amuse yourself with my crazy writing.