It's the Holiday season. Time to meet family. Time to party. Time to travel! I am not going to preach about the New Year and resolutions you should make to travel more in 2017 and all that jazz. We all know what happens to resolutions. Travel is not a resolution. It is a lifestyle change; it is a choice; it is a way of living.
As Danny Kaye famously said, ‘To travel is to take a journey into yourself’.
We are seeing such a major shift with millennials who value experiences over material wealth. Buying a house is important, but comes way, way after that much sought-after trip to Masai Mara in Africa.
There was recently a huge debate on social media on travel not being accessible to everyone. I disagree. It could be anything from a two-hour drive to a nearby hill station to a trip to Europe. It is all about being smart.
I started 2016 promising myself to get out of my comfort zone. We have heard travel broadens your horizons and mine definitely needed broadening. I think I am as ‘cool’ as the girl next door, but there is so much out there that is different from our Indian conditioning. So yeah, the promise…
I decided to take one trip each month for the entire year.
Was I successful? Yes.
Was it easy to manage financially? Yes.
Am I a different person than at the beginning of the year? Yes.
Am I glad I did it? Heck yes!
I took a cruise from Singapore. I went to Vegas. I bungee jumped in Rishikesh. I drank authentic coffee in Vietnam. I went drinking in Goa. What made all these trips priceless is the people I met and the cultures I experienced. We spoke about politics and ambition and love; made me realise how much I was missing out on sitting in my cosy house in Mumbai. Yes, there is the internet and enough information of the world. But nothing beats soaking it all in first hand.
I planned in advance, created an elaborate excel sheet to see how much I could spare every month after paying the bills and setting aside some savings. Depending on my budget for month, I researched places that interests me. I spoke to my friends on travel hacks and where I could save monies. I booked tickets in advance. With the blessing that Airbnb is, stay was a breeze. Clubbed weekends and used my leaves judiciously. Like I said it all boils down to being smart.
This year humbled me and brought so much personal growth. It brought into perspective how tiny I am in the grand scheme of things. Most importantly, it taught me I could fall in love, and fall hard I did!
So where am I going with all this? Let the coming year and the ones after that be about experiences. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge. Now don’t get me wrong; I am not saying throw caution to the wind and put travel before everything else. Research, plan and save to see your dream destinations. Make the effort. Let it enrich your life. After all you only live once.