“We all have our reasons for not booking the trip of a lifetime—no one to go with, no money in the bank, a career that is going places, a mortgage to pay off. All are valid reasons for sure but with one fatal problem—they are holding us back from what we want to do with our lives.”
The social media is abuzz with many such quotes. If you feel like taking a holiday after reading them or catching the next flight to Barcelona after watching Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, then you are not alone. Besieged by the obsession to travel and the almost overused word ‘wanderlust’, makes me feel close to worse about my regular life. Routine is mundane, and therefore, we are awestruck by the idea of travel, but do we strive to travel for the right reasons? Is travelling that indispensable?
I have come across two kinds of travellers—planned and impulsive. Planned travellers are the dedicated ones. They research, save up pennies, and take up a number of jobs to earn extra money. They choose to splurge on adventurous activities over a luxurious accommodation. The latter slipshod crew of impulsive kind is severely influenced by the idea of ‘quit-my-job-and-travel’. They unrequitedly develop a crush on unknown places, aspire to travel from one place to another, where they don’t know a soul and are “inspired” by their stories. They are drawn towards the experience and look to collect pictures for their Instagram travelogue, hook up with a stranger, and move on to their next destination. All thanks to the numerous quotes, books, and references from Ranbir Kapoor’s films such as Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, Wake Up Sid and Tamasha, which have made this idea uber cool.
As amazing and inspirational as it sounds, life is a reality inundated with expenses, and it is a lot less glamorous. I have friends whose life is a ‘vacay’. While some are blessed with flourishing and loving ‘baes’, others have well managed to save up for it. But not everyone has the luxury to afford a holiday every now and then. Most of us work in a cubicle in a 9 to 5 job. Our frazzled routine becomes monotonous. Understandably, we all need a break, but most are unable to afford it because of that education loan, car loan, credit card bills, and other household responsibilities. Others like myself don't have enough holidays from work and prefer to visit family by the end of the year. Unfortunately, the lack of surplus money or holidays diminishes the chances to plan an exotic holiday. But does our cultural awareness deserve to be frowned upon if we refuse to succumb to the sweet escape and mellifluous sound of “quit my job and travel”? Absolutely not!
It is okay if you choose to explore walking through Orakei Basin or Shakespeare Park over a wildlife safari in South Africa. Choosing to do something new over the weekend may give you more exposure or experiences than many activities over a period of seven days. Reading a book, watching a foreign language movie, spending the weekend with family could make you culturally aware per se about travelling to a desired destination, thanks to Auckland, which has evolved as a multicultural city over the years. Above all, if your excuse to travel is to engage in some ‘deep thinking’, then bear in mind that we are surrounded by a number of yoga ashrams and meditation centres that could help you unruffle your thoughts. It is better to inculcate a habit of meditation or introspection rather than take a holiday to fulfil it.
Travel is a temporary illusion while regular life is the reality. Make an effort to keep your day-to-day life interesting. Travelling is a beautiful experience but don’t be disheartened if you are unable to do so. Rather, include activities that you may aspire to do in your daily life or save them for the weekend. While responsibilities are important, it is also vital to disrupt the mundane routine. Lookout for opportunities closely. They lie aplenty nearby. We are all stuck in the rut and it is okay.