"Travel is very subjective. What one person loves, another loathes.”- Robin Douglas Leach
Despite all the good things the world seems to offer, true happiness can only be found in one thing – Travelling. Travelling is the great true love of my life. I am loyal and constant in my love for travel. I feel about travelling the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby- I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine. It can barf all over me if it wants to- I just don’t care.
I’m not a morning person but if the only available flight leaves at 6 AM, I will book it without a second thought. But my dear husband would rather stay in bed because waking up early on one single morning is certainly the end of the world for him.
We are like-minded in almost everything aspect but travel! What I love, he loathes and vice versa. It’s harder to get him to wake up early than it is to eat only one chip from a packet of Lays.
He always acts like planning & executing a vacation is a gross imposition on his time. But I always somehow manage to convince the sourball that this is an emergency because not going on a trip at least once in six months is seriously injurious to health! And that is precisely how & why, in the two years of our marriage, we have been on four major vacations (Bhutan, Goa, A Euro trip which included France, Italy & Greece, and a trip Manali+Ladakh). That doesn’t even include the many mini getaways (Gangtok & Namchi in Sikkim, Kurseong, Darjeeling, Kalimpong & Doars). And I already have our whole lives (in terms of travel, of course) planned, much to his chagrin.
I didn’t ask him to visit 66 countries before he married me! He could’ve waited! I don’t know how he behaved on those holidays but now the truth is, he’s not brilliant at going on holiday. He doesn’t really get the whole chilling-out-and-doing-nothing thing. He always wants a plan and a timescale and to have our daily schedule clearly chalked out. I really want him to unwind sometimes but he gets all cranky without a set plan. Therefore, I make sure I have a clearly defined itinerary before we leave for the holiday.
I love the planning, the research, making notes of all that is to be seen and done, the restaurants we need to visit, the dishes most recommended, I have it all jotted down in my precious travel notebook.
We swear by TripAdvisor for all of this. When I’m making travel plans, I feel “useful”, otherwise my brain is mostly like the key-ring on my handbag, neither decorative nor useful, but it comes with the rest of the package so I’m stuck with it. If there’s one thing that we both love, it is staying in different hotels. Our definition of a good hotel is a place that we could visualize ourselves living in and we are so VERY particular about it. We don’t stay at one hotel for more than two nights because we love checking into different hotels for the different experiences.
In these two years, believe it or not, we have stayed in 40 different hotels!
People like doing different things on holiday. My husband likes reading about buildings and exhibits and history, whereas I only reach ‘Built in 1755, the church was original…’ before the boredom puts me to sleep. I love to just sit around, sip a cappuccino or a cocktail and just chill. I’m not saying that I do only that but I can relax for a bit, which some people find very difficult to do. Three years ago, I went on a trip to Singapore & Bali with two of my girlfriends who I had been friends with since kindergarten and grew up together in a boarding school with. The kind of folks you may think we knew each other in and out, but you’ll be surprised to know how much we learned about one another on that ten-day vacation! We had loads of fun and loads of arguments, there were tears and there was laughter, we came back with a reservoir of memories and an even stronger bond of friendship.
Going on a trip with friends for the first time is almost like an arranged marriage! There’s so much to discover.
Coming back to my hubby and I, at the cost of sounding like a pompous ass, we are the kind of couple who’d give you serious #CoupleGoals. Yes, I mean it. Touchwood. But we have our fair share of “travel squabbles” and of course, even the everyday squabbles but let’s focus on the travel bit here. This one time, I nearly died because of him forcing me to do the horrid ‘Banana Boat’ water-ride in Goa. These life jackets are just a hoax, I tell you. If you do not know how to swim, they are as useless as the statutory warning on a pack of cigarettes. He was furious because I was dumb enough to wear a dress for trekking the famous ‘Tiger’s Nest’ in Paro, Bhutan and they wouldn’t allow me to enter the monastery! All that climbing, and huffing, and panting for NOTHING!
Then it was my turn to be furious in Paris, when he fell prey to the ‘Shell game scam’ (Google it for details) that goes on in the Eiffel Tower area and we lost around 350 euros! These stock market people can’t resist the urge of making money anywhere they go! Did I tell you, he’s always on his phone? And I’m not even exaggerating. Even on a holiday, he’s making money for another holiday! Someday, I’m going to snatch his phone and throw it into a lake or something! I am sure he was wishing for the Santorini sunset to just get done with quickly so that we could return to our hotel room and check the highs and lows of the stock market. Sometimes I wish these hotels stop giving us their Wi-Fi passwords but then I remember that I need it as well for Instagram & Facebook!
But this very same guy, put away his phone for the whole day when we walked into Disneyland hand in hand.
Mr. Sensible Spender didn’t make a face when I bought that over-priced Minnie mouse hair band without which a trip to Disney is a sheer waste (well, let’s just say that he preferred to be a hypocrite with a happy wife than a cynic with an unhappy wife. Smart man.), he even waited patiently for rides meant for 5 year olds, which I insisted on taking. He made sure we went to see the Eiffel Tower every night while we were in Paris, even though he hates it. And my not-so-romantic husband did surprise me with a cute peck on my cheek as we looked at the splendid panoramic view of the city of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo. I could go on and on about him and our travel tales but you’d end up falling in love with him and I obviously cannot let that happen.
Now, It’s time for some gyaan: Traveling, in many ways, can push your partner away from his or her comfort zones, which will let you discover your partner’s positive and negative traits. If you’re headed towards a serious relationship, make sure to have a travel escapade before committing; the Kundali matching is going to be of no use if your travel compatibility fails to match. Of course, not everything has to match because travel is very subjective, but you need to know how to make the most of your holiday together.
Travel because travel memories are the best and they will always remain close to your heart. Because exploring and discovering the world out there is the only thing you buy which makes you truly richer. Let the travel bug bite you, allow yourself to collect these experiences, let it enrich and educate you.
A change in latitude will definitely change your attitude.
Don’t just limit it to a strategy for accumulating photographs; accumulate memories and life lessons as well. Travel solo, with a partner, with friends or family, but do it with all your heart. Because Travel: It leaves you speechless and then, it turns you into a storyteller.
I’ve told you my story. What’s yours?