By Nandini Muralidharan
You may have heard the quote “Life’s all about the journey, and not the destination”, and several variants of it quite often.
In today’s world where “stress”, “career”, “financial investments”, and “traffic jams” have become an integral part of our vocabulary, one tends to forget to slow down and unwind, just a little bit.
Travelling can be a great stress-buster, and with a nice vacation, you can come back refreshed and rejuvenated.
Planning itself is one of the fun factors of the trip. Throwing a dart at the map and choosing to go where it lands may not be an option for everyone. If it is, then great! If it’s not, don’t fret.
The point of travelling is to reduce all that stress, and if you drive yourself nuts about where to go, you’re kind of defeating the whole purpose. There are several low-cost options available today, with the travel and hospitality industry wooing the Indian traveller like never before.
What would you like your trip to be like?
Travel should remove you not just physically, but mentally as well from your every day routine. If your work involves staring at a laptop all day long, then carrying one on your vacation is a big no-no. At least, not your official laptop.
For some of us, adventure sports offer the thrill and adrenaline rush that just doesn’t come from the everyday routine. For others it can be just sipping a glass of wine by the pool with a paperback in hand.
Remember that there are no rules set in stone when it comes to travel. The whole idea is to do something that will refresh you.
So don’t book a ski holiday just because everyone’s doing it, if what you really want to do is to watch the sun set into the horizon as the waves ebb and flow. Have breakfast at noon, and lunch in the evening if you feel like it.
It’s not meant to be a grocery list
Very often a trip becomes a list of things to do, ticked off at break-neck speed. You can technically say you’ve visited ten cities, but doing it over twelve days with barely any time to experience a place may not really be rejuvenating.
You may have to wake up for a 5 am flight, which you would’ve avoided if it were a business trip on, and you regret having packed so much into this trip when all you wanted to do was be somewhere new.
On the contrary, you may just feel exhausted with the travel, and even more stressed out than you were before you set out.
Excite your senses
When you travel, all your senses experience something new. When you step off the train, or a plane you immediately “feel” a place. The smells are different, whether it is the freshly baked baguettes along the roadside cafes, or fish at the Sunday market.
The sights are different; it could be a new cultural panorama, or a whole new landscape. The taste of food may be very different. The culinary experience is a very important part of travel and if you haven’t had a taste of the local cuisine, you’ve really missed something.
Another great way to experience a place is to walk. Walking allows you to do things the way you want to, and there’s no denying that it’s great exercise too!
When you soak in all this, your body and mind feel recharged and relaxed at the same time.
Travel can keep the doctor away
The health benefits from travel are definitely noticeable. Lots of sunshine, and fresh air can do you a world of good. Your lungs will be thanking you by the time you get home.
Physical activity, whether it is a long stroll while exploring the city, swimming , or some heavy-duty adventure sport will definitely help you stay fit.
A new outlook
Have you noticed how your outlook towards something you took for granted changes when you travel? A simple thing such as electricity, that you don’t have to worry about, may be scarce in a remote village in Rajasthan.
Travel makes you adapt. That’s one of the best things about it. Meeting new people from different walks of life allows you to see things for what they are.
There are different reasons why people travel. But the purpose of travel is that the excitement of something new, mingled a quiet harmony, will really make you feel at peace.
That’s when you know you’ve really experienced your trip. So pack your bags, forget your Blackberry, and hit the road.
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