The world has so much to offer in term of experiences. At the end aren’t we all down to the experiences in life?
Not the money we earn or the things we buy.
Travelling is one of the best ways to experience things in life. It is liberating. We travel to explore new places and collect experiences but it is one of the best ways to self-exploration. It will completely throw you off guard, make you meet amazing people, you may taste soul-satisfying food and find kindness in strangers. While the warmth of the hot tea cup will give you solace on a cold winter morning, the view in front of you will bring nothing but peace and tranquility.
Traveling for me had begun from a young age, due to my father’s transferable job. We were careful planners and budget travelers but a great sucker for exploring local things. At a certain point, I started deciding the locations based out of my bucket list and the Lonely Planet was my best friend back then. My dad taught me efficient ways of packing and how to plan well. Those were times where smartphones were still not introduced and internet access was scarce. And I loved planning everything to the T.
When I got married, my husband was similar to me in terms of planning the travels we took. He did most of the planning and bookings leaving me with what I thought was nothing. He is the best travel buddy but yet there was a void. I used the internet and did research the places we planned to go, although he told me not to google out some places because they needed to be experienced.
The last year when we went to Germany, for the first time in my existence I did not research a thing, I was annoyed in the beginning, only to be amused later. I knew the countries and cities we planned to cover but that is it. At first, I felt crippled, I was going to backpack around Europe but completely blind. Being the first international trip, and being unprepared and unplanned I felt incomplete. Little did I know that this blind date would be a trip of a lifetime, where I would not only discover amazing places but also discover a lot more about myself.
I had the best lemon slush and lemon ice cream in Cinque Terre and was surprised how tasty something as bizarre as a lemon ice cream could be, given I don’t experiment much with my ice creams. I also realized how different the reality was from pictures and my no research travel helped me discover not knowing things although could be blindfolded but also liberating and fun. I tossed a coin over the Trevi Fountain, ate like a local, hiked through various places in Italy. Spent hours in the Colosseum and had the best margarita in Naples.
Cruised through Germany-Austria- Switzerland border, enjoying the different hues of blue and green water. Experienced snowfall and the scorching heat a while later in the famed country of Switzerland. Who knew Swiss wasn’t just snow, but a lot more in terms of scenic beauty, lakes and heat! Paris was so much more than the Eiffel tower and Venice was not only beauty to the eyes and heart but also an example of how locals try their best to keep their city clean.
When I shared my thoughts with my husband, he thought we could give it a shot together, that is how we decided to go on a blind date to the beautiful city of Vienna. Completely unprepared and unsure of what was in store for us in the city. In the beginning, there were doubts but the backpacking turned out to be one enriching experience.
We spent a few hours exploring the streets and old churches, going nowhere in particular as we had started early. We toured the royal Schönbrunn Palace and its mighty grounds for hours, and then posted in the Madame Tussauds, took the giant wheel and enjoyed the city view, listened to opera and made an impromptu visit to a friend’s house only to be washed away with warmth and hot tea. We realized that a day wasn’t sufficient to experience the finesse the city had to offer.
When we plan to travel, we consider so many tiny details, that often we are lost in these details, sometimes the places that are popular is overrated and the ones that we just go inside casually are spectacular, hinting that being open-minded and traveling open-ended may take you to places you have never heard or seen before but also bestowing a responsibility of protecting the marvel.
Places you never knew existed, new languages, unique cultures, experience things and food that will be etched in the memories for a lifetime, encounter amazing souls, confront your worst fears and laugh at the silly little things you did.
I am always geared up to #SayYesToTheWorld. To explore its infinite possibilities, wonders, beautiful souls and mind-blowing experiences.
Here is a video I resonate with: