Does travelling leave you Humbled or turn you into a Braggart?

Does travelling leave you Humbled or turn you into a Braggart?

In a world of travel bloggers, travel entrepreneurs and perennial travellers, a non-traveller with a ‘routine’ life is an amused bystander, a spectator and ‘like’er of their posts. I love to read their blogs about living life nomadic style, having the entire world to call their home and no fixed address (their digital address is probably the one constant thing in their lives). It is a great read, a window to what lies ‘out-there’, but am just a fan, a supporter and that’s that.

So now that we have cleared out where I stand, would like to share a moment of epiphany that I had just yesterday, triggering the urge to write-it-out.

Out of curiosity to learn more and to better my style of blogging, was wandering the depths of the Indian travel bloggers and hit a chord with a post that listed out the ‘Top Indian travel bloggers 2016″. It is an extensive list (seems like only I think so) with 61 top travel bloggers who write about their never-ending travel tales. The one who wrote the post has done a commendable job getting that many people to answer questions and has done justice to all the listed bloggers. I was more in awe of the sheer number of women listed. Happy reader! Scrolling down, I reach inevitably to the comments section. It should be noted that I generally don’t read them if I don’t have a strong draw to a post. But this one made me curious, so went on reading. Grave mistake! I should have lived within the bubble. I popped it and there’s no coming back.

What I read in those comments took me by total surprise and the magic spell was broken. It was a wordy rant of all the other bloggers who hadn’t been listed – asking what the criteria were and why they dint make the cut. Bloggers who were featured but were listed in between – they wanted to know if there was an order to the numbering, if not that should have been mentioned at the start of the post. Bloggers who demanded as to why their name and their blog’s wasn’t on the list – for they too had travelled ‘many’ countries. Basically everybody was imposing an idea of their own. Of course there were many who were grateful to be listed (but this post isn’t about the good ones).

90f68bc80a46aca4ce1629a8bc9adc2eIt was my impression that these eclectic travellers, the “Digital Nomads” were a class  apart – an earthy bunch, who by their tenacity and resilience had built a sustaining lifestyle that afforded them and their travels. I was inspired by their will to take life one day at a time, quite literally. Their stories were vibrant and effused vitality that cascaded to the readers.

Their following on social media and readership was akin to that of the movie industry. There’s a part in each of us who love to be a someone in the movie industry or at the least would be glad for an association. For me, these travellers are like that but with a twist. For all the travelling they have done, the places they have seen, the people they have interacted with and heard stories from, the foods that they have tasted, the hardships they must have had choosing to tread an unconventional path – I really believed they must have been humbled by the whole experience. Am sure, many many are, but it has made me think and question all those notions I had built in my head.

How many of them are doing this for bragging rights?

Are these people any different from the constant ‘look-at-me’ posers on FB and insta?

What if they had no one to tell their stories too, if social media cease to exist – Would they still do all these travels and adventures, as they do now?

Are they all truly enjoying the journey, the quest or are they looking at them as different paragraphs of their blog post?

Are they living in the moment or making mental notes to recall the story?

Are they contributing to those many small societies and ecosystem that they live in? If so, how?

Are they the new-age rebel-without-a-cause?

The questions are popping up like wild mushrooms. Answers anyone?

PS: Photo credits to SalaamGateway and Pinterest.

 

 

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Retrograde thinking…

Retrograde thinking…

 

If given a chance, what would you tell your 18-20 years old self from where you stand today?

For clarity, this is not a post about living in hindsight, living with regrets. It’s not, for I believe, We as people take decisions or make choices for that given moment, with all our experiences and resources, information, emotional maturity and behaviour of people around us at that time. It is our best-informed decision for “that” moment alone.

So it’s upon us and us alone for all that we are now! Period.

But it’s therapeutic, or has a calming effect, to think that you could have been someone else, a better version of yourself if only you knew back then, what you know and feel now!

ah ha! but we can’t do that, but we could indulge ourselves.

So the list of info or advice I would give my younger self!

  • Have a better plan for your life.                                                                                                                              I had a very simple plan, finish engineering, get a job and then earn well. That’s it. For the 18-year-old me, it seemed good to have this clarity at least. But when It was achieved I didn’t know where to go when I had to change companies. I didn’t have clear career path to follow. I went with my gut, that’s it. Even if my plan hadn’t worked, I would have a guideline to work with. But like they say “Life is what happens when you are busy planning it”. It did!

  • Don’t be scared to test your love.                                                                                                                          I had this opportunity ( I had the visa) to study masters in Germany, but just before I went, Love happened. He encouraged me to go on and pursue my studies, he believed that we could get through a long distance relationship. But I didn’t, I was scared to loose what I just got, scared about the uncertainties if I went. So, I decided not to go.

  • Exercise more, don’t be lazy.                                                                                                                                 My weight was a concern, but not an issue. Didn’t feel that pinch, didn’t discipline myself to be healthier, even when I had a sister and friends who did motivate me. Now I am trying to take on my advice. Finally.

  • Don’t be complacent. There is always room to improve skills and knowledge.                                    I wish had taken this piece of advice given by a friend of mine. I didn’t fully comprehend what he meant. I tended to not think about, or dwell on it. He meant to put in a little extra effort to score better marks, to actually study. I coasted by with last minute studying for the exams. But when I started my career and moved along, I understood what he meant that day. That I tend to take the easy option when I little effort could give much better results. I settle for “it’s good”.

  • Trust a friend, not their judgement on others.                                                                                               I was very naive and gullible in college. So if someone was my friend, I had complete trust and even trusted their view about someone, their views and opinions became mine. Especially with a couple of people, I had this major presumption about them that hindered our friendship. I have made amends long after, but I don’t think that was enough.

  • Appreciate her certain choices, creating a wishlist/ bucket list, being self-aware.                           Appreciation for a lot of things that did work out in my favour, I made a list of things to do for when I earned. I did tick off most of them – travelling, trekking, being out a lot, hanging out with buddies, taking guitar classes, having my own RXZ (sold it later!), engaging in a lot of good conversation with good people, living life on my own terms ..to name a few.

This is my retrograde thinking. What is yours?

Well, if you do have something that you would want to tell your younger self, do leave a comment. I would definitely appreciate the effort and time. Thanks!

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The best habit to inculcate in your child – Reading.

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Total Disclosure – Am a book worm, an avid reader.Was a voracious reader a few years back.

I had taken to books and reading quite early in life, even though my Dad was a reader himself, the responsibilities of a family man didn’t allow him to continue. But he did encourage my habit, felt joy that I had some of his interests. I have to mention a teacher of mine in class 5, who encouraged us to read a kids magazine – Gokulam, it was a joke she read for us. I still remember the joke, and from then on I have never stopped reading.

Feel a little nostalgic, this is what I used to do to gobble up as many books I could. First, it was little kids magazines, I would be given Rs.25 every month for gokulam, chandamama and tinkle. When in high school, I read a lot from my school library -nancy drew, Enid Blyton’s books. Always had this insatiable hunger to read more and learnt to read faster so I could read as many as there were.  One of my chores at home was to put the monthly stash of newspaper to the paper guy, who would give money for them. There were always some good books that people had given away. I would use the paper money to buy it back. My friends too gifted me books, coz a book always brightens my eyes. Have spent many hours in a nook in the Crossword Store on residency road.

A bookstore, especially a used books bookstore is my Disney land.

I am instilling this habit of reading with my toddler son, who is yet to read. He loves to flip through the pages, loves to hear me read out loud with an animated voice. It’s colourful, vibrant, gives him a lot scope to think, analyse,  ask. The best aspect I like – It reduces the screen time.

I just can speak only for myself and my son. But what about other kids and their parents?

How many of us are readers? who enjoy reading and not just coz ‘It’s good to read’? I find that the number is very less in my circle of people.  I know that the trend of reading is in an upward direction all over the world, in metro cities, but from where I stand it isn’t.

And why is it so?

One of the reasons is that many of the parents would have been readers when they weren’t taking care of family, having a career,  managing kids. Moreover, I don’t think people prioritise or consider reading as a relaxing activity. And so, when kids don’t see reading around them, they wouldn’t pick up the habit easily. And kids have so much of school work that even parents don’t want to push them towards another book.

When you have the habit of reading, and always carry a book around, it’s like having a best friend with you at all times. You are never alone, you imbibe so much of what you read and its changes your way of thinking or your personality a little at a time. You understand different points of view. You understand how it is to be in other person’s shoes. Books engage our imagination. When you read a good book, it feeds your soul.

Books have magic in them. You could loose yourself. Visit countries and people while just sitting in your home. The character descriptions by some authors are so vivid,  you’d want to meet people like them.

Put some magic in your’s and your kid’s life, Get into the habit of reading.

PS: For those interested and wondering the cost of having a reading habit. Try JustBooksCLC they have decent plans. I have opted for the Monthly Rs.300 plan for 2 books -one for me and one for my son.

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Here it starts…

It has been on my mind for a very long time! the idea to publish a blog, to see, how well the thoughts bobbing in my head sound when read out loud or how they feel when reread. Before the actual sit down to pen my thoughts ( or customizing your blog page, design and then the actual typing out the blog post), there are a lot of questions that I ask of myself, like, can an avid book reader become a writer too? Will I be coherent, organised or at the least be grammatically correct ? Will I have enough content to write? and of course the very important of all , what do I write about?  And so, instead of answering or even making an attempt to do so , I procrastinate, let my time be consumed by enjoyable but not at all productive activities like watching a galore of Hallmark movies.

One such afternoon, a movie or something just triggered the reader in me to just become a member with the Justbooks library. It was a year since I had first tried to be a member , but I dint, it too took its place amongst a long list of  “I gotta do, but I don’t”. But this afternoon, I did join and crossed it off my list.

So the reader in me is very happy that I did, coz for all my yak-de-yak talking with a lot of people, reading a good book is like visiting my best friend. The Happiness quotient is very high when I read. So, borrowed this very interesting “it’s all in the Planets” by Preeti Shenoy. I just chose it coz a) I had read Preeti’s “Life is what you make of it” – a book that introduced me to bipolar disorder . b) I am a women, so,  given an option I chose a new bestseller written by a woman author.

The character Nidhi writes a blog as an anonymous blogger. The character kinda rekindled the idea of me – the blogger. And so it goes …..

PS: am a big fan of the “…” for a full stop is that – a full stop, to the sentence, to the thought. But “…” leaves a thought trail, like how songs fade out and dont just abruptly change to the next one.