Posted by Sudeshna Rana
Editor’s Note: This month, that is August 2019, FII’s #MoodOfTheMonth is Travel, where we invite various articles narrating bitter-sweet travel experiences. If you’d like to share your story, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A quick tour of any social media platform will tell you that the hashtag wanderlust generation is busy geo-tagging exotic tourist destinations and clicking away selfies against the backdrop of beaches, mountains and monuments. If you are one of those people who think this is how travel has come to be defined in modern digital India, think again! Because behind these social media trends there is a rising number of travellers amongst millennials, who are turning into digital nomads and travel for therapy, adventure and employment.
I started travelling during my college years as a means to cope with rising academic pressure and a compulsive mixture of curiosity and escapism. It is difficult to ignore the primal urge to break away from the mundane and go looking for new horizons. What I learned on the road was far more vibrant and enriching than any classroom teaching or work experience. They say the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself. Travelling is the best way to immerse in the beauty of directionlessness and mystique.
The very act of planning a trip solo, with a partner or a group, has given hope to countless nights of frustration, sadness and boredom. Far away from the clutches of responsibility, ambition or oppression, the human spirit soars freely. On these trips, I met a few of the most awe-inspiring people and made lifelong memories.
behind these social media trends there is a rising number of travellers amongst millennials, who are turning into digital nomads and travel for therapy, adventure and employment.
When you travel, you have to interact with strangers from different geographies and cultures. When you travel, you have to give up the comforts of your home and learn the art of compromise. When you travel, you have to keep your wits about when it comes to matters regarding budget, food, direction or bookings. It is the best form of education to survive in the real world.
On the Road
When Jack Kerouac wrote about his travels in his novel On the Road, he depicted life in the United States and a picture of the Beat Generation. But this was not the first time when travel writing was used as a form of historical account. It has been popular as a trope forever. Rahul Sankrityayan, captured the essence of the world around him through his travelogues. And who can forget classics like Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days?
The steady influence of travel in literature and scholarship is a testament to its endured importance throughout human history and culture. If we had not travelled beyond our homes, would we have known that the Earth is not flat? Would we have established trade, relationships and exchanged ideas across geographical boundaries? Would the printing press, the number system and any kind of knowledge become what it has today?
Human civilization prospered through travellers and their stories have only encouraged later generations to go beyond and flourish intellectually and psychologically.
Far away from the clutches of responsibility, ambition or oppression, the human spirit soars freely. On these trips, I met a few of the most awe-inspiring people and made lifelong memories.
Where the Wild Things Are
In the post-modern, post-capitalist society, the rat race has trapped almost everyone in the bondage of student loans, nine-to-five desk jobs and a rigged system of consumerism and elitist bureaucracy. It is no wonder that mental health issues are on an all-time high these days. Depression, anxiety and stress issues are the monsters being battled against by so many around us. The World Health Organization (WHO) claims that around 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
Travel has become the antidote to this crisis.
Travelling is like reading a book, where you the writer, character and reader. Travelling is like a game of cards and you have to play with the cards you are dealt with, only there are no winners and losers. Travelling is finding the inner child in all of us. It reignites the power of imagination and compels you to go back to the basics of learning to adapt to new surroundings and let lose that part which is wild and primal within us.
Sudeshna is an English Literature Postgraduate from Lady Shri Ram College, DU and a freelance writer. She is a bohemian with a penchant for adventure and art. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram.
Featured Image Source: Travelling Blog