I can’t claim to be extensively travelled at 29, but I’ve come to believe that travel liberates my soul.
Till some time back, I admit I was more in love with the idea of travel than with travel itself. I was in love with the idea of being a backpacker, seeing different things & exploring new geographies – but when it really came down to it, my need to laze and do nothing always superseded my desire to explore and take on adventure. So only much later, when I started travelling alone on work, is when I actually started to feel the joy in travelling.
Besides the fact that travelling on your own gives you a great sense of independence and of course you get to meet new people, experience new cultures and explore fantastic new cuisines & food – travel for me has also become a great way to spend ‘metime’ and discover myself. There are people I know who would choose to catch up with work on a flight, and to each his own I suppose. When I get on a plane, I disconnect with everything, set my mind free and enjoy the nothingness of just staring into the clouds and merely reflecting on the randomest things.
2015…. this year… marked my biggest chapter in ‘Travel’ (so far). The ruins of Rome, the historic corridors of Florence, the picturesque alleys of Venice, the cold, white pebbly sands of Nice and the charming old world elegance of Paris were all beautiful and beyond my wildest imagination (more about each one in another post!). And it isn’t just the landscape that awes you – though I will admit, that is what first meets the eye and creates that first rush of touchdown in another land.
Impossible to say I liked one place more than the other – they were all so unique and all so very different, its unfair to even compare! But…. “Some day…. some day I’ll come to back to you Paris” I remember telling myself as we boarded a train onwards to Nice. When you visit a place, it changes you forever. It became so much more real at Paris for me. I left a little part of myself in that charming city just as much as I carried back a bit of it away with me.
So when I opened my eyes on Saturday to wake up to the unexplained massacre of innocent lives in Paris – a bizarre chapter of terrorism in the world we live in – I felt as though someone had attacked me and sent a bullet through my chest. It takes just that instant to realize how much for granted I (i daresay ‘we’) actually take life. ‘Tomorrow’ is so casual. What if there were no tomorrow? What if all we had was only the next few hours?
One of the news features I saw did a chronology of terror attacks in Paris in 2015 since the Charlie Hebdo incident. It shocked me that the city has seen so much this year and the only two really quiet months it had was incidentally also the period when I visited. If Paris is truly on its way to become the center of so much terrible violence do I really want to risk being there again?
I find myself saying with renewed affirmation – “Some day…. some day I’ll come to back to you Paris. The perpetrators of hatred & violence won’t keep me away.”