Travel skeptics do exists and this is my open letter addressing them.
So, these questions come up quite often in social gatherings - "Wait, are you travelling 'again'? Didn't you just get back?" "Why travel so often?" "Why travel at all"? I would like to set your brains in motion and get you out of your comfort zone with a simple answer wrapped in a question - Why not?
Travelling is the most liberating experience one can ever have. Why not spend money on experiences rather than luxuries? Why not immerse yourself in different cultures and indulge in the lap of nature? Why not???
Have you ever asked yourself that question? If not, you need to do some soul searching yourself. Get out of your office cabin, take a break from your routine and do something different - explore the world .
As a female from India , with almost everything considered a taboo by the orthodox and conservative society, travelling is not on top of the list for most of us, needless to say. What does make it on the top for us Indians is - Saving for a rainy day by working your ass off in a mundane day job. What DO we end up spending our hard earned savings on ? Simple luxurious of life - branded clothes, latest gadgets, jazziest wheels..and for what ? Usually just to "show" how we are better than others and nailing it in the rat race - the usual middle class endeavors to shine in a crowd. And what does it get us? A pinch of happiness..for a short time..what happens after?
Honestly, I don't have anything against the "Indian mentality" - I was living under the same rock for almost 27 years.. till I discovered travelling. Till I actually quit my job - Till I decided I wont be a corporate slave anymore and will "live" my life to the fullest. That was the BEST decision of my life.
Image Credit - WanderWithJo.com
Luckily, I have supportive parents who took just a little bit of convincing and there was no looking back ever since I quit the 9 to 5 grind back in 2009. I refuse to work from an office and be part of the never ending rat race. No matter how much you climb the success ladder or how much moolah you make - you are never truly satisfied. Travelling changes your perception of life - It brings you solace and peace. I would rather do what I love - Travel every month - and work when I want , at my own pace and time - be my own boss - If that means quitting the rat race and falling off the corporate ladder - in return for happiness and peace - so be it. I will make that choice anytime in life.
Now if we talk about solo travels especially for a female coming from India, it is simply unheard of. Thankfully society is changing as we are getting influenced more and more by western cultures (Thanks to the idiot box). However, Indians still "choose" to be westernized and open minded as per their convenience - the society is hanging somewhere between wannabe westernization and holding on to core values.
During most of my travels, people didn't "Expect" me to be there. Like when I was travelling solo to Laos - people I met were pretty damn shocked to see an Indian tourist - many had never met anyone from India before. Surprising, isn't it ?
When I was at Split airport in Croatia, I was asked which visa I was travelling on - I showed them my Schengen stamp. Lo , behold, it took them 40 minutes to verify if Indians could enter Croatia on a Schengen visa - Which led me to believe that there aren't many Indians travelling to offbeat places at all - I would find plenty in Paris, Amsterdam or London - but not Croatia - Why not? It is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited - Why won't we open our minds and explore new places - why are we stuck to what we see on the idiot box or read about on social media ? Why can't we let our wanderlust lead us rather than the other way round ?
This brings me to the next commonly asked question by skeptics of my escapades - Why are you running away ?
Am I running away ? Well, the answer is Yes and No.
Yes, I am running away from the mundane routine lifestyle. Yes, I am running away from the monotony of living in one place , working your ass off and saving for your entire lives without enjoying it. Yes, I am running away from the small minded people who think as an Indian female, one should not travel solo or travel at all. YES, I want to break the mold and get out of my comfort zone and run away to exotic new locales and explore the heck out of them
On the other hand, NO, I am not running away from my responsibilities or my work. No, I am not running away from my family or my life.
I am very content with what I do and lucky to have awesome people around me so why would I run away ? Everyone deserves a change and everyone deserves to do what makes them happy. Travel makes me happy and gives me a sense of freedom which Indian society has been taking away from me all these years.
So, now I want to ask all of you this question - why not travel ?
To all the non-skeptics, follow my adventures at - WanderWithJo.com
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