Often times we are too focused on the destination we fail to take notice and appreciate the real pleasures of travel.
Traveling is not just about the cozy Marriott suite we can’t wait to get to after a grueling flight journey or the selfies clicked before the Lady liberty.
It’s about the stories you hear while biking up Ooty on a foggy Saturday morning, snacking on freshly baked sweet corn from this middle aged street vendor about the bus that toppled off the winding roads snaking up the hill a week back.
It’s about the countless tea breaks with a puff of burning tobacco leaves to fight off the cold, on the highway to Bengaluru biking down from Wayanad, on a freezing midnight of December with couple of best buddies.
It’s about the shabby looking Dhabha (an Indian eatery) you find while starving, in the middle of nowhere, open late in the night, after a long day on bad roads from Srisailam having few more hours to reach Hyderabad.
It’s about the fun times when you explain why you decided to go on a motor cycle from Bengaluru to Rameshwaram along the breezy coastal Tamil Nadu with a whiff of sea salt, to some local folks in Velankanni and they look at you like an alien and call few of their other friends to point at you and tell about your venture.
It’s about the longest train journey you have ever taken observing the quirks and lives of different kinds of people, by the Konkan coast in an unreserved coach – the ten year old questioning about your cracked mobile phone screen while exhibiting his surprisingly good knowledge of smart phones, the elderly looking gentleman who can live off entirely on a diet of vada pav (an Indian burger), the visibly exhausted woman in her thirties with tanned skin and muddy clothes, presumably from her long day of field labor, holding her ten year old by the hand and a toddler on her shoulders looking around anxiously for a berth to be seated, the drunk homeless man trying to sleep in the aisle and getting chased off by irked passengers who do not want to wake up to a drunkard’s puke.
It’s about the nice little conversation you have with this American couple from Colorado on a scorching summer noon atop a hill in Udaipur, exchanging stories about how they love India even in Summer and how you enjoyed your times in New York city.
It’s about the war time stories you hear from the old man while sipping hot tea, trembling with cold, on the way to Kargil during a motor cycle trip along the Himalayas.
It’s about the nice little evening with a good friend when you take a random exit off the high way into a sparsely populated township for a break while coming back from a hiking trip and ending up tasting one of the best funnel cakes served by this nice lady who would customize it as much as you want for your taste, with a smiling face.
Traveling is about all these little moments and then some more.. If you would just take notice.