Avid travellers have garnered years of experience in exploring the world, meeting new people and discovering foreign culture. Although travelling is often equated to a luxury activity (and perhaps it is!) and boasted about but there’s a lot more to learn from it than just posting pictures on Instagram.
Here are 5 life lessons that expert travels have to share:
#1: Planning is great but spontaneity can be better
If you’re a type A personality or just a really organized individual, you probably can’t go out without a proper plan in your head. When you travel, though, this has to be minimized. Sure, you don’t want to head out to foreign lands totally unprepared but leave some things for discovery and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
#2: Don’t believe the media; there is good and bad everywhere
We’re often led to believe that places like Iran or Pakistan are ‘dangerous’ but that’s really not how it is. You’ll always find compassionate people everywhere and your best approach should be kindness and respect as well.
#3: Respect the culture
Every community has its own set of values and traditions; when you’re travelling to a foreign land where culture is important you need to respect that. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go all out and follow the traditions but respecting and acknowledging them is pivotal.
#4: Travelling alone isn’t lonely
People who travel alone are often questioned whether they feel lonely in their trips. Solo travel experts believe that when you’re exploring new places, you’re never really alone.
#5: Distance can speak volumes for your relations
When you’re travelling a lot, you usually don’t see your loved ones back home that often than you otherwise would. Long distance and travelling can reveal the true colors of your relationship with people and help you realize who respects your interests and is willing to stick around even beyond the miles.
It has been so that life is a travel series, many times I found myself unsettling and settling again. Whether I was ever prepared for this or not, whether I was ever asked or given a choice in this matter; it is not relevant. Hence I once told my mother that since it has always been so and will probably be this way then we should consider this our fate. That suddenly one day, on some whim we will simply pull out our roots and move to new place and be expected to or will automatically re-root. But try as I might I forget that every time one pulls up ones roots a part of them remains in the soil.
If I count the places where parts of my soul remain, even I do not remember fully. A spring breeze, the whiff of night blooming jasmine, an azure blue sky, the shape of a certain building and sometimes even a grain of sand suddenly brings back a strong lucid memory pregnant with nostalgia and brimming with a connection yet unsevered. Arabian nights, Gothic towers, grand green hills, flat dusty plains, desert evenings, lakeshore walks, seaside barbecues; how much of it can I forget and how much of it will I carry inside me forever. Sometimes it overwhelms me and at others it soothes me, if I can carry a whole mountain range in my heart along with the Caspian sea, a crusaders castle, the Bosphorus bridge, the citadel of Allepo and the entire city of Karachi then surely I can make room for a little more.
‘We are leaving the life we know’, my husband found this silly,’ there are entire lives we don’t know about, doesn’t make them unlivable?’ I agree but the more times you put in your roots, the longer you allow them to grow, the harder it is to un-root, move away while the broken and buried limbs lay severed, in utmost pain. Slowly they fossilize and like a missing arm or leg one does learn to live without them. Then one day you remember having that very limb and the fossils awaken for a while, feel stifled and then readjust and fall into slumber. So for now I know that a clean cut is the best but it will take time for the cut to scar over and the skin to re-grow and the memories to fade.
My heart, my fellow traveler
It has been decreed once again
That you and I go into exile,
call out in streets
Roam from dwelling to dwelling
In the hope to find some clue
Leading us to a harbinger
Asking complete strangers
The way to our own home
In this land of strangers
For us to live from day to night
Trying to be understood
To this person then that
What that I should complain to you
The night of separation is best not talked about
It would have been of some comfort
Had the days been numbered
It would have been a comfort to die
Were we allowed to die only once
My heart, my fellow traveler
It has been decreed once again
Faiz Ahmed Faiz (Feebly translated by yours truly)
It was on August 4th, 2014, that I got my first glimpse at the shore of turkey. Despite my groggy state and red eyes that begged me to give them a rest, courtesy of the 5-hour flight from Dubai, I couldn’t help but stare at the vast expanse of the Mediterranean through the plane window. The sun had just come up an hour ago, and the sunlight hit the ocean at just the right angle to give the illusion of diamonds floating in the water. To say I was flabbergasted by the beauty of it would be an understatement.
Having grown up near the sea for the majority of my life had made me love the oceans, sea, beaches, lake, you name it and I’m pretty sure I would be in love with that water body. So just imagine my state when my eyes laid upon nothing but water as I stared out the window. I could see small ships resembling raisins from such a height. I kept on watching as the ships became denser and the variety increased as well. And finally, I could see the coast of Istanbul and nothing- not even the wailing baby-could have me take my eyes off such a majestic sight.
Fast forward 2 hours and I’m standing outside the airport with my family, the sun beating down on us with such a ferocity that had me thinking if it had some personal issues with us. I guess you could only appreciate the sun when you’re sitting in a comfortable seat, in a cold environment with a blanket wrapped around you, looking out of the plane and thanking the sun for make it look like barrels of diamond exploded in the sea.
Too bad I couldn’t glare back at the sun. I don’t think my corneas would have appreciated it. Anyway, squinting my eyes and assessing the view before me, the very first thing that I noticed was the diversity. Of course, standing in front of an international airport of the world’s most 2nd visited country will make you notice that. But the diversity I noticed was not among the crowds of people rushing past me. No, it was the taxi drivers that caught my eye. I could see people of all skin tones, speaking different versions of Arabic, I saw Chinese, I saw Americans and some South Asians here and there too. Being a big fan of diversity, I felt a smile gracing my lips.
Entertainment in singapore is rather expensive but thankfully during school vacations there are lots and lots of events with FREE admission. and trust me, they are rather good.
I know i should have postrd about these events really long time ago but, well, i didnt get around posting about it. i just saw the pics on my phone and finally decided to post this while putting D to sleep for the third time tonight.
Anyway, back in late november, wr had settled in our new home, K’s school had been finalized and we were bored. so i started looking on internet for activities for children (for free) other than the play grounds and man, i was pleasantly surprised there was just so much to choose from!
we finally decided to go to two live shows: Barney and Dora. to tell you the truth, we were not disappointed at all. the admission for both the shows was free and our expectations were rather low but apart from insufficient sitting area, there was nothing wrong with the show itself. in fact it was comparable to any other show for which you might have to spend hundreds of dollars.
in fact, we are now already looking forward to the activities that would b offered in summer vacations.
here are some pictures from the two shows