Friday, December 02, 2016

Pre and post 2014 travel thoughts

It was some time ago, when my blog would have a couple of posts every year dedicated to travel.  Now, unless it is absolutely mandatory for me to travel, I don't take it up and so my travel posts have dried up as well (It's ironical that my last post was on my Amsterdam business travel, but I guess you get the drift).

Earlier, my wife and I would make detailed plans before visiting a place.  Naturally, we ended up visiting a lot of beautiful places in the world.  Travel changes you as a person - so many cultures to learn, different kinds of people to meet, taste different cuisines, explore beautiful landmarks, experience the local transport and learning day to day aspects of how people go about their lives.  The whole experience is truly fascinating.

When we explored Alaska, it was just breathtaking.  We thought we'd never see something as beautiful.  I mean how nature could be so pristine and welcoming was so hard to fathom for us, having come from densely populated areas.  Then, our next big trip was New Zealand and Bora Bora.  It was as though New Zealand was taking a dig at us - Do you think Alaska is the only place to offer something surreal? Bora Bora took us to a different level.  And then you realize that each place with its unique permutation and combination of mountains, hills, water and greenery, can offer its unique surreal experience.

Now, the priorities have changed.  We have a toddler at home.  Going to the nearby Target or Safeway feels like a vacation.  We do have to plan now, but on a different level.  How many diapers to take, how to stock our bags with toddler food, how to engage him if he gets bored (which means, you pack some toys in there) and so on.  It's a different ball game.  Apart from the mandatory India trip, we don't plan a lot of travel.  Just the sheer magnitude of things to consider is daunting.

Our day to day life is consumed with thoughts of how to go about managing our day (read son).  Like I said in one of the earlier posts, our routine is so well established that any deviation from the norm leads to all round chaos.  At this stage, we just don't want that.  I say this to my wife, "Travel can wait.  Let's give ourselves a couple of years more." I am not sure if that's the right approach.  But then, it's best to enjoy travel when you are mentally ready for it.

We just have to head out of the house, sit in the car and one of us would quip "Looks like we have to change his diaper." If that's not the case, then that would be the instant when he would want to sip his water bottle, which he would have thrown it to the ground.  And after throwing all the tantrums for a sip, he would again throw the bottle and the process would repeat, again and again and again until we reach the store.  We would reach the store and he would get on the shopping cart, get into all kinds of positions, some risky and some mind bending.  Every trip is an adventure.  When I say trip, I meant every trip to a grocery store or nearby.

Now, we just love to see all the theatrics that our son has up his sleeve.  It's fascinating to see his day to day progress, soak up his tantrums, cherish the love and affection that he displays time and again and explain the little things that arouses his curiosity.  This for us is more than what any travel can do for us.  There are different stages in life and life becomes great when you realize the expectations at each stage.  At this stage, we wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

So, coming to the point of travel, if somebody asks me about seeing new places, this is what I'd say "Oh, it's just the permutation and combination of mountains, hills, water and greenery." :-)

We'll travel the world.  Till then we'll wait.

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