I’m going to remember 2016 as the year I imprinted myself into the sky.
We need less bankers and engineers, and more artists, musicians, writers, travellers, entrepreneurs, sportspeople, dreamers.
A longing that I’m off tonight to indulge.
I fell asleep with local rum and Spanish music in Nicaragua when the calendars flipped to 2015. The year feels like a racy dream – from the Himalayas to the Caucasus, from working on a vineyard in Germany to going vegan in New York, from living with nomads in the Mars-like desert of Jordan to watching a meteor shower in the cracked salty desert of Gujarat. These moments of incredulous beauty and serendipity filled me with an inexplicable love for the road. Behold, my 2015 in a nutshell: The Caribbean spirit: Trinidad & Tobago I knew nothing about the West Indies (well, except cricket) until I actually landed in Trinidad, thanks to an incredibly cheap flight from New York. And it was an instant love affair. Trinidadians have the coolest accent I’ve ever heard. We had pristine white sand beaches all to ourselves, pigged out on Caribbean-Creole-Indian influenced food like “Buss Ab Shut”, and hiked in the mountains of the indigenous herb-growing Paramin community. Giraffes in my backyard: South Africa I was a bit bummed out when my first South Africa trip, planned by South …
I started 2015 on a private island in Panama, with 150 rupees ($2.5 USD) in my account. That’s the lowest my account balance has ever been since I quit my corporate job over four years ago. It was just one of those weeks when every single payment I was expecting got delayed. I had no idea how I would pay for my meals and transfers – they didn’t accept credit cards and my alternate debit card wasn’t working – but instead of panicking, I immersed myself in the Nat Geo-like setting of my hideout (think sting rays doing backflips, dolphins swimming with their kids, bioluminescent algae lighting up the waters). As luck would have it, by the time I checked out and went to an ATM with my host, one of my payments had *just* come in! PHEW. The life of a travel blogger (or a freelancer) is just as adventurous financially as it is in other, more envy-evoking, ways. Since I last wrote about how I afford my travels, three things have changed: I no longer run (and hence …
I’ve come to realize that traveling is about opening up your mind to new feelings and experiences, not about validating the opinions of past travellers.
21 months ago, when I packed up my home into a backpack and decided to hit the road indefinitely, I wondered how long it would take me to crave a “normal” life again.
We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again — to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more. ~ Pico Iyer As much as Pico Iyer’s words have inspired me on my own journeys, I spent the last week soaking in the wisdom of 667 of my readers – reading through the entries to my last contest. On popular demand, here are the most creative and inspiring answers (along with photos of the great minds behind them): I travel because… “Bank balances, car brands, and salary hikes are a poor measure of life’s worth. I measure it by the songs I sang facing the Nilgiris, the unhurried conversations with strangers by the sea, the stories I heard, the people I loved and the many homes I discovered in strange places.” ~ Ullas Marar; @ullasmarar *** “I want to breathe other air, taste other food, speak other languages so that everywhere …
Last week in the Pico Bonito forest reserve of Honduras, I met Juan and Roberto of the indigenous Garifuna community. I was fascinated by their affection for the dense rainforest and the diverse life it harbored, but even more by their culture, an integral part of which involves celebrating death as a new beginning. When one of their own dies, there is no mourning at the funeral; instead the community gets together to play the upbeat Punta music, dance and make merry – One last celebration!
Much has been learnt, more has been loved – and the one thing that has remained constant is my desire to keep moving.