Throughout our lives, we have the opportunity to see many things that will change our prespective about the world. It is by traveling to different places that we are able to achieve this. It is our privilege to be Indians, being part of a nation which has so many cultures, giving us a different experience in different states, or even while traveling through different districts within a state. As we keep traveling, there are those places in the world which makes us feel safe as well as happy, and there are those which we hesitate to visit. Well, if we don’t visit, we never know.
The Ceylon Ramayana trip was one such journey which brought new experiences to shape my thoughts and life. It was spiritual, and there was more to it. Each cup of tea we had there meant more than just tea. Each person we met, whether it was a Buddhist monk or a commoner at the streets, had a story to tell – each in different ways, but all of them becoming part of our lives and thoughts. It was that kind of a journey when spirituality was frequent, whether it was a Buddhist temple, Hindu temple, church or mosque, and it was the journey which had life as a major part of it.
But the British trop was entirely different, and it came only a few months after the trip to Sri Lanka. It was not spiritual or religious, even though it came right after that journey to the holy lands in and around Israel was cancelled due to some bomb blasts and possibility of war in the area. This one was a journey into modernity, but not far away from history and literature which were present throughout the trip. There were the favourite poets, novelists and history’s most famous people right before our eyes. Then there was the vision of this other side of the world.
There was plenty in both cases, and I was able to find more than one side of my thoughts in each place. This plenty was displayed in one model in Colombo and Kandy, and in another way in London and Manchester. The admiration that we feel in each case is different, and just like we love each city of India in a different way, we saw such divergence here too. But this time, this was more than one could have imagined, and a divergent world is always a beautiful one, just like India has thrived with its unity in diversity.
There can always be differences between closer places. The two towns of Kerala, fifteen kilometres from each other, belonging to the same district of Ernakulam, between Aluva and North Paravur, there is difference. The former being close to the river and the latter being close to the sea can be seen to have developed different cultures in the past, even though Ernakulam district has come close to each other making that difference minimal. We often hear people say that Kerala is like one big city, but the differences are clearly there in between the similarities.
Considering such a situation, United Kingdom and Sri Lanka were always going to bring different lessons of life. Both places did feel good, and there was the desire to continue to stay there. At the same time, there was the need to be home. Traveling through these places provide the feeling of not being restricted to one place, for we, as humans are part of all of these places, and a part of these will follow us home. We are never really away from these places which we have lived or visited, and no city, town or village is really alien to us, if we look closely.
The story of humanity is the same in each and every place, and as we see the people and talk them, we will only know this better. By traveling, we enjoy these tales of those seemingly different people who are the same within, and we feel the need to travel more. At the same time, we understand ourselves more, for there might be more to us than we could ever know. We explore the world, and by doing the same, we explore within us, and the journeys change us, creating something different inside our souls. What more do you need for travel inspiration?
This is why I #SayYesToTheWorld. There is something for the soul around us with beautiful divergence, and there is always more than what meets the eye, bringing hope for a world traveller. Please watch this video and think about traveling more!