Sunday, May 15, 2011

Oh Darling, Let's Be Adventurous

Picture courtesy of fuckyeahtravel

Wanderlust: A desire to travel, to understand one's very existence

Two late night conversations with great friends inspired this post. The first was over a late night dinner which primarily involved butter chicken and naan with the odd bouts of travel talk. My butter chicken friend is heading off to the UK and Europe next month to explore the regions and visit friends and family. Needless to say, she is extremely excited about it all. I am very jealous - all that I have to look forward to next month is a winter intensive unit.

The second was over the phone for a general catch-up (this included my friend confessing that she dreamt that I had married a tall, dark and handsome Middle-Eastern man and we were shacked up in a mansion in Dubai). I would say that this conversation held my attention by a long shot. Pretty soon the conversation turned towards travel, again. It is slowly starting to dawn on me that I am unable to escape from it (well, not that I really want to talk about anything else; the only escaping I want to do is out of my hometown). Travel was all we talked about for 40 minutes over the phone. We both concluded that Europe, mid next year, is on the table. Understandably, I jumped online and took a quick look at some organisations, such as TopDeck and Gap Adventures, to start planning what we could do.

In some very twisted way, I like being pushed out of my comfort zone. I am, generally, a calm and collected individual. But I love hustle, bustle and chaos. Hence why some of my most beloved places in the world that are notoriously known for 'not sleeping' seem to be my calling. I've also been watching episodes of An Idiot Abroad, a Ricky Gervais production where his moronic friend travels to all seven wonders of the world. As with any Ricky Gervais production, hilarity is more than often ensued but jokes and the misery of one man aside, at the end of each episode, Karl is willing to change his one-set outlooks on the world. Although he is defeated and miserable at the end of a tiring journey to truly enjoy the wonders, his willingness to be pushed outside his comfort zone is commendable.

My (favourite) aunt has traveled the world extensively when she worked for an airline company. I can't help but feel jealous when she tells her stories of staying in $2000-a-night hotel rooms along the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy ala Angelina Jolie in The Tourist. I don't intend to come across as a person who loves travel when "You know, as long as it's clean and they speak English and it's safe." I want to experience the extremes of travel. I know people who have traveled to Antartica and braved the freezing temperatures then gone on to rural safaris in northern Africa. If you could attribute this to my competitive side, I hope to visit the extremities of this world (starting with the seven wonders of the world) before age takes over.

Travel truely broadens the mind by forcing you to immerse yourself in a different environment and accept what is given to you. But on a personal touch, it allows one to understand their very being. Being pushed on the outskirts of familiarity, makes you realise exactly how much your mind is willing to accept. I don't like to see myself as simple minded but there's definitely room for improvement. For me, this is the time to be saving some moolah and jetting off to far away places. I refuse to let my mind linger in one position for too long.

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