What are the 5 best reasons to go for a holiday? I have always been a holiday lover, right from my younger days. Hitch-hiking and wandering always hooked me with the joy of seeing new places and meeting new people, knowing new customs and understanding their various cultures. It always seems to bring the gaiety in my step which is not so pronounced otherwise. I remember my parents as I say this since they were the ones who hooked me up, nice and good, with the travel-bug or wanderlust, from a very young age. I mean … who does not like a Vacation ?? Who does not want to fill up his shelf with gifts and curio items from that faraway land? We all have different reasons and love for traveling. Here's where you will find the 5 Best Reasons to Travel …
1. It enriches you spiritually
I was born in Calcutta (now renamed 'Kolkata'), India and as a ritual my father used to save up money to take an annual vacation. Incomes were meagre those days, but my mother too assisted in saving up those little dimes till they became a dollar. My father was a religious-minded person, and being a Hindu in India, meant he had ample choices of beautiful and magnificent religious sites to choose: from the religious and scenic points of Himalayan range to the desert and sea side locations in India. Each place has its own attractions, but to me the Himalayas were always special. And since then, every time that I have stood a tiny creature in front of the grand and majestic snow-capped Himalayas, something stirred within me. It is then, when you crane your neck back to glimpse the smouldering snowy peak bathed in golden sunshine amidst an amber blue sky, that the materialistic values melt within you to free your spirit. It releases your inner-self from being shackled within your own shallow boundaries in order to connect to the spirit of the Universe. This is felt by different people in different surroundings, maybe as they watch a mountain stream gush by, or as they dip their feet in the salty water of a lazy sea lapping its shores. It can happen in the depths of a rain-forest surrounded by the chirping creatures, or at the base of a green valley as it slopes downhill towards a distant mountain ridge. It can happen as the sky colors its rainbow after a short spell, or as a stream of camels wander out into the setting desert sun. The spiritual aspect of it is always felt in the stirring of your soul. Traveling keeps the soul happy!
2. It brings you close to nature
Ensconced as we are in our glass and mortar homes in sleepless cities, overlooking busy traffic signals and the slowly drifting plume of smoke from industrial chimneys across the horizon, nature is moving away from us every day. Or to set the directions straight, human civilization has moved away from the beauty and joy of nature, the same way we have moved away from simplicity, and welcomed the competitive complexity in our everyday lives. When have you seen seen the dews on the blade of a grass, or the pigeon as she feeds her new born baby? When did you marvel last at the sound of the thunder as it lights up the horizon. or the gust of rain as it sweeps across your face? When have you looked at the sails of a boat as it floats on a lake, or smelled the roses as the honeybee scurries from one flower to the other pollinating the garden? Is not it a duty for us to let ourselves mingle with nature at times and also show our next generation a more absorbing life incorporating the actions and joy of nature, away from our tablets and smartphone? I feel we absolutely do.
3. It provides you with a variety in life.
Give yourself a nudge, not a push. You have already been pushing yourself too high, higher on the same set of rules, the same set of life's protocols, day in and day out. Bring some variety to life. It does not need to be to a different continent alike, neither does it need to be on a scenic island. It can be just a few hundred kilometers down the highway, away from the buzz and tinkle, away from the maddening crowd. Put the buzzers to sleep, away from your own stickler-of-a-self rules. Sleep till mid-day if needed, laze on a haystack, swim for half a day, anything that you do not follow in your regular cycle. Why not spend a day at a parish, or a local NGO? How about putting on some high shoes and trudging off inside the swamp? Pack up for a vacation; take your family in tow. They also need one; they also need to feel the fresh air of spotted berries. Just leave your tensions and your problems away and they'll go away. Bring in some unknown variety and believe me, life will turn a shade better when you return.
4. It lets you meet people from different corners of the world
I remember meeting a Frenchman while I was riding down to Kolkata on an ordinary railway sleeper, and he had been sprawled on the upper bunk of our railway coach. There were some initial misunderstandings between him and some rustic locales on the coach-seat allotment rooster, and yet side was able to make the other one understand their perspective. It was my little 'elementary French' learned daughter and my slightly French-capable wife who helped sorted things out, and for the next two hours my daughter spoke as much French as she had spoken in the last two years. We found out he was on a walking sojourn, and had walked down from Nepal into India, probably peeved at his Nepalese love. In Kenya I met a Masai guy and he still happens to my messenger-friend, and I have lent him a bit of support at times. In Australia I met a witch who turned out to be a great loving woman. In the US, I met an Irishman who had more Indian friends than many Indians themselves there. In Slovenia, we recently met an Italian winemaker who knows as much about Indian movies as many of us do. In Ljubljana I befriended 'gypsy-card' reader who did predict a thing or two for me on my ongoing tour. We are all souls in sojourn and it is imperative that we meet and express ourselves. It is us who makes up the world in general.
5. It is fun.
Imagine yourself separated at a restaurant in Japan with a group of Japanese friends and they find out that you can not use 'chopsticks'! It did happen to a friend of mine and I am absolutely sure that it must have happened to others too. It may have given you some awkward moments, but after a few days it will sure twist the ends of your mouth into a smiling smile. Again, imagine you are here in UAE, separated in a restaurant, and you asked the waiter for some pork chops ?? No, it is not funny, yet now, nor even after a week. That's taboo here in an Islamic country!
But by and large a vacation or an outing is fun. That is, unless you make a point of not willing to make it funny. Unless you begin a herculean nagging drill about how 'un-boiled' your boiled egg was, or the sun being less cold in the shade. Imagine yourself just leaving yourself to go with the tide, take things as they come and bind it all up in a series of memories for years to come. And also some photo-shoots especially for Facebook to show your mates what a time they are missing. Enjoy yourself, enjoy the extra space and time you have injected to your life and breathe for yourself.
Go, pick up your backpack and put on your hiking boots if you are a solo holidayer, or fill up that tank with gas and pack the picnic basket for the family if you have one. Call up your old buddy, or send a message to your mama to join. You are going – traveling!