हमेशा के लिए, एक लापरवाह यात्री
Title in Hindi: forever, a reckless traveller.
Wandering feet. That’s how I would describe myself, my life right now. I have wandering feet. Feet that want to explore new places, that want to wiggle foreign sand or feel foreign waters surrounding my toes.
It’s the time in my life where I want to be somewhere I haven’t been. Where I want to walk down streets I've never known and see faces I've never seen. Where I want to discover who I am, who I can be in a new place. In a place where I'm not known.
When you come from a small town, everyone knows your name, your face, your history, your family's history, and very little can happen without everyone finding out about it. They are as comforting as they are suffocating when you're 18. I was determined to get away from that for a little while, to create stories and write chapters of my life that would be solely mine. I know I'm not the only person who feels like this, and yet travelling, I think, has a bad reputation. There’s such a stereotype, such an expectation that your late teens and early twenties are the time for travelling. And people either jump on that bandwagon, or hate on it. You have the people who stand behind their wanderlust, and you have the people who will avidly argue that travelling isn’t everything.
I think it’s a mix of both, honestly. You don’t have to travel to live this fulfilled, inspired life. I've written about that before. But I do believe you have to leave what you’ve always known. Because that’s the only way you grow. As a nearly 20-something, this is the time where people are either travelling or settling into their adult lives. Moving out for the first time or starting university or meeting someone special to share it all with. And you’re either reckless for throwing your money into a trip, or you’re too rigid for starting your full-time career right away. There’s no correct answer.
Travelling, to me, isn’t about going on this across-the-world adventure that costs thousands of pounds. I know that sounds rather hypocritical from someone who fundraised nearly 6 grand for a charity to come to India for a year, but hear me out. Sometimes it’s as simple as going to a new town, a new city, a sliver of the world that you haven’t yet explored. Travelling is a freeing. It’s allowing yourself to be molded, shaped, transformed by a place that isn’t your home. It’s seeing that the world is so limitless, so inviting, beyond what you’ve always known.
Travelling teaches you. It teaches you about the world, but maybe even more importantly, it teaches you about yourself. Your strengths, your limits, your patience, your street-smarts, your ability to think on your feet, your compassion, your love for others, your openness, your confidence, and how connected you are with what’s around you.
Travelling helps you find your passions. It’s only when you’re miles from home that you discover what you miss, what makes you spark, and what you believe in when no one’s around to hold you accountable.
It doesn’t really matter where you go, it just matters that you do.
Wandering feet. That’s what I have right now. Not necessarily for huge, expensive excursions around the world, but for a new town, new city, new country. I want to be in new places, taste new foods, meet new people, share new laughter. For the next year that means living in and travelling around India. So far, I'm quite enjoying discovering who I can become when everyone and everything I’ve known isn’t right beside me.
Over the next few years I want that to mean seeing parts of the world I haven’t yet seen.
I don’t want to travel just because that’s what I’m ‘supposed to do’ as a young adult. I don’t want to jump on a bandwagon of something I don’t believe in. I don’t want to throw tons of money at some pointless trip just to say I did it.
I want to travel because at the core of me, I need to explore. I have this reckless desire to travel, to live a live set across the world. When they're writing the story of my life, it can't be told in just one place, like a land far, far away. It has to be lands, countries, continents. I need to know people from all over the world, hear their stories, be their friend, see their perspective.
And I need to find a new home, a new sense of self wherever I end up.