I must tell you right up that I am not rich or famous. Also, that I do not have a huge budget to spend on travels. So, if you say that I travel on a shoe string budget, then you will not be wrong.
I am also not a world wanderer but, I plan to start doing that someday soon.
I must also confess that I do not have an expensive camera to click earth shattering photos. But, what I do have are, a streak of rebellion against anything that smacks of discipline and an eye for beauty. That makes up for lack of expensive equipments.
You are right in thinking that I am not your usual safe job and still life kind of person. I like trying out new things. I am the person who tries taking a different route everyday to reach home.
Believe me. I actually do that.
Often, conservatives label me as a creative person - read quirky here. Their tone suggests that I maybe someone neck deep in debt and sponging off my folks. Believe me, they are actually very far from truth. I work. I work hard and live not very lavishly. But, I fend for myself and do okey!
So, I can safely say that I am a rebel against straight-jacketing. I hate to be put in a pile with others under a complacent label.
I believe that a few risks are necessary in life and one should take them. Travelling is perhaps the safest and the happiest risk that you can take.
I find that when a person is traveling they are different people.
When away from my city, I am not me.
I am free.
Free of any obligations towards anyone I already know. Free of any images or classifications that label me in my world.
I am an unknown and no one expects anything from me except perhaps a smile and some grace.
I carry on even on a twisted ankle or with a slight fever.
Actually, I think I get a slight fever every time I plan a travel. I think it is the excitement that does it.
So, when anyone says, "let us go for a weekend trip." I would mostly say, "Yay!" Unless I am bone tired or flooded out.
Sometimes, I do pretend travel as well. Just go around the city I am in and behave like a tourist. I bet a lot of other people do that as well. But, a whole lot do not. And these are the disciplined, straight-laced people who are actually doing their best to save the world while, people like me and my ilk go around loitering and discovering.
Why am I writing this?
It was yesterday when I heard someone say, "travel is rebellion in its purest form!" in the middle of a boring speech, it popped open my sleepy eyes. Believe me before he'd said that, I was dozing on my feet like a horse!
So, that it what it was. Said my mind. Hmmm...
When out on the road, I eat anything, use public washrooms and forget all about sanitizing my hands!
I sing and break into a dance and walk to my heart's content.
I talk to strangers and smile at the locals.
I request strangers to pose for pictures and am often asked to handle unknown cameras to click those family photos of complete unknowns.
I try local food and practically live out of the box - literally and mentally as well.
It makes my heart soar. My adrenaline rush and lips smile involuntarily.
Since I am a self-confessed shoe string budget traveler, I do not have to worry too much about spending. So, that is an even bigger freedom.
The only thing I check is to see that the place I stay in or the road I travel on has enough safety checks. It works for me mostly though it may not for others.
Safety is the only thing that scares me so, I try moving in places that are not too far off the beaten track. A small compromise if you ask me.
I suggest travel as an antidote for most of you. Especially if you are out of stories to tell at parties and get together or just to yourself when you are down and out.
I suggest that you all go out on shoestring budgets if money is a bother and a hindrance just, go on small trips near your city or town. Search the Internet and see if it has the facilities like, safety for women and the elderly, food, doctors, accessibility to public transport, scenic spots that you can just walk up to for free and overall a happy ambiance.
Personally I prefer places not really frequented by tourists but, to each his/ her own. If you like crowds - so be it! But, go. Don't wait for money, right weather or children's long vacations...
Trust me, you will not regret going out. What you may regret is never doing it while you could.
Happy traveling folks!