This is why you should drop everything and travel

Refrigerator souvenir magnet

Why travel?

It makes you whole. You need to know your geography well when you travel. You also need to brush up on your history and politics. You need to catch up on your culinary skills and beverage expertise. You become a photographer, a videographer, a writer and a storyteller. It teaches you frugality.
You have to get your paperwork right. If you get rejected in the process, you have to start all over again. It makes you organised and teaches you the quintessential art of never giving up.

You do not have access to hair cutting salons and beauty parlours. You realise that it is ok sometimes to not look like a movie star. You have to walk, hike, trek and run. It makes you fit. You have to hitchhike, accommodate, make friends and not make enemies. You have to empathise. It teaches you social skills.

It teaches you the value of money, friends, and having things. It develops gratitude. You convert currencies faster than ever. You become a maths-wiz.

You get lost. You become a navigator and explorer. It illustrates that you don’t know everything. It humbles you.
You have to give away and leave behind. It teaches you philanthropy. You have to memorise the language, bus and train routes, names of cities and restaurants. You have to ask, figure out, seek, learn, question and wonder. You become a child again.

You break inhibitions, barriers, cliches and misconceptions. You become a cultural warrior. It make you understand how to live if this were your last day here. You become zen.

[This article was first published in The Times of India’s Op-Ed Section]

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