Traveling Through Life

Travel Log (2020-2023)

December 2020 : Suryagrah +goa

January 2021: Goa

Feb 2021: Mumbai

March end+April 2021: Delhi+Aligarh

June 2021: Pench National Park

August 2021: Aligarh + Bishangarh+Mumbai

September 2021: Karjat+Delhi

November 2021+December 2021: Kolkata+Goa+Ahmedabad

Jan 2022: Mahabaleshwar+Indore

Feb 2022+March 2022+April 2022: Kolkata+Sunderbans

April 2022: Delhi+Aligarh

May 2022: Mahabaleshwar +Bali+Bangkok

August 2022: Bishangarh+Delhi+Kolkata+Mumbai

September 2022: Kolkata

October 2022: Aligarh + Delhi

November 2022: Tel Aviv + Jerusalem

December 2022: Mumbai + Kolkata

January 2023: Mumbai

February 2023: Bangalore (Jindal nature cure)+ Mumbai 

March 2023: Goa

April 2023: Mahabaleshwar+Lonavla

May 2023: Goa + Mumbai 

May 2023 – June2023: Vietnam + Delhi + Aligarh 

August 2023: Indore + Mumbai + Kolkata

September 2023: Delhi+ Aligarh

In my family, travel was once a necessity rather than a choice. My dad’s frequent business trips, often in partnership with my cousin from Delhi, made traveling a regular part of our lives. We couldn’t accompany him during our school years, leading to challenging times for our family. Somewhere along the way, I started to view my dad’s constant travel as aspirational. As a child, it seemed cool – the excitement of packing, exploring new cities and cultures, and sampling different cuisines.

My parents played a crucial role in nurturing this desire. Earlier we couldn’t afford to do it as often but they made sure we took a family vacation every year, often letting us choose the destination. I vividly recall selecting places based on what we studied in geography, like Kanyakumari for its unique ocean confluence or Leh for the allure of snow. They also made sure we got to spend a part of our summer vacations in Delhi, reconnecting with extended family.

In spite of enjoying traveling, it wasn’t something I was always comfortable doing. Specifically traveling alone is something that always left me anxious. However, moving out of the house in 2017 for my undergraduate degree course turned me into an airport expert. I flew home almost every month during long weekends.

I’ve often been asked about how I maintain such energy to travel constantly, never getting bored, and seemingly disrupting my routine. More importantly, how do I ever get any work done at all? The nature of my work is such that I can carry it with me wherever I go. I’m a graphic designer and can fit my office in a backpack. That being said, it’s not easy getting work done all the time. I constantly feel torn between prioritizing my work and spending time with family/exploring the city. There are bouts of sudden loneliness coupled with the occasional feeling of being unsettled.

People relate traveling to when they can take a break from work and detach for a specified number of days. Whereas for me, 80% of my travels include carrying my work with me slowly inching me towards becoming a complete digital nomad. Despite all the challenges I still choose to work remotely and so the question lingered: Am I using travel solely as an escape, or do I genuinely enjoy it?

Tracking back to my life in Kolkata, where I had moved temporarily for work. I began to embrace the city and its experiences. This newfound independence, coupled with my 9-to-5 job, offered a sense of freedom I hadn’t felt before. It further expanded my horizons, providing me with space and time to heal and grow as a person. I realized that unlike in the past when travel was a necessity, it had become a conscious choice in recent years.

So, why do I enjoy traveling, even if it isn’t always about discovering new places or meeting new people?

In May this year, I transitioned from part-time to full-time freelancing, granting me flexibility and free time. As work and life blended into repetitive patterns, I found myself yearning for new experiences. The mental stimulation and cortisol reduction that come with travel became increasingly appealing.

It adds excitement to my life, breaking the monotony of hours spent at my laptop. It fosters connections with friends and family, allowing me to reinvent myself and adapt to different cultures. The challenges of navigating unfamiliar environments make me mentally resilient, enhancing my flexibility, patience, and emotional strength.

As I approach my mid-20s, it prompted me to seize opportunities and minimize regrets. I wanted to start living an authentic, purposeful life by “living intentionally”. I want to choose a life of joy and then actively pursue that life. I spend my time making the memories I want to have.

In conclusion, while questions about my travel motivations persist, I embrace them. Regular self-reflection ensures I engage in travel for the right reasons, acknowledging my feelings and thoughts. Travel is more than an escape; it’s a transformative journey that enriches my life and shapes my identity. It’s a conscious choice I make to explore the world, discover new aspects of myself, and find joy in the beauty of diversity.

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