Things travel taught me

Travel – The greatest teacher

‘Guru Purnima’ is observed in India and Nepal as a day where we respect our teachers and give gratitude to them. While books may be the initial source of gathering wisdom, it is the experiences of life that I want to pay respect to today. Seven years of travelling and associated experiences have been my biggest teacher. These experiences have made me love as well as hate travelling (yes, I do hate it at times). We all have our teachers in different forms. My post today is a form of gratitude to things travel taught me –

It is all about the people: After years of travelling, time came when every mountain, every ocean, every river and every forest looked the same. Life’s initial need was to venture out to find freedom. Once I attained it, I again started looking for people. Because they made all the difference. They are the ones I shared happy and sad moments with. It is the people who made every place different

People leave: Yes, they disappear overnight without a word. And that is one of the things that makes me hate travelling. Before I started travelling, it was unusual for me to see people leave. But gradually it became an ‘already always anticipation’. Great teachers and gurus have said that people come into each others life to fulfill a purpose. When that purpose is fulfilled, they find their own ways. Travel has made me believe it and I am now settled about it

I can’t have it all: Today I was reading the blogpost – Sixty‘, by Mary Jo. While reading it, I went thirty years ahead and started visualizing my life when I will be sixty. What will I want and what will I give back to this world? Yes Mary, you are right. This world is too big for us to see it all. It will not matter whether we saw every place. What will matter is the people we met and the love we shared, and that will make everything worthwhile. I will want a fulfilled life and a bunch of happy people around

I am a jerk and always will be: As much as I try to do everything right, I say stupid things, mess up, and then make it even worse. I want to express gratitude to those people and situations in my life where I messed up. People and situations came together for a purpose and then it got fulfilled. They taught me to accept the jerk that I am

Sense of security: I have come from a corporate world. And the feeling of relating a good bank balance with security is deep rooted in me. I still took the leap of faith to change the course of career. In the process, my bank balance has dipped to the bottom of Mariana trench many times. I am still alive, happy and doing many more things than I could have ever done while in a job. You taught me to go beyond this insecurity and to keep on finding ways to earn money by following my passion

Being judgmental: ‘Travel doesn’t change who we are; it only maximises or diminishes certain qualities in us’. I relate so much to this thought by Amrita Das from ‘Travelling Ides of March’. As much as we travellers talk about treating everyone equally, we are humans. And by that design, we judge others. Sometimes we are aware of it, sometimes not. Travelling has made me connect with the dark side of myself where I judge and evaluate friends, family, and people I meet along the way. I express gratitude to the those who have tolerated me

This ‘Guru Purnima’, I offer my respect and gratitude to the whole experience of living.

‘What or Who has been your greatest teacher?’

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Feature Image: VW by Victor Camilo is Licensed under CC BY -ND 2.0

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Gaurav Bhatnagar

Software Engineer turned Travel Writer, Photographer, and Public Speaker on Responsible Travel. Entrepreneur in Responsible Rural Travel @
One year has already gone by when I was sitting in an apartment in Mumbai writing about
"This tree does not belong to you. Who are you to ask us questions about
I wondered why. Can you stop enjoying your passion? Passion for writing is why it all
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4 thoughts on “Travel – The greatest teacher

  1. This is so well written and so true! Travel has been a great teacher for me as well. I think the most important thing I`ve learned is to just let things happen sometimes and make the best out of it. I`ve had so many travel fails: Fell off a cliff, met the worst people ever in a hostel, lost all my money and my backpack, got sick and ended up in the hospital. I even gut burned by a jellyfish so bad that at fist I thought I was bitten by a shark 🙂 . But still when I look back now I would do it all over again. Looking forward to exploring Thailand together!

    1. Hey Franzi, you have done so many things. Was reading your blog about New Zealand, working on a farm and baby sitting. You must tell me all about yourself when we meet. 🙂

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