Being Women

To Travel Is To Chase Salvation : An Interpretation Of Freedom

Travelling sets us free. To travel is to escape from the mundane!

I am the undulating emerald hills of the North East;

I am the waves of the Bay of Bengal colliding with the Arabian Sea;

I am the enchanting forest of Pachmarhi from the heart of India;

I am the meandering bend of the languid Ganges;

I am the golden desert of the great Thar from the west;

And all of me is free!

Essence of freedom

What is ‘freedom’ to you? I am sure every one of you will have a different answer. Yet in their spirit, they will all mean the ‘same’. Boiling down to the essence of having the ability to do something without any ‘boundary’. But what if there was no boundary in the first place?

Sounds a little bit contradictory, I know! But do hear me out.

The boundaries….

These boundaries which are the outcomes of our responsibilities and duties are usually imposed upon us either by others or ourselves. And very less can be done to break free from them. Now travel is something that has no boundaries. Travel actually sets you free. At least that is what it did to me.

Travel is salvation…

Most of us see travel as an escape from routine life. A chance to change our social media DP and status. But then there are many like me for whom travel is salvation. We are one step closer to our soul’s redemption each time we travel. And in doing so it gives us our freedom.

We end up seeing and feeling things a little bit differently than others. No offence to anyone but seasoned travellers look at things in a way that most tourists won’t. For instance, we don’t travel while keeping the season in mind. But of course that does not mean we are reckless travellers.  Whatever time of the year it is we are just travelling. We can be either whimsical traveller who just gets up and leave or really good planner who plans well in advance. Whichever group we belong to, we know we travel to be ‘free’.

We travel to be free…..

No matter where we go, be it a well-planned tour or just a weekend getaway, every journey we undertake gives us a near-spiritual delight. It is mainly because we arrive at a destination not just to see and explore the place, but literally to ‘feel’ the place. All our five senses tunes into the place and our sensory nerves get doubly activated until we become one with our destination. We can hear the past echoing off every terracotta carving of Khajuraho; we see the rapturous delight of nature of Meghalaya; our tastebud gets heightened as we savour the local delights of Lucknow; we feel the waterfall crashing down on the rocky ground of Arunachal Pradesh. All these experiences set us free from the rest of the world.

Freedom comes at a price….

However, all experience is not always good. Here freedom comes with a price which we take as learnings along our way. Many of our trips push us to go beyond our comfort zone, leaving our heads spinning. One such incident that happened to me is from one of our recent tours to Bidar in Karnataka. My husband and I were denied our stay in the hotel because they mistook us for an unmarried couple just because our surnames are different! After a whole day tour when all we wanted to do was crash on our bed and here we are! After getting over the initial shock of their predicament despite showing a softcopy of our marriage certificate we were told that is a false one! What followed you can guess, was a lot of heated conversations and calls to the online booking agency. After we stormed out of the hotel and I stomped grumpily behind my husband trying to find a roof above our heads for the night a sudden bubble of giggle erupted from inside of me. It dawned upon me that even after being married for a decade I can pass off as an unmarried girl! And hell yeah I took that as a compliment!

‘Travel is religion’

Google gives us many inspiring quotes relating to ‘Travel’ but never heard anything more pure and honest than the quote ‘Travel is Religion’ coming from my own travel partner. I couldn’t help but mention it here. There is purity in the words that almost touch divinity. This made me realise how the years of travelling have moulded me. My very existence in this world is freer than free and I am my best version. If following one’s path of faith is meant to set us free, travelling did exactly that to me.

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