It is pretty redundant to say I have a love for travel – I mean have you read the name of this blog, whose whole premise is travel? But I am not a traveller, not really, not yet. Sure, I’ve gone places, but they were always for vacations or study tours or case studies. And a traveler, as opposed to a vacationer, is in it for the journey, not a break before they return to their journey. I’ve said this before but I had to say it again.
The first time I travelled without my parents was for a trip to Switzerland when I was all of 9 or 10. It was amazing! It was a school trip and I had friends with me and teachers to look after us all but that was my first real taste of travel. Who knew mountains could be so big? Who knew tiny little snowflakes disappeared as soon as they touched warm skin? Who knew that skiing was exhilaration itself? Who knew tuna baguette sandwiches and iced tea could upset your stomach? Well, mine anyway. I didn’t know. I didn’t know so much back then and I don’t know so much now. It is nearly 20 years hence and how many more such experiences have I got under my wing? Not as many as I would like, that’s for sure.
Remember I told you about my friend who is taking a month long trip to Australia? Now, I’m gaga for Australia, this anyone who knows me even a little knows. This friend, Tithi is her name, also introduced me to Shivya Nath’s blog – The Shooting Star. Wow, what a treasure. A fellow Indian woman, younger than me, is living the life! The life I’d love to live – and she is making it happen sans the inheritance, the rich indulgent uncle or a corporate job. We’ve all been there at that place where we want it so bad, but just don’t know where to start! It also doesn’t help that most travellers do not disclose the details of how they make their nomadic lifestyle happen. Not Shivya though, she’s candid and refreshing. If you don’t already follow her, go do it right now.
That day that I got inspired, as I said two posts ago, was a revelation, truly it was. I finally saw through the fog. I realised it’s a choice, as with everything else in life. I haven’t worked every single day since I graduated, and have only, in the last six months or so, started earning money writing. But I think back – if I had saved at least half the money I made in all those years that I worked as an architect, I’d be writing this post from whichever country I fancied being in, sipping on the drink special to that region. It’s about priorities. I spent my money frivolously, buying things that I swore I would wear, eating meals I thought I was craving, trying to plug the holes in my soul with this sweater, that dress, those shoes. I have never “saved” money, but I never thought I was throwing it away either but try as I might, I cannot for the life of me figure out where it all went.
This stops today. The waiting around for that miracle to happen, for me to win the lottery, to enter every travel contest with an attitude that says I’ll never win. That ends, right now! My mild addiction to fashion must stop. My mindless browsing through every shopping site must be felled. My endorphin peak as I jab in my card details for the next mouth-watering purchase must desist. Because that’s where my money has been going recently. Sure, I finally found the freedom to wear what I choose, and I wanted to make up for the years I spent gazing and not buying. But I think I have enough now. It has to stop some time. So I pledge today to stop shopping, I pledge to buy only those things I need – the absolute necessities, no getting tempted by the 30% off coupons, and *gasp* 80% discounts. Jabong, you and I are over. It’s not you, it’s me.
To digress a little, I have also been finding it easier to cope with perceived disappointments once I started living the thankful life. What is that you ask? Well, it is as simple as giving thanks for the blessings you have. I wrote this on Facebook recently: “If only you knew how to count your blessings, you’d never be done giving thanks.” – and this is how I live my life now. And it is miraculous the beautiful things I have welcomed into my life with this daily habit. Where I felt once upon a time that the good things were bypassing me like people do an exploded sewage pipe, now I see opportunities, even those seeking me out. Especially those seeking me out. Literally. If you’d like to know where to start with the giving thanks, I’d suggest reading The Magic by Rhonda Byrne. I am now receptive, rather than deflective, and that my friends, makes a world of difference!
I know I haven’t shared my recent trip to Kochi with you all. It’s just that this post has been a draft for a few days and I am bit of a stickler for order and being fair. So the Kochi trip will be up next! Stay tuned and Safe Travels my beautiful wanderers! 🙂