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In which trupz says Travel helps builds character

In the last decade, I have made so many friends who love to travel! Some of them travel often, some of them travel together as a couple, some solo and some travel not as frequently as they would like to. But, if there is one thing that is common among them, it is that they are ‘different’. No, they are normal human beings, but they choose to think different about LIFE and everything around them in general. This got me thinking, why? Why are they different and what makes people who travel stand out from the crowd? Eventually, I came to conclude that traveling and exploring new places helps develop your personality and adds to your character, here are some reasons why:

1. Travelling gets you to shake out of your comfort zone

Dalai Lama has said, “Once a year go someplace you’ve never been before.” Very few realize that traveling does not mean collecting travel stamps on your passport but it means to gain new experiences. There is a thrill in traveling to a new place. For me personally, right from taking the flight or train to reaching the actual place, every milestone is thrilling. Every journey has its own flavor and that’s what makes it special. When you travel to a new place, at first it is unknown, a couple of days spent in a new place and it all starts becoming familiar, the air, the surrounding, the people start feeling known and you begin to fit in. Learning to communicate with absolute strangers, walking in a lane you have never before, trying a new dish or even participating in some cultural activities in some way force you out of your comfort zone to do or try something different. You often find yourself in never before situations when you travel and that’s the true fun part.

2. Travel to learn something new

In school, I remember reading about Hsuen Tsang, a Chinese scholar who traveled extensively in India. Traveling teaches you much more than what you would learn from a classroom or your job. For some of us who are students of LIFE, traveling is our only EDUCATION. Thanks to the internet, you have all the information at your disposal. Until you don’t experience what you read first hand, you are still left wanting. Don’t get me wrong, when I say learn, I don’t only mean learn about the place, you learn more about yourself also.

There are so many beautiful places to see around the world! The ancient relics and monuments are the living remnants of history, as we know it. Travel makes you more open-minded to explore and experience new things. Learning about different cultures, food, history and the people. I’ve been amazed by some of the people I have met on my travels, their stories and the experiences they have shared have helped me realize a lot about myself.

3. Traveling is good to be able to disconnect and reflect

In our constant and relentless effort to be connected with everything and everyone, we have forgotten that we have the option to disconnect. Whether it is social media, television or other distractions, the need to know and keep up with everything is so strong that it has engulfed our personal space, time and become a routine.

Travel helps me break this routine. When I am traveling I like to imagine the world without cell phones and Internet. So my first instinct is to buy a map of the place I am going to then rely on Google maps. Traveling slows things down, giving you time for self-exploration and introspection. Travel helps to listen to your instincts and act on them. Away from crowds, familiar surroundings and away from distractions helps me put things into perspective.

Most of us living in cities are overwhelmed keeping up with the expectations of big city life! Being at 10000ft, in the cold winter of the Himalayas, having to wait for a good 30 minutes only to be able to drink a cup of warm water made me realize how taken for granted these luxuries are for us in cities. A sunset with splashing colors or viewing millions of stars under a clear sky, one realizes these are the rarities of life we have forgotten to appreciate in comparison to the man-made grandeur.

4. Traveling taught me to do the best with what I have

Even the best of plans can go awry in an instant! Traveling comes with its set of problems, missing flights, losing baggage or being lost yourself. How you handle them all while being in unprecedented territory helps you grow as a person. There is only so much one can plan and be careful about! Traveling though is not about certainty, its what you do and how you react to a given situation that differentiates a catastrophe from an adventure.

My trip to Ladakh a few years back was one such adventure where catastrophe turned into an adventure of a lifetime. The group was stuck in a village called Rumtse a few 100km before Leh. A small village, Rumtse had room for maybe 300 people, but because of a landslide, a huge part of the road was literally washed away and now close to 1000 people were stuck. We had to spend the night in someone’s kitchen. 6 people with our luggage in a room which was no more than 10ft x 10ft. Would you believe this is one the most famous travel story told and all 6 of us reminisce about the incident? That night we all learned a lot about each other, our tolerance, ability to adapt, our problem-solving skills and who snores the most :P. The positive that came out of it was that despite the slight roadblock in Rumtse, everyone wanted to carry on further to the trip and remaining 13 days were most memorable.

5. Travel and learn to manage your expectations 

Someone has said, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey!”. Each travel journey is different and extremely personal. In the very same place, on the very same path, at the same moment,  different individuals have different experiences. At times you become aware of your own strengths and capabilities, and sometimes you have to come to terms with your limitations.

So where are you planning to travel next?

Check my travel-related posts on the Travelblawghh

In which Trupz writes in support of Breast Cancer

 

This blog post was selected for Spicy Saturday picks on Blogadda

 

So we hung out our colored underwear on facebook statuses, sent out bulk mails to your female friends to do the same, abandoned all shame and let the world know where we like IT. Lots of LOLs, curious jacks commented on that i am sure, some more guffawed at the public display of your preferences and many of your friends must have inquired what all the fuss was about…. your social status must have sky rocketed, now that we have become hep and fashionable social cause statement makers!! (ahem, I say WE as I did that too)

Till I got thinking, how much do we really know about the disease and its impact? How aware are we? Is it enough to simply put out a status to support a cause? I didn’t think so. These are some real issues and we all have to deal with it, sometime or the other. Not by just putting it out there for a few hours or guess what attitude, for friends the disease is REAL and we all need to know about it, so i began to read more about Breast Cancer – click on the link for the PDF.

Did you know that 1 in every 28 women in India are susceptible to Breast Cancer. The emerging lifestyle changes and industrailization will make these numbers get even more risky. The biggest cause of fatalities due to this disease is late detection of it. In its early stages research shows that this disease can be cured. But the first step towards the fight with this disease is to educate yourself about it. As women it is important for us to be in control of our health. A woman is the backbone in any household, but often we dont take ourselves and our bodies seriously. Ignorance and neglect can have life altering effects, thus with growing risk of the spread of this disease, awareness needs to spread as well. Read here for more information about Breast Cancer.

I have been lucky, I found this information and I am doing my bit by sharing it here for the ones who want to read more. Do you really suppose that a Facebook innuendo is helping the cause? May be it is, but folks why not be a little more educated about the disease. Don’t let it be something that will be left only on your wall. Don’t just put in that change in a donation box and walk away. Don’t let that pink pamphlet stack up with your old news papers unread. Don’t be selfish and keep the information to yourself. Share it with those women, who may never access to this information.

My friend Poonam Sharma, (_alps) has shared with me this link to a blog post when she interviewed, Dr. Ritu Biyani, a cancer survivor and her efforts to spread awareness about the same. Truly inspirational – http://bit.ly/dBYuTt.

Any female above the age of 20 years should get herself checked, doctors recommend self check exams. Regular exercise and healthy eating habits reduce the risk of breast cancer. A lesser known fact is that breast cancer may also be found in men, although rarely. Remember guys we don’t know what causes breast cancer but we should definitely know about what we can do to prevent it.

There is an age old saying that goes, “Do good and forget about it” – think for yourself about the good you have done by simply falling prey to marketing gimmicks and viral social media messages and how easily you have forgotten about it too? I wont be self righteous and say I was not a victim of this, till I realised all this is not really doing any good to actually spread about the cause, so I chose to write about it. It is important to participate in this campaign as actively as possible.

And remember ladies, breasts should not just be a topic of discussion among guys!! 😛

I am tagging my twitter friends and fellow bloggers to support the IndusLadies campaign. Please do leave your comments and opinions.
Anaghha Mahajan – http://stentorianloud.blogspot.com/
Poonam Sharma – http://alchemistpoonam.wordpress.com
Minal – http://grangergab.com/
Ritu – http://phoenixritu.com/
and Mansi Bhatia – http://www.mansibhatia.com/ (it was Mansi’s blog post which got me reading more about Breast Cancer awareness, thanks for the post)
Also
Kaveri Ahuja – http://twitter.com/#!/ikaveri – for she is a Cancer survivor
Prutha Narke –http://twitter.com/#!/prutha