Having promised myself to write a travel diary soon after my year long travels, and as I started to look back, my thoughts turned like dark clouds locked amidst an incoming storm. I wanted to unlock my mind to rewrite my diary.
So here, I am going to resist listing all the destinations I visited, all the monuments I photographed, all the strangers I was in awe of, and all the delicious cuisine I devoured. That would be an interesting travel blog, but will leave that for later. These experiences are about how I felt, and sensed from my heart, and not from any of my notes nor from my camera.
When I step out of my comfort zone, I succumb to feelings like anxiety and anticipation alongside the excitement, looking forward for my journeys to unfold.
As I travel from one destination to the other, each day is a different day… Happy days pass by quickly, hot tiring days seem never ending.
Feeling excited at a prospect of visiting a traditional fish market, a sense of dismay creeping in when I see it is sitting next to a mall. Soon, this passes, and I am smiling at strangers, mingling in the local scene.
Aching knee has made me miss climbing that all too famous monastery, and I feel defeated, but inflated when my fellow tourists come back complaining of foggy views.
Meeting local people in their meagre abodes, sharing their food and dancing with them make me cry and feel humbled, and when upgraded in my hotel, I feel privileged and posh!
My day at the dance festival beaming with its vibrancy and diverse culture uniting communities, ends with a televised bloody riot faraway. Each one on their own.
As a journey take me on a noisy train, and I wake up people staring at me. Chaos behind me, and I search for some peace and quiet. Other days I go to bed in between a serene rice field, and I ache for some blaring music.
When the driver assures me that the end of the road is our destination, and I am still many hours away, impatience turning into despair and distrust. Distrust turns into an assuring smile when he brings me a comforting ‘chai’.
Waiting game at airports, between hustled queues, weary travellers with coffee cups. The flight is on time, though it is a misty morning.
From one coast to the other, in between temple ruins and skyscrapers, fields to markets, tribal folks to city bars, my feelings and emotions have been on a rollercoaster. These senses twinned with my curious sensory mind, all I can say, it has been a journey!
The ‘lockdown’ has left us all confined to our homes, reflecting on those days when we were free on our journeys. As I reflect in my present ‘new normal’ lifestyle, I think, all those peaks and troughs were so much a part of my travels, a journey to unlocking my mind.