The end of December is such a sad and happy time of the year. Sad because we have to bid farewell to people and things we didn’t want to let go and happy because we can finally muster enough courage to bid farewell to things and people that we always wanted to let go but couldn’t. Before I write further, I would like to clarify that I do not believe that our lives are going to drastically change just because the calendar is going to change. But to be honest, it’s psychologically consoling to think that something is over and now we have a brand new opportunity to leave the past behind and begin anew.
This “brand new” day could be any day and not necessarily has to be the New Year’s Eve but sometimes the law of inertia also acts in our lives:
An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
So this change in calendar from one year to another becomes that force (mentally) that at least makes us think that we need to bring a change in ourselves and that’s why many of us make a few resolutions (whether we are able to fulfill those resolutions or not is a totally different story). This force ceases to be a force eventually when our daily drag of routine dulls the excitement of the arrival of a new year as days and months go by and one day it dawns on us that it’s December and yet another year has gone by.
As you must have realized, this is not another travel article or one of those happy-chirpy articles about the joys of New Year. I’m writing in a stream of consciousness and honestly have no idea where my thoughts are steering this article. All I know is that my head is so heavy with thoughts that I’m not able to sort them out and pick the ones that I can somehow weave into the theme of travel which the nature of my work requires me do to.
I’m writing this on 29th of December with only 3 days to New Year. There are ambitions, hopes, regrets, fears and a sneaky sad feeling about people whom I loved and admired but who won’t be a part of this journey anymore. There’s this weird feeling too rushing through my veins as if time is fast slipping through my hands and like a passive observer I’m just watching it putting me in different situations and grinding me while I type here indecisively.
All I know for sure at this moment is that I want to travel somewhere; somewhere I can just get lost. For once, I do not want to bother about anything in the world but only for some time because I do believe that as residents of this world it is our responsibility to take care of the world. However, before I do that I need to take care of myself and thoughts that are constantly being born in my head.
There are different ways to calm your restless mind. Speaking from my personal experiences, travelling and reading are two of the ways that have worked best for me. When I can’t travel, I read. But when I can travel, there’s nothing like it. Travel detoxifies my mind and helps me get away from unwanted and unnecessary thoughts for a few days.
That being said, I would like to raise another topic that deeply concerns me. Tailor-made experiences. It’s not uncommon to see this word written on banners and other promotional content. The problem with tailor-made experience is that it devoids you of the freedom to explore without a set plan. You already have decisions made for you and a travel path set. There’s no scope of wandering or losing your way. The very essence of travelling is lost. The feeling of “getting lost” is lost. While it’s okay to be organized and planned while you’re travelling bur sometimes it’s also okay to just lose your way into the mountains or woods or in an unknown city and come across something completely unexpected. Experiences that come unannounced, unplanned, and unexpected have the power to make a difference in our lives in which tailor-made experiences lack. Let’s stop trying to get to know everything and try to keep ourselves away from the “predictability” for a while. Because if you didn’t have a taste of unpredictability in your journey, then my friend you’re missing out on a lot. Your travel experience without a flavour of unpredictability is incomplete.
Cherish the joy of traveling. Cherish unpredictability. And cherish getting lost. Because this is what life is all about. If there’s anything that my short span of time in this world has made me realize is that life is not always about predictable outcomes and experiences. Life is just random experiences strung together in no particular manner. It’s up to us to create art out of it. To create meaning out of it. Or to just let it be without making anything out of it. Choice is always ours in this matter despite life not going according to our plans. So travel but in your own unique way without falling for anything that’s advertised on various social media platforms because you should have your own experiences and not relive somebody else’s experiences.