Posted on 15th July, 2015
Sure, there are flights and trains and bullock carts, but the joy of getting behind the steering wheel or swinging a leg over a bike and setting off into the horizon is an experience without equal. Here’s why:
Wise men have said that it is the journey that matters more than the destination. Perhaps every one of them took road trips. Whether it’s to snap a selfie against the setting sun in the middle of a serpentine road snaking through a dense forest, or a moment to soak in the vastness of a golden desert; whether it’s an impulsive dhaba break for chai pakodas or buying filter coffee from a lone store on the highway, the freedom of time and space is entirely yours. Alternatively, try opening the door of a plane to get a closer look at the wispy cotton candy clouds you’re flying through. Not quite the same thing, is it?
No hotel reservations available? Well, snooze in your car or pitch a tent under the wide open sky. A good tent will cost you 3,000 bucks or more. You can’t put a price tag on the experiences it will open up your life to, however. Build a camp fire, eat a bowl of instant noodles, discover your travel companions through conversations and fall asleep drawing imaginary patterns using the stars or guessing the constellation above your head. The sunrise will be your wake-up call.
As civilised people, we’re used to living most of our lives within the security of four walls. Once we remove that barrier between nature and ourselves, however, we open ourselves up to more than just an adventure - we start seeing the world differently.
That said, while camping or pitching a tent, be sure to pick a spot that is safe from predators – both, the four-legged and two-legged variety – and always clean up after yourself.
On my biking trip to Nepal two years ago, I remember my decision to stay back at Tatopani while the rest of the gang biked to Muktinath. Up until then, the roads were like an ice-cream churning machine working against my insides and the journey only promised to get worse. While that was partly the reason I decided to stay back, I also needed some quiet time to myself. I was in the middle of recovering from a bruised heart and evaluating if I was ready to open myself up to people again. That there was a calming view of the snow-capped Annapurna range on a clear day only made the decision more… dramatic.
For two days, I sat on a Neelkamal plastic chair in the verandah of the hotel, gazing at the mountains, watching clouds play hide and seek with them and waiting for divine revelation. What did happen was this: I found out how far my patience could stretch, that I can handle people only in small doses and that I am pretty good at card games. I also discovered that I can be still for a very, very long time.
I’m sure that others will have deeper, more meaningful realisations.
When you’re on a road trip, a smile helps open more doors than money does – unless your destination is a five-star resort. Surprisingly, you’ll find yourself willing to smile a lot more too when you’re on the road. And you’ll notice that people will respond and are generally more warm, welcoming, unafraid and willing to help within their means. There’s also a certain humility in the interactions. You realise a deeper truth about mankind – people are like onions; one only gets to the good part if one keeps an open mind and is willing to go beyond the outer layers.
Crossing the jungle at 11 p.m. and catching the swaying bum of a wild elephant as it disappears into the thicket. An impromptu water fight that breaks out while you’re quenching your thirst at a water pipe installed in a paddy field. Recreating Raj and Simran’s moment from Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and slow running into each other’s arms from either sides of a Sunflower field – even though it’s way less graceful. Climbing trees, catching sunsets, listening to your favourite numbers, abandoning reality for a handful of moments… you get the drift.
So, there you have it, five fantastic reasons to take a road trip. Do yourself a favour and take one soon – who knows, maybe you’ll come up with your own unique list of reasons too.
Liked what you read? Leave a comment below/Share it with your friends!
Nabila Tazyeen is a wordsmith by profession and a storyteller at all times. The only occasions life makes absolute sense to her is when she travels. She loves exchanging travel stories and is constantly seeking new cultural and culinary experiences. Nabila can be reached on nabila.tazyeen(at)gmail.com. She blogs at adventuresofpotlibaba.wordpress.com. You can also catch her escapades on Instagram as @thenebulousone.
Road Trips, Reasons, Human Nature, Memories, Learn About Yourself, Outdoors