As a small child growing up in a small city of Ahmedabad, I had a tremendous fascination for the United States of America. For if any one knows anything about the Gujju fascination for America, they would know that Gujaratis eat, breathe and live the American dream practically every moment of their life. I heard a lot about this fantastic place from my friends and schoolmates who had either been or had relatives staying there. And that was when I decided that this was the place I would want to visit when I grow up. However, I forgot about this dream.
Of course, things don’t exactly happen as you wish. Marriage happened and then motherhood – and though we travelled regularly, somehow travelling didn’t hold the same kind of fun. The plans were made, remade and then organised to the T so that my daughter was not inconvenienced, tickets booked months in advance to save money and hotels booked through legit sites so as not to have last minute surprises. Yes, we travelled but except the place and scenery, nothing really changed much.
Reading through Indiblogger’s #TheBlindList contest of #SayYesToTheWorld, I realised it was time to waken up the real traveller who decides to leave the house and she does without thinking twice about husband, child and job. Yes, that’s what I want to do. Go on a blind date with the world and find myself magically waking up in places I have only heard or dreamt about. Let’s see why I want to go on a blind date with the world.
To be myself – At home you are someone’s wife, daughter, mother and sister, but when you are travelling, you are only You – the most important person for you.
To learn – My love for the French language took me to Paris – the city of lights and the city of love. I went there all on my own and stayed there to study. It was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. I realised how sheltered my life was until then and how narrow my approach was to the world. Travelling alone to one of the most historical cities of Europe and also one of the most liberal ones, I learnt to embrace other cultures more openly.
To appreciate the beauty – The world is beautiful – every inch of it. And I am hungry to see its beauty first hand and appreciate it. While I may not be a poet who could wax lyrical on seeing the beauty of the nature, I could capture the sights in my mind and cherish them forever.
So where I would like to go on a blind date with the world. However, I should mention this, I cherish experiences far more than places. Yes, it’s the experiences that maketh places and keep their memories warm long after we have returned from a journey.
To travel to Japan during spring to witness the cherry blossoms. Streets with rows after rows of pink and radiant sakura flowers should be a sight to behold.
To find myself in Iceland (again during springtime) for the magical sighting of aurora borealis. To stay overnight in a tent in the middle of nowhere and witness this celestial phenomenon would be such a thrilling experience.
To take a ride on the Hogwarts Express from King’s Cross Station Platform 9 ¾, try Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans, sip fresh butterbeers at the Three Broomsticks Inn in Hogsmeade and meet the very interesting characters at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
To hike up to Machu Pichhu and lose myself in the ancient Inca ruins. Even after all these years, the place has an aura of mystery around it and I know I would just revel in it.
To meander in the colourful souks of Turkey. Turkey has been standing tall since the beginning of time itself. Not only I would like to visit the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, but also want to spend some quiet moments alone on the banks of Bosphorous and devour Turkish olives, enjoy Turkish tea, kebabs and baklava.
Every morning as soon as I turn on my laptop, it shows me one beautiful wallpaper from some part of the world. Those places are so beautiful that I wish I had the power to tele-transport myself. Someday!
As I am writing this, I realise my once small list keeps on expanding itself. I am hungry for more. I want to explore the world some more. I am ready to go on a blind date with the world, to say yes to the world. Now, do you know why I want to go on a blind date with the world?