We all travel a lot. On a whim sometimes. But mostly well planned to the tiniest detail. Like perfume, snacks one can’t do without, multiple pairs of foot wear and tons of dresses for better pics. Can go on and on, but there are no limits to what people carry with them, on their holidays.

Once we reach the holiday destination we are like a tightly wound up clock. Just running around from sunrise till midnight without any rest, in the endeavour to follow the plan to the T. Unmindful of age, physical ability to sustain the pace and the exhaustion levels. Overcoming it instead with the heightened excitement. But then all this plays with your mind, makes one anxious, irritated and angry. The logic behind all this being, “one has paid for the trip so cannot miss anything that is there to see and experience”. There’s that gluttonous desire to finish the whole platter on offer. Submitting to the logic “make the most of every spent penny”.

So after a lot of running around, clicking thousands of selfies, pictures and videos, eating whatever is in the plan, even if not hungry(You paid for it You know), we return back, with mind and body saturated with tiredness and a visual and experiential fatigue. So much so that on the return journey the very scenery that got you excited, now elicits a yawn.

At the end of all this circus, this is what one gains. A break from the routine, change of scenery, visual delight and experience, pampering by the tour guides, pics to be shared on social media and a huge tick in the check box of “to visit” list.

Question is, have you traveled in your own bubble made up of family and friends or people from your town/state/country. With little or no interaction with locals, except the ones at the hotel and tourist spots. Have you interacted with other locals, a bit deeper. Have you sat with them and experienced their way of life and heard their tales of joys and woes. Leaving aside the regular tourist hangouts, how many other places have you spend time at. How many times did you sit alone, for hours together, watching the sky, stars, mountains or the waves.

On a deeper level, has it added something to your perspective about nature, people, culture and societies. Has it exposed you to a different way of approaching or looking at an issue. Has it added some more dimensions, to your way of thinking. And on the whole, has it enriched your life.

If not, then you are not travelling.