Fly me to the moon croons Hubby Dear à la Frank Sinatra in his golden voice but I’m not waiting in line for a space trip organised by Elon Musk, Richard Branson or even Jeff Bezos, the millionaires who promise to expand the frontieres of travel. For me, a simple ticket to places yet unknown (to me that is) on this planet would do.
Travel has always been in my blood ever since I came out into this world after a spicy batata wada and a bumpy rickshaw ride. And since my father was in a transferable job, I got to see a fair bit of the world.
Conditioned into believing that all things Occidental are wonderful, large and awesome it often comes as a shock to find things aren’t so. The smallness of the Mona Lisa, its almost blink-and-you’ll-miss it – size comes as a surprise to first time travelers like me. Similarly, the old, dowager like appearance of Paris came as a real downer after years of yearning to see this seat of world culture.
On the other hand, the reality of the Bund on the HuangPo that stares out from a tapestry hanging in my hallway, is jaw droppingly modern and large!
Similarly, I was amazed at the vastness of the American sky as it stretched over the Grand Canyon, the dizzily high tower of the Burj Al Khalifa reaching out to the Dubai sky.
Tastes & Sounds
Dear world, you have revealed to me the tangy, sweetness of crisp Peking duck at Dadong and the vibrant busyness of New York. You have shown me the vast silence of the Grand Canyon and made me smell the brown in Autumn leaves . You have made me hear the crashing sound of water falling down Niagara and the brooks bubbling in the Himalayas. I close my eyes and listen to the gentle paddle of the oar in a Gondola or a boat in the backwaters. My heart raced with fear as I went up the funicular, leaving the brilliant blue of Lake Como into a tiny speck below. A peacock in New Jersey came as a welcome surprise while a cow in the middle of a busy street in Mumbai came as no surprise at all!
What joy it was to see not one scoop but three of delicious gelato, savour the delicate sweetness of macaron as the HOHO bus wound through the streets of Paris, the wonder of the first sliver of Herring as it slithered down my throat
My heart longs for more
Yet despite my long travels that have seen me tramp side streets, drive miles and sail on seas, I still know that there is more to see. More to discover. More to savour. More to experience.
“I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.” – John Green
When all it takes is a click of a button and the flash of a phone screen, the joys of travel , meeting new people , experiencing new cultures and facing new challenges has become easier than pie.
But walk down unknown paths and sail through uncharted seas ?
No, not for me. Give me a sea facing cabin on the upper deck of a cruise liner, or a first class seat on a plane.I’m willing to visit any place even places I normally wouldn’t dare.
My soul wants to cross desert sands on camel back with my heart in my mouth. Or sit atop an elephant as it trundles along in the jungles of SriLanka.
I want to experience the eerie yet magical light show of the Northern skies , the romance of the Galapagos, the plains of South America, the Outback of Australia. I want to visit once more the places I’ve been to like the beaches of Bali, the Straits of Malaca.
There’s still a lot left of the world – too much to list here – for me to experience once more the feeling of awe and wonder when I see the world. But you make the list, dear World, for me to discover.
Because even though there’s lots I have seen, I want to #SayYesToTheWorld and fill up my wall of memories with more hand painted pictures and memories.