Travel for the Sake of Travelling!

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100_1884Posing in the grounds of the Montserrat Museum, Barcelona, Spain

The new Millennium has completely changed the way people travel the world. Being a so-called millennial myself, I’ve been a globetrotter since a fairly young age. My parents instilled in us a passion for exploring the world. Now I unabashedly look forward to vacations; both as luxurious getaways, and irreplaceable life experiences.

100_1364At the Cathedral of Cordoba, Seville, Spain

In India especially, travel used to be exclusively reserved for honeymoons, or an occasional escape to the hills from the desperate heat of the plains in the summer months. There has been a sea change in this attitude as more and more people achieve financial independence. Now people travel for the sake of travelling, not as a purpose-based activity.

100_1512With our fantastic Tour Guide from Busabout

Just after graduating from my Master’s course, I travelled across Spain and Portugal with a close friend. To really the make the most of our shoestring budget, we signed up for a week-long, inexpensive Busabout tour. Our travelling companions were a bunch of young Australians. We travelled by road, stopping for our cultural fix in the day, and partying away our tiredness in the evenings.  We’d finally crawl into the youth hostel du jour at night. These youth hostels were a fantastic way to meet other young people from across the world. They were always clean and relatively safe. (There was an incident regarding the theft of an iPhone but that just added to our colourful travel experiences!). I admit that the tour company did its background checks well in advance, so we stayed at the best places in their category; but the internet can be an invaluable resource to do your own background checks before embarking on your travels.

100_1463Our fancy ride

That Andalusian road trip was the best “coming of age” journey I could have asked for. What life teaches you on a journey with a few strangers, a tiny suitcase (or a backpack, if you prefer!) and a bit of cash; is a lot more than a week in a luxury hotel ever will. The joy of experiencing the true colours of a place, separate from the rosy picture presented to tourists, is unbeaten. Perhaps, this can only be achieved outside the confines of a fancy hotel building.

100_1634Learning to dance the Flamenco, Granada, Spain

I won’t deny that as I get older, the comforts of hotels and room service do have a major attraction; but I cherish the memories from my younger, more carefree days.

I’ll end by saying everyone should travel to their heart’s desire, but travelling shouldn’t be about perceived comforts and luxuries. You may not remember the thread count of your Egyptian cotton sheets, the cold buffet breakfasts or the automated room services. What will really stay in your memory is being asked for your number in Spanish by a bus driver; the taste of delicious tapas in a roadside eatery with the strains of ‘Guantanamera’ in the background; and the numerous friends you made along the way.

100_1977At Gaudi’s phenomenal Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

Tour rating: 4.5/5

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