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As more women travel, leaving their comfort zones and embracing the unfamiliar, we look at 10 life lessons from travelling, shared by community members.
By Aparna Vedapuri Singh & Anne John
Once upon a time, we travelled in the summer vacation to our ‘native place’, to spend the hot, sweet summer with indulgent grandparents, laze around with cousins, and spend endless days wrapped in nothingness – only to repeat the whole cycle again the next summer vacation.
From the magic of familiarity, we have moved on to seeking novelty, unfamiliarity and the exotic. Yet, if travel is about transient pleasure wrapped in the form of new places, people, foods and sights, travel also changes us in more permanent ways. In seeking the unfamiliar, in pushing ourselves outside what we know, we learn.
That is why, we asked Women’s Web community members, on Facebook and Twitter one question: What life lessons has travelling taught you? We got back a bunch of beautiful answers, of which we present a few here. Enjoy!
1. Travelling has taught me that Life is like a River; there are new experiences & surprises at every bend! – @anitaexplorer
2. Travelling taught me to never stop exploring – @dolphinpooja
3. Travelling has taught me who I am and what I love. That a smile is the same in all languages and borders can’t bind us. – @natashakapoor
4. Taste of cultures. To see the world with the heart, not just eyes. To experience & live, not exist. – @ssvik
5. Travelling has brought books alive allowing me to experience culture, history, geo & other subjects personally! – @indianartscene
6. Traveling alone taught me to see beyond the confines of what society had decided would be my world. It taught me to see things from my perspective for a change. Traveling taught me to be myself, most of all. – Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury
7. To appreciate diversity – Satya Viswanathan
8. Travelling has taught me that women are the same everywhere with the same concerns and capacities…It is just their society that either supports or disempowers them! – Chaya Srivatsa
9. Travelling has taught me to accept and explore the unknown and to be adaptable, flexible and happy amongst imperfect situations. – Chandrima Pal
10. Travelling has taught me that history asks nothing of us except that we remember it & get enamoured by it. – @pallavisms
What lessons have you learnt from traveling? How has it made a difference to your life? Do share!
Pic credits to Arianne Leishman, Story Travelers, Barnacles, Jamesy Pena, Greeno777, DIBP Images, Wonderlane, Roland, Jeremy (Used under a Creative Commons license).
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Story - Beauty: Shreya wondered, ‘Are they talking about me?’ ‘But what is the use of inner beauty if the exterior is unattractive?’ Ravi asked. Her heart skipped a beat, and now she listened with the utmost alacrity.
‘Beauty is skin deep, Ravi. In the long run, it’s the inner beauty that matters. I know Shreya is smart and I find her attractive.’ It was Chetan’s voice.
Shreya had paused for a moment on the open door of Ravi’s flat when she overheard him. It was the morning of 27th March, and she had come to give Ravi his surprise birthday present. She didn’t want to eavesdrop, but the conversation had caught her curiosity.
She wondered, ‘Are they talking about me?’
There was a dainty figure sitting on a bench. A girl bundled in a black shawl. And then a shadow emerged from the darkness. He stopped, as he spotted the girl. He approached her, hovered around her.
It was a cold, foggy night, and a stunned silence stretched across the deserted railway station. The only working yellow light seemed like a blotch in the air. There was no hint of life except a black dog that just lumbered past as though it sniffed some danger.
No, wait! There was a dainty figure sitting on a bench. A girl bundled in a black shawl. And then a shadow emerged from the darkness. He stopped, as he spotted the girl. He approached her, hovered around her.
‘Hey!’ The man said and settled beside her.