And, cocooned in my familiar comfortable world, I hate anything that involves going out of my comfort zone, i.e. traveling out of Hiranandani to meet strangers, who, I kid you not, HAVE.NOTHING.DO.WITH. equities/bonds/leverage/capital ratios/Volcker Rule… you get the point! So, obviously, this Saturday, when this friend of mine apprehensively suggested that we go ALL.THE.WAY to Colaba to meet some
So it was a group of about fifteen people, from different walks of life, different backgrounds and different age groups, brought together by their common love for traveling.
The lady who brought the group together, headed the marketing team in some organization, but conducted travel workshops for free in her spare time. She has traveled around the world and I listened to her, fascinated, as she described her experiences, shared travel tips and recounted humorous anecdotes on her adventures.
There was another lady who had backpacked on her own across Europe about twenty years ago, surviving on breadsticks and water, warding off strangers, at an age when an Indian woman traveling on her own was unheard of.
Then there was a young guy, working with Microsoft, who, after being denied a US visa, quit his job and traveled around Latin America for five months with a phrasebook (trying to pick up on Spanish/Portuguese) till he exhausted all his savings, while another girl gave up her career as a management consultant to start her own travel portal.
Also, there was a MTV contest winner who had mastered the art of cheap traveling, an advertising professional who switched to photography, an architect couple who volunteered with a school in Cambodia for three weeks, a BPO employee who quit his job to travel all over India and similar colourful people.
What stood out was how easily people could give up on their lucrative jobs/take a break just for the sheer love of traveling and also how each of them advocated traveling alone at least once in a lifetime: i.e. two things that still scare me and come in the way of discovering myself.
Strangely, when it was my turn to introduce myself, I had no fascinating story to share and no memorable trivia to highlight: I was just a girl leading a sheltered life, a slave to her domestic chores and professional obligations and complacent in the glory of her two-week annual vacations with family/friends.
I know I am always in my secret garden, but at times I do wonder if I was born to run…