Monday, February 11, 2013

Born to Run

Currently, I have a very homogenous friend circle. Almost all my friends come from a similar background as mine, i.e. B.Com or Eco Grad/MBA or even worse Engineer/MBA, working in banks/consulting companies/IT companies/corporate finance/financial or economic research. A few of them also come from the Sales/Marketing field, a legacy from my college days and hence it’s not so easy to disown them (think SH). And at my rare adventurous best, I may also have entertained some HR folks under the influence of alcohol and roomie bonding, a mistake I am still paying for (think anon).

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 interesting random non-financial services people from his travel group, I looked at him like he was ET. Mentally cursing him (these marketing specialization types are always so enthusiastic about socializing), I went along, at my judgmental best, ready to sulk and not enjoy myself!

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…

9 comments:

xibi said...

Nice one!!!

suyash jain said...

A week (two week) solo trip in India can be easily planned. You should definitely try it out.

Nefertiti said...

@xibi
and nice it was to get a 'perspective' as they say!

@suyash jain
I am sure it would be wonderful, but just need the courage to do so. and welcome to my blog!

Smita said...

So you are joining them in their next trip?

I hope u do because trust me I regret not enjoying life the way I cud when I was single...now I want to do so much but cannot...

Trsut your instincts & stretch the boundary...

Nefertiti said...

@smita

no no no the problem is not traveling or having fun. I do go on a lot of short trips with my friends and we have an awesome time.

The problem is having enough courage to quit my job/take a long break and just backpack on my own for months! But someday, may be...

suyash jain said...

To start with take 7-10 days off ... plan a solo trip or look out for a group on the internet (lot of treks are organized in a group) and roam around.

Neil said...

Obscure Bruce Springsteen references win you 200 Brownie points.

Nefertiti said...

@neil
but my total brownie points count is still negative :(

Neil said...

Now you steal my lines as well?! Im the only person who scores brownie points ever so often and is still so far into the negative zone that it isnt funny anymore. Sigh!