Friday, October 26, 2007

Travel = Living?

Have you ever at least observed, leave alone thinking about it, that more often than not, we tend to feel closer to people after going on a trip with them? I am pretty much sure that you must have come across quite a few instances during your college days, where new “pairs” form or old pairs break up for new partners, leaving some poor souls in lurch. All after THAT college tour! Apdi tourukku approm thanni adikka aarambicha pasanga/ponnunga ethana ethana!!! ;)

Not just romance, but also friendship also takes a different color and strength after an outing. Have you ever wondered why? They say relationships take time to build. Speaking relativistically, what happens during a tour is that you are accelerating that process. Remember? According to relativity theory, time is another dimension of space. By traveling across physical space, you make up for the extra time that would be needed for the relationship to grow.

What essentially happens behind this common phenomenon has got a lot to do with our inhibitions. After multiple years of mind-numbing education, we tend to seek reasons to let go of ourselves; we need "reasons" to break the invisible barriers we have built around us. And given a different setting/background, it is easier for us to let our guards down. A different place helps us to let open the windows to our own selves. That helps us to see more of ourselves as well as others.

Come to think of it, all that makes the difference is how much we observe. When we travel, we tend to observe a lot, particularly because we are not in a mad rush as we have “apparently nothing worthwhile” to do.

If you have ever felt your life “richer” after a trip, it is all because of the simple fact that you have literally “filled” yourself with so many things that you observed.

Observation is the best antidote for the numbing grayness of life. In fact, that very grayness is due to the lack of observation. Typically, when we travel, we tend to carry the “cozy cubicle” along with us: stay in star hotels, travel first class or at least 2 tier AC and drive in AC vehicles. And when you are in the same “cubicle” of your life, you tend to lose your skills to observe, which made you look at everything with wonder in your eyes when you were a child.

Being a addict of the Travel & Living stuff (especially lonely planet/globetrekker – Ian Wright, Justine … ooohhh Shapiro and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations), I am all for venturing out at least a bit out of our cozy cubicles, if not outright break out of it. Instead of eating that dumb buffet, get out and have a chaat on the street; briskly walk through the bazaars instead of lazing around in the well-lit showrooms; get the flavor and taste of the place you go to. Damn sure, you would feel “full” of life! ;)

In fact, you don’t have to go too far to break the tedium of your life! Just stop and have a tea at that corner tea stall on the way that you have been riding through every day but you never bothered to stop at. Mind you, the grayness is due to the “been there, done it all” attitude, which essentially is out of the “very predictable routine” of your life.

So, plan chaos.

Aside:

Interesting movies based on travel: Motorcycle Diaries (fantastic one on Che Guevara's early days) and our own "anbe sivam"! Please let me know of your other recommendations! ;)

18 comments:

Gino said...

Very true... a travel can make one aware of many things about oneself which one wouldnt have realised in the usual mundane life... Also, one comes to realize the intensity of the closeness( or distance)with those travelling with you..... And plan "Chaos" eh!!! Hmmmm.... ;)

Sowmya said...

A very good post :)

## when you are in the same “cubicle” of your life, you tend to lose your skills to observe, which made you look at everything with wonder in your eyes when you were a child.##


## Mind you, the grayness is due to the “been there, done it all” attitude, which essentially is out of the “very predictable routine” of your life. So, plan chaos.##

:)

sk said...

Gino

Thanks! And a bit of a detail here:
//a travel can make one aware of many things about oneself which one wouldnt have realised in the usual mundane life... //

Normally, we don't try to observe things around us. And travel gives us space to do that. That said, we can do create space even otherwise.

//Also, one comes to realize the intensity of the closeness( or distance)with those travelling with you//

The more you "see" of yourself/others, the more you feel close. If you choose to close your "eyes", no amount of travel can help you. ;)

Sowmya
Thanks for the inspiration! :)

Dugi said...

haha vaanga sk namma tour pogalaam ;)

sk said...

hahaha kandippaa dugi! seekiram australia varren ;P

Anonymous said...

Motorcycle Diairies is a wonderful film. Now I have to listen to the music from the film.

Nirmal K said...

Dai ur readers seem to be ur ardent fans...everybody agrees with u!!!! I too dont differ much. I agree partly for that we observe a lot when we are taken out of routines, but its not our leisure attitude alone that contributes to more observation. Havent u observed in college that after a hectic case study/presentation work (ok lets assume it happened) u felt close with somebody...or after u had worked with somebody in a new project u feel more closer to him.

So, while turning ur head outside ur cubicle defnitely helps, it needn't be a relaxed one. Cheers

Usha said...

yeah true, but how abt relations that break after a trip ;) But I guess those are not as frequent as making.

sk said...

juvvi
cant agree more! If u know of any such interesting films, please please let me know.

nirmal
that exactly is my point. All i am saying is that while our awareness/observation increases due to external changes during a trip, that doesn't mean that it can be done internally. The bottom line is the more you are aware, the more u feel like living. That, in essence, is zen.

usha
yeh true! ;) Trips literally provide the space for understanding people and thereby relationships to grow. Sometimes, we realize bitter truths ;)

Anonymous said...

I guess Motorcycle Diaries is one of a kind. I haven't seen many movies to make this judgement, but other travel related movies that I have seen didn't have that magic, though they were good in their own way.

I think 'Pans Labyrinth' is a fairy tale like movie, with wonderful music. But the movie's not really free flowing like 'Motorcycle Diaries', though I don't know what it means. I don't watch too many movies nowadays. Actually Hindi movies are getting better by the day. 'Manorama Six feet Under', 'Johnny Gaddar' are the wonderful movies that I saw last week. Tamil movies suck by comparison.

All we have is Paruthiveeran, which I don't like one bit and movies like Mozhi where they try too hard to strike a balance. It just doesn't fit in naturally. Chennai 28 is the masterpiece of this year. I wish they made more movies like that.

Sathiyan said...

Good one da jumbli. Quite meaningful. Am kinda scared that you are turning into a yogi these days...rombe yosikiriyo?? Time to get married da :)

priya said...

Damn true, coz many things go unnoticed as we never "observe".

Its just the timing, interaction and personal interests to know. Many are curious to know others... but deep observation is very less.

I personally observe a lot:)

Anonymous said...

Actually priya, we observe but don't romanticise. Because it serves no purpose if we are not into making movies or writing books or blogs.

Friendship is an overrated relationship anyway.

sk said...

juvvi
yeh quite true. To me, Mozhi was a dirty compromise playing on the "emotions" that are automatically associated with the challenged. And Paruthiveeran was an incomplete one. Waiting for "In to the wild", which i hope doesn't disappoint.

sk said...

priya
The attempts to know more of others is basically out of our deeper desire to relate to the others. We think the more we know of others, the more we are close to them. And the extent to which it is true is anyway open to debate.

sk said...

subash
//we observe but don't romanticise. Because it serves no purpose if we are not into making movies or writing books or blogs.//
I think i have to disagree with you. Please correct me if i have misunderstood you. I feel more often than not, we romanticize and do not really observe and our views are heavily colored. And romanticizing is essential for making movies/writing blogs, for the simple reason that facts are boring. Art is essentially deceiving oneself and others. ;)

//Friendship is an overrated relationship anyway.//
Hahaha, not only friendship but relationship per se is overrated. Well, that requires another long post.

priya said...

SK,

I have nothing to reply to Subash coz you said it right.

Thank you.

Subash,

In observation, you come across many things including the one you said. Check ur eyes before the mirror, it will tell u the truth.

Mirra said...

Great work.