Wednesday, 21 March 2012
TRAVEL NIGHTMARES & ADVENTURES!
If you were asked to put together a list of the worst things that could happen to you on a vacation, what do you think you'd come up with? A tsunami or a shark attack? Losing a passport, money? Having your bags stolen? Or your spouse stolen? These are all real things that happen and trust me when I tell you that I know of people that these things have happened to. The losing the spouse part was not actually as in ‘losing to God’ but more like ‘losing to another man’ - but you get the idea!
Yes, travelling has become so unpredictable that somehow one can never be too prepared. Luckily I missed being on a plane to the US on September 11, 2001 but we all know what travelers had to go through as trans-Atlantic flights got cancelled for days. Weather, public health, nuclear disasters, ash cloud - can all lead to travelers being stranded. Yet, it is all a part of the adventure. People have become all too wound up about wanting to know every detail of their vacation – they want to check-out their hotel ratings and know exactly what the room size is and what it looks like, every street that they will be visiting and see what the view of the sights from this street will be – I think technology is taking away the surprise from our travel adventures. I mean, why even waste your money buying a flight ticket? How about just seeing whatever you want to from the comfort of your aircon room on Travel & Living or any other channel?
I think it is the surprise, that has always made travel the adventure it is. It is like life itself – not knowing what the next day, or the corner or street or city will have to offer. It is not just being in Niagara that makes it exciting – it is listening to the waterfall, having drops of water on your skin and such that make it an experience. If something a little more adventurous happened – you may end up remembering that for the rest of your life and telling your children and grand-children and if you are lucky enough – even your great-grand children of what an adventure that one trip was!
‘A story worth telling’ that is what makes travel what it is. And your attitude at a time like it is what will make the experience what it is!
A friend of mine who was stranded in London when the volcanic ash broke out decided to use the ‘grounded time’ to discover a new city. I myself have been stranded at Darjeeling when a cyclone hit the city and to our family it was another day to spend with each other – an extended vacation - not to forget a valuable lesson for the children on how to cope with unexpected situations.
Yet, some adventures are created by situations out of your control and some are just plain – silly! I asked a bunch of my friends what was the most ridiculous thing that had ever happened to them when they were travelling. Here’s a true story, if you can beat this one – I want to know your story! This guy, a friend of mine, didn’t want to leave his bags outside the loo at the airport and so he decided to squeeze his trolley into the toilet. And, the trolley got stuck inside – with him and his bags! No matter what angle he tried to move the trolley to, he couldn’t get the damn door open. And thus, the moral of the story is that if you want to miss your flight in the spirit of adventure, find a place a tad bit more exciting at the airport than a 3 feet x 3 feet toilet space!
Mother, amateur athlete, author of fictionalised memoir Wise Enough to be Foolish, traveler, entrepreneur and the founder of India's first outbound adventure firm The Active Holiday Company, like many of us on this planet - I am a little bit of many things and still not satisfied!