A poor man’s travel

Travel is good. It helps reset a mind smeared in dust and wound by conflicts. They say travel invigorates a soul. It helps replenish one’s vitality and resume work with renewed vigor. Nevertheless, all of us can’t manage to travel. In most of these failing cases, the biggest hurdle is money. Travel is a costly affair; an experience can’t be bought free of cost after all. What if your budget doesn’t approve you of this luxury? In some cases, a travel-dreamer gets stuck in a peculiar situation where getting a time off becomes absurd. How to taste some of its sweet fruits without planting it? Travel is not always meant for the fainthearted. As the clock inches toward the close of the honeymoon, the thought of a context switch from the delightful holiday back to a regular grind may amount to a heartbreak.

If your idea of travel is merrymaking at a different place, possibly with a little more pomp this time, I can assure you that you don’t cut down much on your fun quotient by skipping it. Boredom is just fine, apart from being inevitable. Hence enjoy in the same old place where you partied last week. “As we rise in the social scale the pursuit of excitement becomes more and more intense. Those who can afford it are perpetually moving from place to place, carrying with them as they go gaiety, dancing and drinking, but for some reason always expecting to enjoy these more in a new place.” [Bertrand Russell]

However if you’re into the aesthetics of history or of nature’s bounty or lives of nomads around the places you visit, it’s difficult to make up for. The answer lies in grasping the art of stealing. In my mother tongue, a famous poet wrote:

“Since ages, I’m roaming far away, many a mile

Paying a large sum to cover many a country

I’ve gone to see mountains, run to the sea.

I’m yet to witness with my eyes wide open

A dew drop glittering on the tip of a green leaf

At two footsteps from my house …” [Pardon my translation, I have murdered the lyricism of this great, long-dead poet with my naïveté]

Enjoying the mundane at two steps is a silly thought per se. At first it seemed just a poetic figure of speech and I abstained. It caught up with me as I grew older. It’s feasible yet not easy to exercise. It needs practice… of getting immune to boredom. Like every craft under the sun, earlier the better. A child left to play alone as a routine everyday ends up winning over the fear of being lonely at a greater ease. Elders can learn the trick too, preferably in a prison cell watching a lizard crawl a dingy wall for 4-5 hours a day. If jail remains a distant dream, it would be good to be forsaken, at least occasionally, by others for you to welcome idleness. Your selfish gene will show its true color of survival instincts and make you more comfortable with yourself. Of course, Electronics must abandon you! As I said, and wise men said too, practice will make you perfect eventually. Once you’re through this ordeal of monotony without a nervous or a cardiac breakdown, you’ll receive a gift of keener observations. With this improved skill, you would succeed to focus on a narrower space for a reasonably longer time. Magic, isn’t it? Then you start appreciating what my poet could. That saves you from spending money in the name of travel and gives you, a beholder, a bit of beauty – that’s stealing by definition. No one could stop from it, not even the moral police. So, happy stealing!

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