From the Editor – There’s no stopping us…

Aurojit’s Insights this month brought forward a constant struggle that travellers have to engage in not only with their bosses but also with their families. Not everyone understands the desperate urge to head out but us travellers. For a lot of people, travel is just indulgence and therefore an unnecessary expenditure. But for us, it is the yearning of our soul and an irresistable call that gets stronger and stronger till we aren’t able to ignore it anymore.

Travel didn’t happen easily for anyone in this picture…



But what happens if your boss is a headstrong monarch with an inclination towards ordering beheading at the slightest provocation. Can a traveller still get his way? Let us see this after these important announcements:

The Featured Author for the Month of October is none other than Ritesh Gupta who has a talent for narrating engaging and pleasant tales. His ever-positive presence sets a great example for the members of any online community. Congratulations Ritesh! We look forward to finding out more about you, a humble, good-natured ghumakkar, through this month.

The Featured Story for the month of September is Auro’s inspiring tale about his Self Drive trip through Thailand. While a self-driving trip anywhere requires courage, one in a foreign country requires much more than that. For most of us, this wasn’t even a possibility till this poignant, practical tale got us dreaming as well. Thanks Auro for sharing your experiences with us. And congratulations once again.

So coming back to our discussion regarding difficult bosses. Imagine living in a world where the knowledge that the earth is round and not flat is relatively new. And you are a traveller. Ideas are popping in your head and you are dying to try them. Logic tells you that you can sail around the world and not fall off the edge as people had earlier feared. You have the will but no money. What would you do? Find sponsors, of course. But sponsors need to be rich, powerful and you need to make them believe in your dreams. And rich and powerful in that world were also impulsive, often sentencing people to horrible deaths just for amusement. And if you prove to be a bad investment, you cannot even imagine what kind of terrors await you.

But you are a traveller and the call is getting stronger. You cannot sleep, you cannot eat, and you cannot think of anything else. So you decide to risk it all and try your luck. One sponsor laughs in your face, the other advices you to spend your energies elsewhere. One even goes to the extent of giving you a handsome allowance just to shut you up. But you don’t want any of these so you keep trying. And finally you are successful. Someone seems to believe in you and is ready to fund your expedition. You head out into the unknown with your fleet and your eyes fixed eagerly at the horizon. You don’t really travel around the world but end up discovering several new land masses. No big deal!

By now, you would know who I am talking about. This was none other than Christopher Columbus, the father of all travellers. I am very sure that he just wanted to travel when he accidently ended up on the shores of the Americas. Don’t tell this to your children though. This version of history isn’t accepted yet. ;-) But you know and I know. And I think all travellers know.

But in addition to convincing their bosses or risking a grisly death, there is much more that travellers are willing to do to travel. A study at staywyse.org shows that one of the popular reasons to opt for expensive education options in foreign countries is to “immerse yourself in another culture”, which to my Ghumakkar ears sounds eerily like travel that comes with a huge bonus – adding value to your resume. While some of these trav(cough!) students are rolling in money, others eagerly give up on all of their savings for such an opportunity.

There are others who don’t want to spend a fortune but still wish to put a tick mark next to their dream destinations. So they search for other options. Some of them volunteer for development or eco-conservation projects, which cuts down their travel and stay costs to some extent and also gives an opportunity to explore the country well, depending upon the length of the project. Check out some projects at isvolunteers.org and you’ll see what I mean.

But even those who do not wish to use an excuse to travel but aren’t fortunate enough to be rolling in unlimited wealth cannot be stopped when distant destinations come calling. And they go to any extent to support their travel as they go. Travellers can be found singing in the streets or taking up jobs at petrol pumps, schools, and grocery stores to make some money, however meager. Such a scene is more foreign though than Indian. Travel comes before everything else for them. They explore the cheapest possible stay options and survive on the bare minimum.

There are some travelers who take up jobs that require them to travel to places near and far. They no longer need to make excuses anymore. Their bosses are happy because they are so naturally at ease with the nature of the job and they get all the sympathies of their families while they are basking in the awesomeness of their good fortune.

Travellers often put at lot a risk. I’m sure you have taken risks too to be able to travel. If yes, please do share with us. I assure you that a lot of us a dying to know. We will look forward to your stories…

Till then,
Vibha

41 Comments

  • Hi,
    Another brilliant write-up, months after month and we look forward to this at the beginning of the month.

    Congratulations Ritesh. Look forward to know more about you Ritesh.
    Congratulations Auro, we enjoyed and know a lot about the place through this lovely series.

    Have a nice day, Regards,

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    @Ritesh – Congrats for being the Featured Author for the Month.

    @ Aurojit – Congrats !

    Vibha – Thanks for brilliant post.

  • ????? ?? , ???? ???? ???? ???? ??? ?? ??????? ???? ???? ???? ?? ???? ? ???? ?????? ??????????? ?? ?? ????? ???? ???

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  • venkatt says:

    I am sure every ghumakkar will relate to this topic in these difficult economic times and will narrate the struggles and obstacles they went through in pursuit of travelling to their dream destinations and how they eventually overcame those. It should be a nice detour from the usual travelogues.

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi Vibha,

    Thanks for yet another superb editorial piece.

    Columbus was sponsored and he had a hard time finding the sponsor, so aptly described :-)
    My favourite Ghumakkar is Marco Polo – for the sheer amount of interesting stories he created out of his Ghumakkari spanning a score of years.

    And thanks for the featured story for the month accolade…

    @ Amitav, Mahesh, Manu, Venkatt – Thanks for your encouragement. I feel indebted.

    Auro.

    • Vibha says:

      Thanks Auro, I agree about Marco Polo. He was indeed a true Ghumakkar. Columbus just takes the cake with his talent for ending up in embarrassing situations. I find it hilarious that he stubbornly refused to accept that it was the Americas that he had landed in and to hide his embarrassment he even called the indigenous people “Indians”. Of course you would know all this. But I think he was just so lost…

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    @ Ritesh and Auro: Congrats on receiving recognition in the form of highly deserved accolades.

    @ Vibha: As always, a pleasure to read. I also found your take on Chris Columbus hilarious. However, I am with Auro when he says that is Marco Polo of the baap of all ghumakkars. He left his hometown of Venice as a teenager and returned after a ghumakkari which lasted a quarter of a century. That record will sure take some beating! He wrote about his sojourn in India too, in addition to China, Japan and the Far East.

    Regarding risks, I think I always expose myself to huge risks while traveling since I usually prefer to drive to those places myself and I can think of few things more dangerous than driving on our highways!

    • Vibha says:

      Thanks DL! I haven’t read Marco Polo’s account about India. I think I should.

      Yes, driving on the highways is always a great risk. When I headed out for my first solo travel, I was in a foreign land which was at that moment ravaged by riots. Some people tell me that it was a stupid thing to do. But I guess you don’t really gain anything without taking any risks.

    • AUROJIT says:

      Thanks DL,

      Yes, Marco Polo indeed…… it is famously narrated about him that while on his deathbed in Venice, he was implored by his near and dear ones to say that his stories are not true and he famously replied…… I quote from one of many websites on him below –

      ” When Marco was near death, a priest came in his room to ask him if he’d like to admit that his stories were false. Instead, Marco said, “I did not tell half of what I saw”. Those were his last words.”

      A Ghumakkar’s passion and conviction, I would say..

      Thanks

      Auro.

  • SilentSoul says:

    Ritesh : Congrts for this long awaited decoration. Pls continue entertaining us with your beautiful t-logs

    Aur: Congrats…yr series was actually very entertaining and informative.

    Vibha : good editorial Vibha… with such beautiful language why dont you write some T-logs too.. who is the gentle sitting in second row right ? looks like I know this man. what is his name and where does he live ?

  • Vibha says:

    Thanks SS, I have been giving myself reasons but I guess I have just been lazy. I should write more. You will soon read a travelogue from me. I promise.

    The gentleman who is sitting in the second row is Mr. Vijay Kumar Malhotra, my father. He stays in Delhi and has worked in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for the Government of India. He has also handled film festivals and monitored the shooting of several international films in India, including City of Joy. But now he’s been retired for more than 10 years. Could you have met him during any of these ventures?

    • SilentSoul says:

      Jabhi to… i hv worked in I&B for 2 and half years… that z why i recognised his face.. i will surely try to meet him, email me his contact.

      btw… he is very smart and handsome :)

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    @Ritesh – Receive my heartiest congratulations on being awarded the honor of ” Featured Author of the month”. If you remember I already had predicted the same in the month before last month. So this event was a much awaited event for all of us.

    @ Aurojit – A million congratulations for your story being selected as the story of the month. Your engaging, encouraging and interesting stories have always been a source of inspiration for all of us.

    And last but not the least my heartiest thanks to Vibha for bringing to us such a cherishing and cheerful moment. Today’s editorial was really praiseworthy.

    Thanks.

    • AUROJIT says:

      Hi Mukesh,

      A Billion thanks for such endearing words !!

      Have not seen your posts for a while here. Is it that you have delegated the responsibility to Kavitaji ? :-) Of course, she is doing equally commendable job.

      Heartfelt thanks,

      Auro.

    • Ritesh Gupta says:

      Mukesh ji…

      Thank you very much for your heartiest congratulations. yaa ! I remember. your prediction is right. you are with me from my first post and your encouraging comments help to improve my writing.

      Thanks again….

    • Vibha says:

      Thanks Mukesh! :)

  • Kavita Bhalse says:

    # ????? ??,
    ??? ?? ??????? ???? ???? ???? ?? ???? ?? ?? ??????? ?????????? ??????? ????. ???? ??????? ???? ?? ??? ?? ???????? ?? ?????? ?????? ??? ???? ?? ????? ????? ??, ???? ?????? ????????? ????? ?? ?? ?? ?? ?? ??? ??????? ??????? ??? ??. ??? ?? ?????? ??? ?? ???? ??? ?? ???? ?? ?? ??????? ?? ???? ?????????? ??????? ???? ??????.

    # ?????? ??,
    ???? ??????? ?? ??????? ??????? ?? ???? ???? ???? ??????? ??? ?????????? ?????????? ?????. ?? ??????? ?? ??????? ????? ?? ?????? ?? ?????? ???? ?? ?? ?? ??? ?????? ???? ?? ???? ??. ?? ?????? ?? ??? ???? ?? ?? ??????? ???? ??????? ????.

    # ???? ??,
    ???? ?????? ????????? ?? ?????? ??? ?? ??????? ???? ??? ??? ?? ?? ?? ???? ?? ??? ????.

    • AUROJIT says:

      ???????,

      ?? ???? ?? ????? ?????? ?? ??? ????? ???. ??? ???? ??? ?? ???? ?? ?????? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ????????? ?????.

      ???????

      Auro.

    • Ritesh Gupta says:

      ????? ??….
      ????? ?? ???? ???? ?? ???? ????? ??????? ! ???? ?????? ??? ??? ?? ?? ????? ?? ?????????? ?? ???? ???? ??????????? ???? ???….. ?? ?? ????? ?? ????? ?????? ??? ?? ??? ?? ???? ??????? ????? ???? ??? …| ?????? ??? ???? ??? ?? ?????? ???? ?????….| ???????….|

    • Ritesh Gupta says:

      ????? ??….
      ????? ?? ???? ???? ?? ???? ????? ?? ??????? ! ???? ?????? ??? ??? ?? ?? ????? ?? ?????????? ?? ???? ???? ??????????? ???? ???….. ?? ?? ????? ?? ????? ?????? ??? ?? ??? ?? ???? ??????? ????? ???? ??? …| ?????? ??? ???? ??? ?? ?????? ???? ?????….| ???????….|

    • Vibha says:

      Dhanyawaad Kavita ji! :) Maine aapko ek email bheji hai. Aapne dekhi?

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    Vibha ji…..Thank for good & excellent editorial article and I have like this topic . Thanks you very much for announcing my name for Featured author.

    Auro….. Congratulation for your Hongkong series for being Featured Story for the month of September

    Amitava Chatterjee : Thanks you very much.

    Mahesh Semwal : Thank you.

    Manu prakash tyagi : ???? ???? ?? ??? ???? ????-???? ??????? |

    D.L.Narayan : Thank you very much for Congratulation.

    SilentSoul : Thanks a lot for Congratulation in nice & sweet words.

    Thanks

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Congratulations Ritesh for being the ‘Featured Author of October 2012’. Your comprehensive logs, positive and mature presence are an asset to this community. Enjoy !!

    Hey Auro – This was coming for sure, :-). A first in many way for a lot of us. Take care.

    Vibha – I have the ‘Marco Polo’ book. I must admit that I didn’t finish it but it does read very different than any travel book. I think the references you mentioned got lost amid the cheer of celebrations so let me re-inforce them via this comment, http://staywyse.org/ and isvolunteers.org

    I guess what SS said applies to a lot of us and we must fight our fatigue of procrastination and write more.

    • Ritesh Gupta says:

      ???? ??….
      ???? ???? ?? ??? ???? ????-???? ????????….! ???? ?????????? ?? ?? ???? ??? ??? ???? ???….?? ??????????? ?? ????? ???? ??? | ??????? !

    • Vibha says:

      Thanks Nandan for inserting the links. The link to Volunteers abroad is http://www.isvolunteers.org/. Sorry for missing these out in the post.

      I would like to borrow the Marco Polo book if you are open to lending it. :)

    • AUROJIT says:

      Hi Nandan,

      Thanks for your encouragement that keeps us going (for sure) .

      @ Nandan, Vibha,

      An interesting Marco Polo read is a book called ‘The Journeyer’ by Gary Jenning. It is a fictional account, running through some 800+ pages; it is sleazy, skanky and scandalous. I read it some 12 years back and that was my intro to Marco Polo. Later on I got to read more authentic versions, which are more informative but probably lack the masala of GJ. Marco Polo travels are also downloadable and at least one pdf version that I have is quite elaborate and interesting (detailed account from someone who travelled in 12 something AD and describes India in parts – it can not be uninteresting).

      About volunteerism, the options available on net appear to be more of commerce oriented stuff. I followed some sites and realised that Chennai/ surroundings is a hub of such activities in India (don’t know why). Now, we have a famous Blind School of Lodhi Road in Delhi- it is remembered every year during Diwali Mela (where you see well groomed elite ladies manning the stalls).

      Blinds the world over are known for massages, but despite India having one of the largest number of blind persons, I am yet to hear about a dedicated massage centre run by Blinds. Probably this is so because such institutions are run by sarkari support and mindset. Perhaps the corporate world needs to look into this direction -this may be less romanticised but surely more beneficial to the society….

      Thanks,

      Auro.

  • Congrats Aurojit and Ritesh ,

    CLAP CLAP CLAP

  • ridim.ch@gmail.com says:

    Hi All,

    I am a new entrant here but not new to u all, as I have joined the blog recently but have been reading posts from u all from past 6-7months. I always loved traveling but due to very strict environment at home was never able to do that…but I guess god wanted to fulfill my desire and I got married to someone who is very passionate about traveling :)

    reading Vibha’s post reminded me of how we stayed in cheap guest houses on our honeymoon to save money for our travel plans which we made during our courtship period….I can relate to all that is written in Vibha’s post as my husband has done almost all of these…he left his job, worked as a waiter, slept on the pavement at marine drive just to take the feel of it and much more…anyways will write about our travel stories in some time

    thanks Vibha for such nice post.

    Regards,
    Ridim

  • My heartily congratulations to Auro and Ritesh although a little bit late :).

    @Auro – We have traveled along with you on your Thailand road without spending a single penny. Thanks for the beautiful travelogue.

    @Ritesh – You truly deserves it. Looking forward to know more about you soon via interview.

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi Deependra,

    Thanks for your nice words.

    Auro

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