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Travel is also Spiritual Transformation

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By Revaa Vaish

Let me just start off by saying that you don’t travel just to reach a destination; sometimes you travel just for the sake of travelling. You don’t await the stopping of the car but instead you enjoy the peace it brings you.
I used to love travelling when I was even younger. Even when I didn’t know where we were going, I just enjoyed the moving world outside. Even now, whenever someone even suggests going somewhere or taking a trip, I am the first one to yell, “Yes!” Even if it is a short drive, I am just as excited. Like having all that time to just think about nothing at all! Being in class 10, things get a little overwhelming sometimes and it is good to have some time to myself.
Earlier, I used to imagine that my car was some sort of magical carriage that was carrying me to a distant land. No vehicle remained mundane. It was transformed into a super portal to a magic land. It was a great way to keep myself occupied as long rides could get boring. When I used to actually reach the place, I would no longer remember what I was thinking about as I used to be just too excited to explore everything.
As I started to grow up, I left these stories behind and started listening to songs on my phone to tune out the world as much as I could. I felt so at ease that I was almost disappointed when we reached our destination. It helped me sort through many things in my head and further helped in my mental well being.
I also love playing games with my family in the car like ‘I spy…’ It is rather enjoyable for everyone. Sometimes we even shorten the sign on a board by only saying the first letters of every word and the rest of the people have to guess which board it is. This game really helps to enhance our awareness of everything happening around us.
All these games of big and small consequence really help in my overall wellbeing as a person and helps in bringing peace of mind, too.
As for the mode of travel, there is a huge difference between what Gen X is used to and what Gen Z is accustomed to. For most kids of Gen Z, travelling in a train would be an exciting and new experience. But for Gen X, trains are so common that they don’t understand what we find intriguing in them. For them, airplane rides are something they have not experienced in their childhood but it is something we Gen Z kids have seen since we can remember.
Travelling in trains is another adventure that Gen X just can’t understand. They have been travelling in trains all their childhood. But for us, trains are a source of immense happiness as they are still a mystery to us.
Some destinations are so peaceful that you achieve a tranquil mood even as you are travelling there. Some places like Ayodhya and Vrindavan in India are spiritual places which, when you reach, surely provide peace of mind but even when you are going there, you feel a strange type of peace and you just forget about your problems. The problems just vanish and you are left to wonder what it was you were so stressed about.
Taking a periodic break to visit such places has become a necessity in today’s stressful world.
But some places are such that they are total chaos but still an absolute favourite of kids. Yes, Disneyland! Disneyland is a kid’s dream-come-true any day. The worldwide characters, the rides, the photos, the castles, they all bring such a joy to kids that the parents are left to wonder what exactly we see in the walking mice and ducks.
I remember when I was in class 9 and I was very stressed about my upcoming exams, my parents thought it would be good for us to take a small trip. We were to go to Goa for 2 to 3 days and then return. At first, I was a little taken aback that they thought it would be good for me to take a trip with my exams around the corner. But then I started to warm up to the idea and decided that 2 to 3 days wouldn’t matter all that much. As soon as we left for the airport, the panic settled in. I was going away for 2 to 3 days! I wouldn’t be able to study for 3 whole days! My exams! I was about to let my parents know that I didn’t think this was a good idea any more but then I remembered how excited everyone was so I just decided to go with it. When we reached the airport, I couldn’t fathom how I was supposed to enjoy this trip at all. When we were on the airplane, and I looked down from the window, all I could see were the white clouds. Nothing else, just clouds and I realised how easy it would be to just disappear within them. That’s what I had started doing. I had started disappearing behind the exams, the stress and what not. I hadn’t even realised when I stopped being the kid who could have a good laugh, could actually spend time with family and friends, actually love life like a child. I suppose this is the case with every other child since the pressure on our generation to be the “perfect child” is so much. It was on that plane ride that I realised that I was happy with how I was. I was happy with the laughing, social, happy go lucky child that I was.
So no one truly hates travelling. If someone tells you they do, you can deduce that they aren’t particularly fond of their own company or there is something on their minds that they just don’t want to confront.

(Revaa is a student of Class X, Ann Mary School)