Recently, I met a man. Older than me. Last month, he traveled by train and plane for the first time in his life. He never traveled. He lived his entire life in one city. Entire life. I could not absorb it. It had been a couple of weeks since he told me this, and I am still not able to absorb it. Flight is something I can understand because many are afraid and some cannot afford. But, not even trains? Never left the city ever in his entire life?
It seemed impractical for someone like me who has been traveling since 4 months of age. First, it was my dad's transferable job, and my parents wish to explore, then my studies, then my job, then my long distance relationship. I feel thankful that I always had an excuse to travel. I am happy that I get to travel alone.
It started because I had to travel for love. Now, I love to travel. It does not have to be a flight crossing the oceans. Even a four-hour train journey excites me. I do not even always prefer the AC coaches to travel.
The only people I envy are not the ones who have a big car or a beautiful apartment but the ones who have traveled more. Every time I see a map, I feel overwhelmed because there is so much left. I point my finger at random places and wonder - Will I be able to go there?
I hope I never run out of excuses. I agree that living out of suitcases is difficult but I find living at one place more challenging.
In the end, I just want to share something I read in Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth
“Human nature will not flourish,
any more than a potato,
if it be planted and replanted,
for too long a series of generations,
in the same worn-out soil.
My children have had other birthplaces,
and, so far as their fortunes may be within my control,
shall strike their roots into unaccustomed earth.
—Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Custom-House”