How One Year Of Travel Has Changed Me

How One Year Of Travel Has Changed Me

I once read a post somewhere that most people don’t like to read personal experiences of travel bloggers. Quoting their words, they said “Nobody wants to see you masturbate.” But I feel that you need to have a connection with your readers and what better way is there to do so than sharing your random misadventures, darkest secrets and
listening to theirs. So, I’m going to share some of my “dark” secrets and how travel helps me to overcome them.

Now, I wouldn’t call myself a seasoned traveler because I have only been travelling for a year and there’s much more to see and do. But it still counts. Doesn’t it?

I used to be a different person altogether a year ago and now when people point out that I have changed, I believe them. And what brought this change? Travelling.

Look at what Mr. Purnendu and Miss. Ekta of Shadows Galore have to say about how travel has impacted their life….

“Travel is the best teacher.

The only way to an open-mind is

by taking a plane into the open world”—C. Joy Bell C.

Travel can change us in the most unexpected ways. You will find yourself doing things that you would never have imagined in your wildest dreams. Of all the things, it has made me realize the…

1.Importance Of Money

Ever since I started travelling, my priorities have shifted. My thought process has changed. I think that instead of spending 2000 bucks on a pair of Jeans, I can book a decent stay at a budget hotel for 4 days. Instead of splurging money on a costly lunch or dinner, I can enjoy local food at any place. Though I do enjoy the occasional movie or a night out but that is just to keep me sane. For the first time, I have started saving money and cutting back on stuff I don’t actually need.

Who needs expensive stuff if you can have views like this through travel.
Who needs expensive stuff if you can have a view like this?

Speaking of cutting back…

2.I Quit Smoking

In 2014, I went on a trek to Himachal Pradesh and it was the most amazing experience of my life. I always tried to stay in front of the group and kept bothering the guide with all kinds of questions. And then, I started smoking.

Trekking in the Himalayas.(Chandrakhani Pass) Travel
Trekking in the Himalayas.(Chandrakhani Pass)

Last year, in Gangtok, even walking on the steep roads of the city had me sweating and catching for breadth. Everywhere I went, I didn’t want to walk. Oh, and I despised stairs. It tired me quickly and drained all the strength out of me. I missed out on so many places and trekking was even out of question. Then it hit me that I need to quit smoking. Though I haven’t completely given up, I have reduced nearly 80%  of my intake.

Also Read:Gangtok: Of Momos, Monasteries and Monsoon!

How could I allow smoking to ruin this?
How could I allow smoking to ruin this?

While we are on the topic of quitting smoking, I should also mention that…

3.I’m Health Conscious Now

I’m not the kind of guy who sweats his ass off at the gym or follows a strict diet regime. Never have and never will. I have always been skinny and love it. But as it turns out, being skinny doesn’t mean being fit. I have realized that if I want to travel longer, I need strength. Lets suppose I am unfortunate to be hungry for two days while travelling (*touchwood*), I need my immunity to avoid fainting and coming under a bus or falling down a valley.

So, what do I do to stay healthy? Not much actually. I just try to not skip any meals. They don’t say for nothing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s true. I stay away from very rich and spicy food and drink lots of water. It’s important to stay hydrated. Who knows maybe I’ll even follow a diet (Am I contradicting myself here?)

Maybe you guys can give me some health tips that doesn’t consume much of my time. It will be much appreciated. Because to travel longer, I need both physical and mental strength. Speaking of mental health…

4.It Helps Me Fight Anxiety Disorder

I am kind of an introvert and get anxious around people. Now, you might think what is this guy saying? Here he just won’t stop blabbering like an idiot. But trust me, if we were to meet in person, I would hardly utter a sentence. But things are changing. See when you travel you can’t be quiet and not talk to people.

If you just keep standing on the road and not ask for a ride, no one is going to pick you.

How will you get discounts at hotels or restaurants, if you don’t ask for it?

How are you going to meet new travelers if you don’t interact with them?

View from my hotel in Darjeeling where I bagged a big discount.
View from my hotel in Darjeeling where I bagged a big discount.

You will be surprised to know that you can get most stuff if you just ask for it. These experiences have made me (forced to?) interact with people. And so far, I have loved it. I feel bad for myself for missing out on many opportunities just because I was too afraid to ask.

“The more I traveled the more

I realized that fear makes strangers of people

who should be friends.” – Shirley MacLaine

To add to my woes, I tend to overthink a lot. And sometimes, it leads to me feeling sad or depressed. But I have never been depressed on the road. Yes, there have been moments of frustration, anger, loneliness and even regret but never depression. How can you get depressed if you are watching the perfect sunset, admiring ancient temples or exploring mountains and forests? It has been like a therapy for me. Even at home, when I feel low I just go for long walks or rides and the world is a happier place again.

5.Respecting Other People’s Way of Life

I hate to admit it but I have been kind of a jerk. I used to think that my way life was better than most other people. There have been moments when I have even looked down on some people. But a tight slap from TRAVEL has made me realize that I am not better than anybody. Everyone has their own way of living life and I should respect that. Be it the Fishermen of Puri, Mountain-dwellers of Himachal, Coffee farmers of Araku or the monks of Gangtok. Everybody has the right to make their own choices and I’m in no position to judge them. And respecting their way of life has made me respect mine and bring some much required changes.

Women working at a handicrafts museum in Gangtok.
Women working at a handicrafts museum in Gangtok.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry

and narrow-mindedness”—Mark Twain

For me travel is my teacher, a therapist, a guide and a health instructor (probably). It is many things but never disappointing.

Thank you all for bearing with me and hearing me out. Has travel changed you in some way (for better or for worse)? Do share with me. Or mail me.

See you on the road. Godspeed.

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  1. You are doing a great job travelling. Keep it up ! 🙂

    1. Thank you Sir 🙂 You guys inspire me.

  2. it really feels good to read this.. people have dreams of traveling to various places…explore them…but that gets limited to dream..but you are on of those few people who cuts short your expenditure just to live your dream of travelling…keep up that spirit…

    1. Thank you Sarvani. lots of love 🙂

  3. I loved the point about respecting other ways of life.. travel really opens one’s heart and mind to change and that is fantastic! 🙂

    1. It is the greatest teacher there is Astha. Thanks for commenting. Stay in touch.

  4. Love all the points … No better teacher than Travel … Cheers to all the learnings and many more travel

    1. Thank you so much. Cheers to you guys too 🙂 stay in touch.

  5. Wonderful reading this, buddy. Since I travel a lot and write about it on my page too, I agree to your thoughts.

    Happy traveling ?

    1. Thank you Alok ji. And I love your blog. HAPPY TRAVELLING 🙂

  6. Can totally identify with this piece. Travel changes a person completely and that’s what I love about it 🙂 Cheers!

    1. Thank you for the comment Archana Mam:) Travel is the best teacher…

      1. You bet buddy! Couldn’t disagree with that one! Keep traveling and keep learning! God bless!
        And hey, pls call me Archana ?

        Btw – since you live travel so hop over to my travel site sometime… Would love to know what you think of my travel escapades ?

        1. Sure Archana ? I have read your posts and really loved them. Didn’t get time to read all of them. I’ll dig deeper and let you know 🙂

  7. This post just scratched my itch to travel..
    Waiting to be released in to the wild 😀

    1. That is possibly the best compliment a travel blogger can expect from a reader. Thanks dear. I hope you get released soon and begin hunting 😛

  8. A great post indeed Somnath. Keep up the good work

    1. Thank you so much 🙂

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