I write this post at 4 am unable to sleep, experiencing withdrawals from switching from a smartphone to Nokia 150, I fire up my Microsoft Surface to read news. One thing leads to another and I read a post about some of the top Indian travel influencers and how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting their lifestyle and their reflections about their own withdrawals from the lack of travel during this lock down period. I start to reflect on the importance of travel, more so for a child.
We usually travel for work, pleasure and to visit family & friends, or if you grew up in a house like mine, travel is strictly limited to pilgrimage during precious holidays in childhood. However, travel for a child is much more valuable. Words from my boss – an American, who is a pretty enthusiastic traveler himself, come to memory. I paraphrase – Travel gives me a chance to experience different landscapes in creation, their magnificence, beauty and purity; the different cultures, cuisines, architecture and more. In this process I realize how fortunate I am to come from where I do, have the freedom to speak my mind, wear the clothes I like, do the things I love and to live a life that I myself might envy. These trips teach me “acceptance, humility and gratitude”.
Acceptance, humility and gratitude – three powerful words, the first, I believe, becomes the cause of the other two. When our life includes them, these words become values. Values which have the potential to transform humankind for the better. I strongly believe, and I hope many will agree, that these values can and must be cultivated from a young age. Connecting back to why I think travel is much more powerful for children, it is an excellent way to actively bring these values into a child’s conscious. Being able to experience the place, people, food, language, the beauty & ugliness, the common and the uncommon, and all the other adjectives associated give “perspective”. Out of this perspective, the child’s worldview, character and values build. As parents or adults we cannot teach these values, we can merely sow the seeds and carefully nurture them until they take hold in the conscious. Once this hold is achieved, the awakened mind multiplies the seeds we have sown into a forest of good.
To conclude, I leave you with something to look forward to in these times of uncertainty, fear and certain boredom. Let’s plan and resolve to travel, truly Travel, with our child, to the next street, village, state, country or wherever our wallets and hearts can take us.