Right from the moment we are born, we go through various phases in our life. Our parents start enriching our brain with basic things like brushing the teeth, using the toilet properly, greeting other when you meet. These things become part of our daily life, initially it may sound exciting to do these things but our mind is a beast and it needs to be fed with new things every now and then else it becomes useless. when you wake up at night to take a pee, even though you are half asleep still you already know which direction to walk to reach the toilet and back to bed. That is something which your brain can do without troubling itself. You may find this example as very basic.
Lets take a bigger example. When you start going to school in first grade, you already know that if you pass, you will be promoted to second grade and if you fail you will remain where you are. What this means precisely is your mind does not want to go through the same teaching for another year and eventually forces you to move on to the next level of new things which you may learn as you reach next grade and this cycle continues. Not to neglect that you are learning new things and becoming smart but still this whole exercise is again a monotonous cycle which you go through and you already know what will happen if pass or fail. If you pass you will be gifted with a bicycle and if you fail you will be cursed and made to feel miserable.
Good and Bad are two sides of the same coin when you flip it and you always know that either of them is going to fall in your plate.
As per my theory, the real values of life are learned through experiences and this is only possible if you give yourself that chance of moving out of your cocoon and see different colors of life no matter they are good or bad. The simplest way to achieve this is by travelling or backpacking and I can assure you that this will surely provide that adrenaline juice which your mind is looking for. The benefits can be better described in below mentioned ways.
1. Change in perspective
Imagine a scenario in which you are waiting for a Bus/Train to go to School/Office and it gets delayed. Think how impatient and stressed we become in such situations and eventually end up shelling more money and hire a taxi to reach our destination. Contrary to this, think of people who reside in the remotest part in countryside. How do you think they would be dealing with such issues as they don’t have that option of hiring a taxi? They simply start walking towards their destination because they know there is no other way. Their meager lifestyle teaches them patience which in our metro lifestyle is not possible coz we are used to luxury and ON TIME!
Whenever you get a chance try to spend few days backpacking and travelling to suck places and when you will be back in metro, you will be more calm and patient and will start analyzing things with different perspective.
Since our childhood we are taught to be kind and thank others for doing a goodwill. As you are running towards a closing lift and the person inside presses the open button, we thank him for saving our time. How many times has it happened that you remember his kindness for more than the very time you spend in that lift? I would say very rare.
When you backpack and travel across places where its your first time, you will be overwhelmed with the amount of such gestures as you will keep asking the locals for direction, taking a lift, if its raining then you might ask for shelter. You may also be sharing the residence and food. These things are considered as actual deeds of kindness and thus the bar of gratitude is raised and these you will remember for lifetime.
3. Liberty to be yourself
One of the best things which can happen to you is the freedom of being yourself all the time for that complete period while you are backpacking and roaming. You can always do whatever you want and things which your mind thinks that will make it happy and joyful. You can sing while you are roaming, stop to take pictures of things which you like as there is no rush. Take a pause and feel the breeze passing through your face if you are in the lap of nature. You will not feel afraid of doing unusual things as you know people are not watching you and no one knows you for sure. I meant unusual and not illegal.
In our cramped and busy schedule of running to achieve materialistic goals, we often forget about many things which are in our vicinity which can make us happy but we simply don’t think in that direction. Staying in Bangalore for past 4 years, I never got a chance to visit HAL Aerospace Museum until one weekend I decided to just take my bike and go around the city and found this place and trust me it did give me that kick to keep me going for coming stressful week.
4. See things through other eyes
In our everyday life, religion,culture and rituals are performed in closed-door environments. We always think that showing off and boasting about these can lead us in serious and stereotypical problems. This is purely my thought process but everytime I have traveled to different lands in wild, I have seen people practicing this with great respect and often in open. It has always created that room for curiosity in my mind to know more about these alien things which I may have never experience unless I was present there at that very moment. I have learned that each and every religion has its own way of bridging the gap between people and almighty. When I traveled to southern part of India, I found people worship “Ravana” who is considered as demon god and known to most of us as evil. But now I also know that he also did lot of good things for which people are thankful to him and thus worship him. As I traveled to northern part of India in Laddakh region, I got to visit many buddhist monasteries and unlike other temples, people don’t donate money or gold as an offering but anything like pack of Lays or a bangles or hair clutcher or even pack of Britannia Cake. The contrasting part is some people take away these offering as a grace (Prasad) so someones offering to the almighty can be someones grace. I would have never experienced this if I was always occupied with my religion and rituals and hypocritically considered my religion better than others. All this was possible because I opened my arms to experience others beliefs.
5. Experience the NEW
This is the most important gain of backpacking as you see the life which can be completely in contrast to what you have experienced. If you are living in a city you will get to see the hardship faced by the rural world which will eventually increase the importance of others in your life. If you are from rural world and visiting a metropolitan, you will learn how important things in life can be done easily in click of a button like internet, online shopping, ordering food, travelling far distance in the city in short duration. You will get to understand how people don’t make a fuss about power cuts wherein we can’t survive for a minute without our smartphone.
All these open a new can of worms for your mind in a good way and depending on what you actually want from your life, you take that path rather than following the same rat race which you see everyone around you trying to win.
To sum this I would always request people to take that very first step in their life and explore new places and trust me you will never return empty-handed. Live that adventure else the monotone will consume you completely. Travel alone or with your best buddies or your life partner. Meet new people. Experience new food and culture. Learn new things. Life is not to be lived in a closed box but to experience the good and bad, big and small, high and low. You never know what your destiny has waiting for you to discover.
It all starts with you taking that very RISK of taking the FIRST step. Do it NOW…