Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Other Side Of Travel

Travel is beautiful. It teaches you a lot, refines you as a human being, and declutters your life to a great extent. And, if you look at it on the surface, it’s refreshing, fun and thrilling. But, there is another side to it --- the challenges of travel. Nothing in the world is devoid of pain and so is travel. A traveller has to undergo a lot of hurdles, sweat, dust and disappointments to be able to quench his or her wanderlust.


You have read about my 9 Travel Mistakes and my Worst Travel Experiences. Today, I’m going to brood over some experiences of my Sikkim-Darjeeling trip that taught me a few ‘new’ lessons on travel.


You don’t achieve all that you aim for

Perhaps the biggest lesson that I have learnt lately is that you may set out to achieve a lot, but you don’t hit all your goals. But, the good part is that you achieve a lot of things that you didn’t aim for. So, travel is never a bad deal.

I aimed to spend at least a month in Sikkim --- I had plans to volunteer for an NGO and explore the entire state alongside. But, my plans didn’t work out. I could not visit North Sikkim due to the hassles involved. I had to be satisfied with just East and West Sikkim – Gangtok, Darap Village and Yuksom.


A deep geographical research is worth more than money

Travelling spontaneously is absolutely wonderful, but a weak research pulls out some extra cash out of your pocket. So, you should never be satisfied with your research. Being extra researched is always better. Pelling was supposed to be my next stop after Gangtok. I had booked a stay for me and had inquired about the shared taxis as well. I was contented to know that shared taxis didn’t charge much and I would reach Pelling smoothly. But, when I reached the taxi stand, I discovered that I was supposed to have made the booking in advance. Anyway, I still got a little lucky and joined a couple who was also going to Pelling.

Well, there was a dash of adventure in store for me as I reached Pelling – I wasn’t aware that the home stay that I had booked was not in Pelling. It was in Darap Village, which was a little away from the city. The driver blatantly refused to drop me there. He dropped me in the middle of the road and went away. I had to hire another taxi to reach Darap Village Retreat – the home stay where I had to sojourn.


Anything can happen on the road

I didn’t have any idea about the difficulties of commuting from one region to another in Sikkim. Reserved taxis are almost out of reach, while the shared ones give you a poor travel experience. I travelled from Darap Village to Yuksom and later Yuksom to Gangtok by shared taxis, which were horrible experiences. I call them horrible for the way you have to travel --- you have to be crammed like luggage with other passengers, keep the windowpanes open as the cabs have no air-conditioning, and then absorb the thick layers of dust all over yourself and not to mention, lots of bumps and jerks on the way.

The roads in Sikkim are bad --- some of them are under construction, due to which, there are traffic jams too. Therefore, you should either travel in a group, book reserved taxis and share costs, or should you choose to travel alone in a shared taxi, book two seats in order to get comfier space to sit.


Travel is not just about sunsets and hammocks. It is also about failed plans, bad roads, sickness, and pains. Nevertheless, I had an immensely rewarding travel experience. Despite all the hitches, I DON’T regret anything!

Travel never stops teaching. So, a traveller should never stop learning.

Do you have anything to add? What’s the biggest lesson travel has taught you?

If you enjoyed this post, you can –
Subscribe to receive ‘new post’ updates through Email.

19 comments:

  1. 'Travel is not just about sunsets and hammocks. It is also about failed plans, bad roads, sickness, and pains.' - So true! The husband and me have experienced this many a time too, on our travels. We come away with spectacular pictures and travel tales (usually) from our trips, but the mistakes that we made and the pains we suffer have hardly been written about on my blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But I really like to talk about my failures on the road as much as my victories. Travel is both gain and pain. I agree even the mistakes and mishaps don't take away the reward that comes with travel.

      Delete
  2. Good post indeed.....i do agree with your point on thorough research, spontaneous travel plans are fun but it sometimes comes with a price...and also to spend more than you had planned for can be disappointing as well. How can i forget to mention....the pictures are beautiful Renuka. Hey i have a new travel post on the blog do check out whenever possible. Here's the link http://upclosewithsaumya.blogspot.com/2014/08/welcome-to-paradisekauai-garden-island.html
    Regards, Saumya

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Saumya :) I'm glad you liked the post. Yes, a good research goes a long way on the road.

      Delete
  3. i think research is very imp but impromptu plans are always exciting ... north sikkim is spectacular .... do visit Yumthang valley, zero point and gurudongmarg lake on your next visit ...infact in our research and plan north sikkim was never a part but we ended up there, all thanks to our taxi driver :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so fortunate of you! North Sikkim is a far-fetched idea for me. Let's see when I get there.

      Delete
  4. Yep - travel is definitely about all the things that might not be perfect, but are perfectly experienced :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! That's what I have tried to express - travel isn't perfect, but the experiences are!

      Delete
  5. I love this post. It's so true that travel is so full of ups and downs. In all my years of travel I have experience so many frustrating moments -- hurricanes, illnesses, nightmarish bus rides. But, like you, I don't regret a thing. Because, for me, it's all worth it to attain those wonderful travel moments. Plus, the whole process is such a great learning experience -- both about myself and the world around me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh...Hurricanes! Justine, I'm glad to hear your views too. Yup, travel is so fascinating and inspiring that the troubles simply melt away!

      Delete
  6. I agree with your statement that everything can happen on the road. Cez has been sick many times when we were travelling in Asia and I got really scared!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, I can imagine. Falling sick on a trip is the worst thing to happen.

      Delete
  7. Very true, Renuka.
    Agree with all your points. Nicely shared.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Anita :) I'm glad you liked the post.

      Delete
  8. Research is very important and yes we cannot achieve everything we aim for. Usually when I plan for trips, I have must-see list and if-possible-visit list for the same reason. We cannot cover everything when we make a trip. Agree with all the points.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You are absolutely right that we don’t achieve all that you aim for but we should set out to achieve a lot. I agree that travel is a blend of fantasy and reality. These places look gorgeous and mesmerize us to visit there but we have to face many difficulties such as bad roads and sickness. But I think to visit the historical landmarks in hawaii is a great Idea to enjoy the vacations..

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...