There are several answers thrown at us when asked this question. “Soul searching, adventure, exotic lands, food trails, life and learning, spirituality”. Cut. This answer almost feels like a “When Harry Met Sally” spin-off, except that it is about travel.
For my family, travel was never a go-to thing, what with most of the family in the city! There would be the occasional four or five day trip once in two years, and almost always included temple visits (no complaints there, I love old temples and their history!It’s the crowded ones that I really like avoiding). An occasional tantrum once every year would make for a small trip to take me out somewhere! Maybe it was the inner craving that I had as a kid, to see new things, that is still in the back of my mind, that makes me yearn for more travel and new experiences.
When I came to the US for the first time, the charm of the airport was lost in my sorrow at leaving my family for the first time and anxiety of the unknown. It wasn’t until my first trip out of our small university town, that my love for airports grew. I love the hustle and bustle, the drama, the travel outfits, the small dogs in their bags and all the Facebook updates and Instagram selfies. That is also the only time you can ever read a magazine, completely guilt-free! Oh how I wish I had the money to travel to use up all the time in the world that I had then! My travel those two years were restricted to visiting relatives and making the occasional university organized tours and one very small road trip with room mates.
Each of us friends getting jobs in different cities, made for travelling easier, and fun! We would plan to meet at a different place each time! I never did get out of the budget-travel mode; let’s face it, for the amount of travel I wanted to do, I would have to be on a budget to be able to make it sustainable! That was another thing, the thrill of making travel plans to have the best experiences, but at the cheapest cost!
It’s different every time you make the trip to the same destination. Be it the itinerary, the people you go with, or the small experiences and anecdotes you make of them. And a very important factor to factor into all this discussion, the people who make it happen. There is always one friend who makes impossible plans, but figures out a way to bring that all together in an itinerary, one friend who brings everyone together and communicates ideas from one to another, creates groups on messaging platforms to connect and make plans, and one friend who keeps everyone crazy-excited and googly-eyed till and while the trip is made. Adding to that, a travel partner for life, who will make those trips that never clicked with a group, those smaller two-people kinda trips that have their own charm and one who will also help make new airport memories with you!
I am not one of those people who loves making travel plans to explore places, alone! So the question, “What is it about travel” can make for several answers, but boils down to two things for me- THE PEOPLE, and MEMORIES.