Back in the 90s, travelling during my childhood was all about family trips. Travelling in a train with a bunch of folks which ensured I always saw familiar faces around me. Carefree about everything around and just looking out of the window and feeling the fresh air. Fast forward to 2018 and travelling has become more of a solo affair. Blame the hectic work schedules that have taken away the month-long vacations I had in school. Travelling today means a quick 2-3 day getaway to a distant place away from the concrete jungle. The only difference between how I travelled during my childhood and today is that the train has been replaced by flights and suitcases have been replaced by back packs.
Gone are the days when striking a conversation and making a ‘train-waala-friend’ was much easier, today people are best friends with their iPads and laptops. Every individual travels for a reason. Be it a well planned holiday, an impromptu getaway or a quick business meet. When I joined work, I thought I would be travelling a good deal, but that wasn’t the case. Thanks to my love for food and excitement of meeting new people, I still travel. I decided to #SayYesToTheWorld with Forks and Folks – My Travel Inspirations.
Saying yes to the world with Forks
Born in Uttar Pradesh, brought up in Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka, if you see me having plain rice with curd for lunch, don’t be surprised. That’s what I’ve learnt after spending 4 years in southern part of India. From my childhood days when I only wanted Paranthas to today when I want to try everything on the menu. I’d admit that saying Yes – to Food – has brought in a fresh spice in my life. I wouldn’t want to hang around with you if you ordered Idli Sambhar for breakfast when in Amritsar. I’m serious. Whenever I travel to a new place, food apart from visiting the well-known places is always on the agenda. (Read the only agenda)
I haven’t been to any other place except India, but the plethora of food items the country has I can imagine the variety on offer across the borders. The Kashmiri Kawha, Dal Makhni from the North, the Sandesh and Momos from the East, Fafda and Jalebi along with Pav Bhaji from the West and Paysam and Dosa from the South. These are just a few of the lip smacking items you can find in India. One place that is long on my bucket list is France. I’ve studied French for almost 7 years and learnt about the culture too. Would want to get out of the text-book and explore the ancient and marvellous alleys of Paris and Nice and treat myself with some of the best breads and cheeses in the world ! Being open to trying out local food dishes is not only a treat for your taste buds but you also learn a lot about the culture of a place. Food is one thing that is tightly coupled with the history and culture of a place and hence Fork is my first inspiration to travel.
Spending time with Folks
Ever experienced asking directions to someone and then that someone takes you around the entire city ? Even their house for a delicious meal ! I’m sure not many would be ready for such a thing in today’s scenario. This happened about 5 years back when I visited Chandigarh. All alone in a new city, just had a delicious breakfast and asking for direction / ways to reach the sukhna lake. Met this person who was ready to take me there and asked me to join him. That was the moment when I said yes and joined him. And trust me there’s no regret in doing that. He not only took me to Sukhna lake but also to other parts of the city before treating me with a delicious dinner at his house. You don’t find such people today !
Even in this age of technology and virtual socialization, there are a handful of people who are interested in breaking the virtual boundaries and reaching out to people in reality. And fortunately I’m one of them. Talking to strangers and meeting new people is my forte. Thanks to blogging that has helped me meet like-minded people outside of the virtual world. The video above, is the proof for that – when I met some of the finest bloggers in Kochi. When you talk to localites you learn not only about their culture but also their routine and struggles. And if you interested in learning new languages like me, then spending time with locals will be helpful. From learning Telugu Raadu to Khamma Gani, meeting new folks have surely helped me a realise that there’s a lot more to the world !
Forks and Folks – My Inspiration to Travel
Being open and Saying Yes to the world is a great thing when it comes to travelling. It helps you to see things which you won’t otherwise and with that you learn to love the world around you. I’ve fortunate to have travelled to so many places and learnt so much about the rich cultural heritage of places. And that too just in India. With an area of just above 500 Million Square Kilometres and a population of over 7 Billion, imagine the variety of food and people you are yet to meet ! Sounds exciting doesn’t it ? So pack your bags and start exploring. Trust me there’s so much to the world that you haven’t seen. This is what exactly Lufthansa is trying to convey from its latest campaign #SayYesToTheWorld and experience the change it brings to your lives ! That’s about my travel inspirations, what inspires you to travel ? Mention in the comments below to tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj