A story of my layover in Cairo, in Marathi!
It all started with Venice, my first solo trip. After 100th or so unsuccessful attempt of a failed euro trip plan with friends, I was torn in between “This is too scary to do it alone” and “F$$k it! I am going anyway!” Scrolling down the Instagram, I saw a photo of Venezia lagoon in the sunset and I instantly opted for the second option. I booked the tickets in such a way that I would also attend a hackathon, a solid cover in case the trip went south (it surely did, but only geographically!). The trip was a test for: Do you enjoy your own company? And I passed with flying colours! The freedom of visiting places the way you want, meeting new people and listening to their experiences or just sitting alone quietly along the beach, watching the sunset and peering down your own reflection. I just got addicted!
There is no denying in the fact that when you click a photo and post in on social sites like Instagram, it is for the sake of likes. To make your friends jealous about how you are having the time of your life. When someone created a post about a quiet village in the Netherlands where there are no cars, it was an instant hit (especially among the wealthy Chinese). Tourists started flocking and completely changed the whole dynamics of Giethoorn. Now, instead of cars, you get stuck in a traffic jam of boats. The Dutch government tried controlling the over-tourism, their effects were as feeble as stopping a tsunami with a sand wall. But Giethoorn is just one example in the new swarm of travel destinations, catering to the demand of “geotag” hype: Everyone wants a photo of the same particular spot with its map location in the post! Honestly, I was no exception to this!
It all changed when I started writing about my experiences. I used to hate academic writing. Why blabber for 1000 words when you can just say that the British colonialism was bad. Although, I loved (and still love) History and Geography! When I visited Venice, it felt like the books have come alive. After a certain point, I ditched my itinerary and let myself be lost. The city is so expressive and artistic, it could even force an insipid guy to write! And so it did!! But when I was writing about it, I remembered how it felt to be lost, yet somehow be on the right path. It was indeed a mind blown moment.
“Travels With Charley” by John Steinbeck is one of my favourite books. This travelogue depicts his solo travels across America and has undoubtedly been my inspiration for this blog too! One of my favourite quotes from the book also contains my most favourite word - Vacilando. The author says: “In Spanish, there is a word for which I can’t find a counterword in English. It is the verb vacilar, present participle vacilando. It does not mean vacillating at all. If one is vacilando, he is going somewhere, but does not greatly care whether or not he gets there, although he has direction.”
What would you prefer if given a choice? Follow the geotag, or wander aimlessly?
My adventures in France: Mount Saleve and Paris
My adventures in Swtizerland: Geneva and CERN
Travelogue of Munich, in Marathi
My Travels in Italy: Trieste and Elettra Synchrotrone
I am going to try avoiding the Tourist Guide-ish information. For travel itineraries and must-visit places, I followed google trips, lonely planet and Wikitr...