Packed Bag. Open Hearts. Ways to know that you were born to travel.

From Cherrapunji to Chicago, the roaming heart wants, what it wants.

Budget cannot slay the dream, time cannot withhold it. Whether you find other kindred spirits or not, when a man- or a woman – has got to go, they just got to go.

If you answer to the description above, then you are that rare breed of human, who can’t be contained by national boundaries, language is not a barrier for you, different food is not daunting, it’s just a new experience, alien culture only piques your interest further and you make friends as you go along. You are a born traveller.

The Journey is the Joy

The first and classic tell-tale sign that you are a born traveller, is this- You enjoy the journey as much as you know you will enjoy the destination. From the moment you applied for leave and booked your tickets, your days are spent in a happy blur counting up to the day of the travel. It doesn’t matter where you are going or how you are going. You don’t mind getting up at an unholy hour for that 3:00 am international flight or the long check in before that. You don’t mind the hustle and bustle of Indian railways, when you have chai and assorted delicacies from different cities of India to keep you company along the way. Your weekend getaways from Mumbai to Khandala, Bangalore to Coorg or Delhi to Mussourie is not an arduous, tiring drive at all. It’s filled with stopping at dhabas to collecting memories along the way.

You connect everything to a get-away

You’re in the office, you’re in your thirties- or forties- (come to think of it, does age even matter?). While the grown up in you tries to make sense of excels, ppts and emails, the child in you is already off on the next adventure. A plant-box on a colleague’s nearby desk reminds you of the paddy field of South India. Someone at home, mentions tea and you think of Assam, in a bookstore you walk straight to the travel section.

Most of all you know that this dream vacation will come to fruition; because true travellers know that you never take a trip; a trip takes you.

You cannot remember a time you didn’t want to travel

Ever since you were a child you knew you wanted to travel.

You diligently watched travel shows when others were watching MTV. You envied Ian Wright his job and the theme song of Lonely Planet gives you the goose bumps to this day. The Summer vacations were awaited not as a welcome respite from school but from the boredom of the same old sights and scenes, because the beginning of summer meant going on another new adventure. You always sat next to the driver’s seat. In your mind you were always the brave Captain Kirk, boldly going where no man had gone before. Jules Verne fired your imagination as you tried to enact Around the World in 80 Days or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The bathtub was your ship, the couch your plane, your dog was your trusty companion as off you went to explore new lands. But even as a child you knew that one day you will not need to rely solely on imagination, one day you will actually visit the places you have only read about.

You take your parent’s sensible investment advice with a pinch of salt

Your dad keeps giving you all these really sensible investment advice, “If I were making as much money as you do, I’d buy a second / third house”, “Put money in gold, will help you when your little girl grows up, it’ll help with her marriage”, “The money you spend on travelling alone every year will buy you a bigger, better car”. To all of these well intentioned gems of wisdom dispensed by friends and family, you simply shake your head and smile. Little do they know, the one home you have looks lovelier when you come back to it after your travels. You’re investing in something so much more valuable than gold when you travel with your little girl. You are earning memories with her, she is learning valuable lessons. Because when all is said and done, our experiences make us who we are, and what better way to experience this crazy, chaotic, diverse, intimidatingly beautiful world that we live in, except to travel.

So you know who you are.
You, the one with wander lust. You, the intrepid adventurer. You, who can say hello in 20 different languages. You, who knows better than others that no matter what our apparent differences, we are all the same. Because you haven’t just read or heard, you have lived and you have experienced.

You know who you are.
You are the born traveller.

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