Reader's Blog

To travel is to live

I have been travelling since I was a baby. I flew for the first time from my birthplace to Chennai at just five months old. But the longer I explore the world, the more amazed it leaves me. I consider it all an adventure. Packing that fills your bags at the cost of turning the house upside down, that rush of anticipation as you board a flight or train, silently observing fellow travellers, teenagers engrossed in their phones, stressed office workers, and that one bawling baby that is an inescapable feature on all modes of transport.

I know people who think travelling is pointless. People who think it would be a waste of time and money to travel halfway across the world to see things that can be looked up within seconds on the internet. And I passionately disagree. Maybe you can see the Colosseum on Google. But can you experience it? Can you walk within its massive structure, feel the crumbling bricks, close your eyes and hear the clashes of swords and cries of the gladiators who once filled the place? Maybe you can see the Eiffel Tower in pictures. But unless you go there, will you be able to crane your neck and marvel at it? Climb the steps and admire buildings, people and problems getting smaller, be encased in the glittering lighting? Have dinner at the top as you observe the Paris nightlife come alive?

All of us know it is the journey that matters more than the destination. The harder the journey is, the sweeter the experience of your destination.

All of us know it is the journey that matters more than the destination. The harder the journey is, the sweeter the experience of your destination. I trekked seven kilometres to see the Thajiwas glacier in Kashmir, along the lushest greenery I have ever seen, which masked the deadliness of the steep and narrow paths. But everything was worth it when I glimpsed the breathtaking view in front of me — a pure sheet of snow on the side of a mountain in the middle of May, and a crystal-clear river flowing beneath it. Unless you have trekked those treacherous paths, lost your footing and your way, and finally reached the place, out of breath, your throat parched and face dripping with perspiration, you will be unable to experience and internalise the beauty around you fully.

Cheating will get you good marks. But it cannot give you the satisfaction and pride that hard work can give. Travelling is just like that. You can see the entire world on your computer screen. But you cannot live it.

So pack your bags, get out of the house, and explore. Go, experience what it feels like to be part of something bigger than yourself.

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J. Saadya (17) is a student of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Sr Sec School, Chennai.

J. Saadya

J. Saadya (17) is a student of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Sr Sec School, Chennai.