Thoughts on Travel

Guest post by Helene.

As we prepare for our new adventure, we spend a lot of time reading online resources.

We’re big fans of a forum known as India Mike, for one. India Mike, in many ways, is the Indian equivalent of Raoul’s China Saloon: it brings together a community of people (Indians, expatriates and travelers) who hold a genuine interest for India, and who trade info, travel tips, photos, and stories in a friendly atmosphere.

One-Armed BabaThe general attitude on India Mike is the opposite of that of the vast majority of travel bloggers, who attempt to showcase the exotic side of a destination for the benefit of readers who will most likely never visit it.

Even the very best travel blogs are written by travelers who merely pass through a country, and then explain it to people who don’t travel much. In writing for their target audience, they maintain the point of view of a stranger. It creates a distance: those they visit are the odd ones, not them! They do not truly experience the place, and thus they fail to embrace the fact they they are the ‘weird ones’…

Now, we love to share our travel experiences with friends and family, of course! But that’s not why we travel. We travel because want to understand the world, and ourselves… It’s impossible to explain everything. Many times, we only begin to understand a long time after we’ve experienced something. It took us a good year to even begin to process our three years of living in Shanghai!

We can’t explain everything that has changed with our personalities and our worldview. Some things have become so “normal” for us that we have a hard time imagining that they have not always been this way.

If life is change, then travel is life at a hundred miles per hour!

We have to constantly learn. To pull yourself out of your routine is the best way to learn who you are, and what you can accomplish.

What we’d really like is for you to join us “on the ground”… Two hours in India are worth a large pile of novels and essays! If we can but tempt you to go see by yourselves, whether India or another country that interests you, then we will have succeeded!

What did you think of the pictures above? Do you find them fascinating? What we find fascinating is not that we see these things in India, but rather that they surprise no one. They are normal…

Rickshaw-Wallah

Photo credits:

  1. Champaner Road(c) Luca Belis
  2. One Armed Baba (c) Sama of India Mike. The “one-armed baba” has kept his right arm up in the air for decades in devotion to Shiva.
  3. Sound Sleep or Levitation?(c) Lucas Belis

All photos are taken from collections on India Mike.

About Daniel Roy

Daniel is a writer, backpack foodie, slow traveler, and endurance runner. He is the author of the upcoming book, "The Way of Slow Travel: A Hands-On Guide to the Best Travel of Your Life."

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