09 Jul Travel is always worth it
When is the best time to travel or the right amount of it ? it may not come. But does It mean one holds off ? One makes the most of it and one still goes ahead, unless its wholly impractical.
One will be glad after its done that one did it , even though it wasn’t the ideal amount of time or the best season to go . One will be glad that one had a taste of something one had been wanting to taste , even if it wasn’t a full cup. And having whetted one s appetite one can go back.
The best is the enemy of the good my tutor at Oxford once told me.
It is rarely the same experience anyway . But the sensations, the moments, especially the Oh My God moments , the sights , smells, experiences, the learning will be invaluable each time as will he variety of it .
Paris , where this is being penned, every quartier has a different feeling, a rich experience. The Latin Quarter has the Sorbonne , Boulevard Raspail, the student areas , the leftist, intellectual air , the Jardin de Luxembourg, the Cafes where the likes of Sartre and Camus hung out . The Champs Elysees has its elegant air , the fancy shops and restaurants , the feeling that one has come to the fashion capital of the world and women fitting the image of a la mode. Palais Royale, Rue de Rivoli, Montmartre – all have their special feeling. All are equally Paris and one is none the less richer for having experienced one of them . Paris may merit a visit of a week or two but if all one has is a week end , it is still worth it . Better to do that than to put off discovery till circumstances become ideal . One may be at a different point in one’s evolution then or just in a different mood. One will have missed the experience of the earlier visit for a theoretical perfect.
My son went on a school trip to the sand dunes of Rajasthan and slept under the stars , in the desert. Shifting sands made up his bed and he slept without anything below or over him. It was an indescribable experience and he talks about it still.
Throw the celestial dice at random and it ll fall at so many places that are as interesting as they are educative.
The Bramhaputra river in Assam , which is so wide in many places that even with binoculars the other end cannot be sighted , ferries laden with trucks, animals and supplies are used to cross in places where there are no bridges. On either side there are vast tea estates interspersed with tall trees at regular intervals to hold them in place.
Tawang the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama in Arunachal Pradesh north of Assam with its gilded ancient monastery which is reached after crossing Himalayan passes of more than 14000 feet which are snow covered in all seasons.
The railway journey from Oslo to Bergen – from West to East Norway across the breadth of the country, an extraordinary feat of engineering, especially at the time it was done, which goes past extraordinary vistas of fjords with very high mountains right next to them , hill houses perched alone on tops of impossible cliffs.
One can click pictures as souvenirs, as reminders of moments experienced but one has to travel to live them.