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How travel shaped me: Nostalgia! May 26, 2012

For me, vacations are about travel and there is nothing as exciting as planning a trip somewhere. My mum is an avid traveler and even on scanty budgets, we traveled quite a bit when I was young. Living away from family meant trips to Goa and Bangalore were normal. But we took an annual trip to someplace else as well. I remember coming awake in an open jeep to a watch a magnificent white peacock dancing at Kanha National Park. Car breakdowns near Kota, at an obscure village in Hassan district on our way to Belur-Halebidu temples are specially memorable as a child. I was happy to sit idle at strange places while people around me fretted and stressed out! Once, we drove through the Chambal Valley and dad could not have enough of trying to scare us with dakoo (bandit) stories!
The exposure of travel is priceless indeed and many observations regarding culture, environment, art, architecture and human behaviour stay with us because they came to us when we were busy having fun- traveling!
I fell in love with India’s heritage because I traveled to many major and minor sites as a child and young adult. I That I went on to study architecture and took a certificate in conservation during my masters in planning is no coincidence, in hindsight!
No experience was too harsh either! We slept on the station platform once and got thrown off a train another time, literally with bags and baggage going plonk, plonk, plonk at regular intervals down the platform as the ticket collector pushed them off a moving train! I can laugh now, but I remember that as a long, long night. That we plodded on despite obstacles clearly imparted some life skills. Despite travel anxiety, I can convince myself to let go and am confident things will work out and the usually do!
June is the travel month for our family. Cannot wait for it to begin!

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