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Lessons that Travelling Teaches you


In Te Anau, New Zealand

In Te Anau, New Zealand

Glacier hike in Franz Josef galcier, New Zealand

Glacier hike in Franz Josef galcier, New Zealand

Glenorchy, Scotland

Glenfinnan viaduct, Scotland

In beautiful Bali

In beautiful Bali

In the first 25 years of my life, I barely travelled- I lived a content life in India spending most of my time between Chennai and Bangalore, travelling to a few nearby places. I started travelling in earnest after I started working in ICICI-initially within India, then outside of India. Now I am an intrepid traveller. When I travelled out of India for the first time, I wanted to see as many places as possible. In the past 20 years, I have visited about 25 countries. In the early years of my travel, I wanted to go on a ticking off spree. Some places and things that spring to mind in this ticking off spree are the enchanted island of Bali, the South island in New Zealand, the glens and lochs of Scotland, the romance of Istanbul, the quaintness and fading grandeur of Venice, the natural beauty of North Eastern United States, the eternal spring weather of California and the mind boggling beauty of Hawaii. I am not into ticking off anymore- I visit some places over and over again at the cost of visiting newer places- I can live with that. There are still a few places I want to visit that I haven’t travelled to so far- the Canadian Rockies, Yellowstone national park, the Grand canyon, Ecuador, Brazil, South Africa, Greece, Jordan, Egypt and Cambodia- I hope I can visit them before my time on Earth is up. My time now is taken up between Singapore where I live, India, where my parents live, North Eastern United States where my daughter lives and where my brother used to live till a few months ago and Bali where we want to live- that doesn’t leave me with much time to visit other places.

The most memorable trip I went on was a 50-day long trip to the US last year when I ostensibly went to drop my daughter off at college but stayed on, travelling and visiting friends and relatives across the length and breadth of the US.

The high points of this trip were the 3 days that I spent in the beautiful town of Hanover in New Hampshire chasing early fall colours in the White Mountains and the two weeks that I spent in California and Hawaii. Hawaii is this lovely string of isolated volcanic islands that sit in the middle of nowhere, though they belong to the US. I spent about 10 days in upcountry Maui in a wonderful yoga retreat run by a quirky architectural designer from mainland USA. Hawaii deserves the epithet of ‘heavenly’- it is a place of stunning natural beauty and geographical diversity ranging from lush tropical rain forest to alpine shrubs; from turquoise beaches to majestic volcanic craters. My trip was absolutely relaxing and rejuvenating at the same time.

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Renuka Vaidyanathan, an erstwhile finance professional, opted out of the corporate rat race and now likes to think that she wears many interesting hats. She is an events’ organiser in the cultural space and also writes every now and then about people, places and events. She is an avid advocate of 'green living' and dabbles in some sitar-playing as well, albeit as an amateur.

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2 thoughts on “Lessons that Travelling Teaches you

  1. Kritika Srinivasan

    Hi Renuka

    It would be interesting to hear from you what you think children can learn from travel. You mention that travelling has taught you some important lessons, can we teach our children anything through travelling? For my part, I think the biggest thing that travelling teaches children is to, as you rightly mention, accept other cultures and lifestyles as equally valid and important as our own and to open their minds to differences. It does not even have to be a foreign country – just going to a different state within India can help break stereotypes and teach children to appreciate and celebrate differences.

    Reply

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