Too many people very casually throw around the word ‘wanderlust’ these days. There are travel bloggers that remind us every minute of the day, that we ought to be someplace else, some place far away from our routines, anywhere but on that stark cold desk you work at. Somewhere in the Himalayas, the Alps, or just sipping a cocktail in Santorini. Travelling to exotic places wasn’t a priority for a generation before ours, but today it is as essential as our next meal. We would rather travel the world than spend our lifetime saving up to buy the dream home or even worse, gold! So what exactly does one do when they travel? Some people like to look at monuments, some others look at the architecture; but a majority population goes by the book and simply covers every place on the check list of places you simply cannot miss at that particular destination- the 'touristy places', they call it. But do you ever really think about what you want to do for yourself? So much of your journey gets defined by the person you chose to go with, the places you visit and the decisions you take. The same trip at the same location can be drastically different if you change the dynamics that the trip depended on. And sometimes the journey can be an extra ordinarily satisfying experience. The kind that makes the actual destination almost inconsequential.
My entire trip to Coorg, Karnataka was one such tale. Listlessly gazing out of the window is something I have done all my life but only when I actually started writing for a living did it start making sense. I started treating it as fodder. A place to organise my thoughts (that was if I actually had any) or a place to just while away my time under the pretext of forming words or sentences that I would hopefully pen down later. Which rarely happens. I spent my entire Coorg trip glued to the window. The window seat of the bus we took to reach Madikeri, a small town in Coorg. The window seat of the plane. And the window seat of the car that carried us happily the next day for a tour of the city. My sister is a dreamer and that really helps because then we can dream alone- together, if you know what I mean. We don’t always need to talk and we don’t always need to acknowledge each other. I could almost be traveling alone. And she would still be there. With a scarf covering her face, the wind blowing her hair and a wayward glance far into the land that we pass through. She has always enjoyed nature. And I've always doubted it. I need music in my ears to elevate that experience. I don’t simply get that calm relaxed feeling when I zip past a waterfall. Or when I stare at a long patch of greenery or a set of coffee plantations for a reasonably long time . I need music. So I sat at my window seat for hours on end with my headphones plugged in to my ears. It would be quite stupid of me to say I was transported since I was already in a place which does not require any more transporting of the mind. But I dare say, I was. Music, and especially the right music can take you a zillion miles away, however far you’ve traveled. I saw unicorns and rainbows. Clouds with Katy Perry’s entire entourage dancing to California Girls on top. I saw Jane Austen’s characters come out of huts with demure, worried expressive faces and I also saw my favourite ‘Empress of Blandings’ in that intense patch of greenery. The only thing that was as constant as my head being dangerously stuck out of the window was the frequency with which we consumed coffee. I drank coffee like my life depended on it. And that wouldn’t be very surprising considering south Indians do make the best filter coffee you can ever hope to make. We stayed at a cute little home stay and I drove the owner crazy asking for coffee 5 times a day after consuming it in every place possible on the way.
There will always be that one song which takes you back to the exact time and place when you used to listen to it on loop a million times a day. For me that song was Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson. And as I sat at my window seat and mulled over the past few years in my head, I realized how quickly time has passed. Not always do we need a fancy cruise to experience wanderlust, a mind that travels can sometimes do it for you. Take you to that place you desired to reach right before you got on to that plane, take you there and bring you right back :)