Oct 9, 2013

What Does Travelling Mean To Me.

When I look around and begin to long for something out of the ordinary, the urge to travel begins. 

It may start with frantically clicking for cheap air tickets, or hearing a train announcement heading to a faraway destination, or idly toying with the thought of taking the plunge.
Whatever it is, take a deep breath and step out the door.

For me, how I get there is a huge part of the journey. 

Settling into an air plane seat, fidgeting in the car seat with friends, whooping on the back of a beat up bike, zooming along narrow windswept coastal roads, dozing on a rattling bus, drinking in the scenery from a trundling train, breathing in diesel fumes on a speedboat or tuktuk, all with the happy anticipation of What Lies Ahead.

Travelling means plonking myself somewhere out of my comfort zone, to see how small I am in the world out there, to remind myself that I’m not a special snowflake, to show myself how little I know.

Travelling is also a relaxing of the tightness around the shoulders, a sigh of relief, a squinting in the sunlight, knowing while my colleagues slog away in their grey cubicles, I’m right here.

I travel so I can meet new people. 

I travel with old friends so the friendship is refuelled and burns longer.
Writing about travel is another matter entirely. Words can make a place come to life, well-angled pictures stir longing within the reader’s heart. One post leads to another, and travel writing can restart the economy for a sleepy old town. 

It spreads the world that such a wonderful experience exists, it brings livelihood to entire communities, giving a little boy a pair of new shoes, patching a roof for the monsoon season ahead, and on a more personal note, it gives the writer something to remember.

Being able to tell stories and revisit it over and over again, that’s the very point of travel writing. 
These tranquil Kuala Selangor photos were taken on a spontaneous two-day road trip with some band-mates. We went on the wrong season, most of the rice paddies were harvested already, so all that's left is brownish muddy stalks. 

Who cares. 

The beautiful wide open space, dotted with coconut trees and malay kampung houses (these places really do exist!) made me want to pick up a paintbrush again.  
Crunchy sweet potato puffs at Kuantan. the least touted spots reveal the most surprises. 
Take a deep breath; go ahead.

Travelling means making the most of your self. So much have been written about travelling, so many writing blogs out there, encouraging you to take the leap, travel the world. 

Reality doesn't exactly allows us the luxury of job-quitting decisions, but what we can do is open up ourselves to see how far we can go. Even a  new detour into the home city is an adventure in itself. 

Go ahead. See someplace new. Open your eyes wide to see what the world, your country, even what your neighbourhood has to offer. You'll be surprised. I'm constantly surprised. 

Bon Voyage! 

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