Category Archives: travel lessons

What if the Indian education system appreciated and acknowledged travel

I am a big fan of my country India. As an Indian, I do not know as much about my country as I should.  Not my fault entirely India is vast and diverse.

I am on a mission. To explore every bit about India for a lifetime. However, this makes me ponder on the education I received in school.

Would it have helped if my education system was a bit different? 

When I was in class 4, my first lesson in geography taught me about astronauts, the moon and space. I was  fascinated by it all. I came home and told my mom- Maa- I want to become an astronaut! They are cool people. But then, in my next chapter, I moved to understanding the tidal waves.

After every classroom learning, every chapter had  questions in terms of fill in the blanks, chronological order, brief answers. Those were the easy ones. Some teachers would ask those in the exams. Sometimes, there were some surprise questions that would come from anywhere outside the textbook! Nostalgic about those times. Eh?

The school textbooks of history taught me more about the independence struggle than stories of its people.Patriotism was drilled in me and I loved reading India’s independence struggle. Gandhi and Nehru were my heroes.

How awesome would it been if I understood the meaning of the quote said by Mahatma Gandhi- ‘India lives in her villages while I was still a 10-year-old.

If I were taken to a village would I have understood the issues of the country better than learning from a textbook?

How awesome would it have been if I were taken to the Prince of Whales Museum in Mumbai to understand the Indus Valley Civilisation?

Would it have been nicer if learning happened outside my classroom?

Would it have been better if I travelled to a place, saw the diversity of India while I was still in school?

If this happened in schools in India:-

Perhaps, the myth about India not being safe would have busted.

Perhaps, children would appreciate India more – its culture, art, history and agriculture among other things.

Perhaps, parents would not put their children in coaching classes with the sole mission to enroll them to in an IIT- Indian Institute of Technology to become an engineer.

Perhaps, I would have developed a thought process from an early age and would have seen things from a different perspective.

Perhaps, I would have a better understanding of  the leanings and opportunities in what we called rural India which comprises 60 % of our population.

Perhaps, I would have been better informed and would be able to question the practices in the media.

Learn when you travel through experiential learning. 

Even today, there is limited scope for experiential learning in a classroom environment. How nice would it have been if children were taken to a place where they traveled and learnt through experiential learning.

If there was a School of Travel in our country that would have catered to teaching children while travelling!

Gap Year?

In India, a gap year is  not much appreciated.  A year for travel or to explore yourself? That cost’s so much money! Perhaps, an iPhone would be a better bet. Eh?

We Indian’s do not travel for travel’s sake. Yes, times have been changing.More and more people are taking up travel as a career. Both men and women alike have been travelling. Would have been nicer, if the seeds were sown at an early age.

I only wish I knew about the benefits of travel and experiential learning  when I was a child. the education system will change someday. Maybe, I am an idealist. Maybe, I am an optimist.

However, I will not want my children to fall prey to  the education system and classroom learning which I was a victim of

Who knows, someday I will  have my own travel school.

The world is a classroom.

 

Why you should experience stillness while you travel

Around this time last year, I was chilling in Goa. Every time the hobo thinks about the trip, she gets nostalgic!

Goa, like I always say is a state of mind. There are times when I am working from my laptop but my mind is in Goa. The slow and  laid back life is what I yearn for.

See the waves pass by, listen to the tranquility of the water, let the breeze hit you. More so, travel solo and be by yourself at the beach.

Being at the beach has been rewarding and enriching for me.  I have gained inspiration from the waves, have learnt to never give up and to go with flow.


In another experiential travel trip, I disconnected from the world and lived without technology for five days without a phone, laptop, internet or a camera. This was my own black-hole resort.  This time, I was one with myself.  Living without technology was  like vipassana  for the mind.
You know that feeling when you want to seek solace,  just be at a place and not do anything at all?! So YOU do know what I am talking about.


Me and the world out there
Me and the world out there

I have never spoken about the top 10 things to do in a place or do not believe in making a list of places I want to see on this blog. Know why?

It is simply because no travel or destination can quantify the experiences that you embark on the go. Personally, those kind of pointers are great from a research point of view. You will surely know what to expect from a destination.

However, every once in a while, leave that list behind and experience stillness.  Travel without a plan and I can vouch that you will be surprised by what you encounter, experience and embark.


You DO NOT have to travel for a fortnight or  months to experience that stillness. Sometimes, the two days are enough.

HOW to experience stillness? Or HOW to go without a plan? I would only say- Trust yourself , your journey and listen to the voice inside you!

YOU dear fellow traveler, will get the answer.

Love,

Nostalgic Hobo

 

 

 

 

How was the Yatra for you? More so, how does it feel to be back?

Yatra

ya·tra

/ˈyätrə/

noun

Meaning: A procession or pilgrimage, especially one with a religious purpose- Powered by the Oxford Dictionary.    

Perhaps, the Oxford dictionary got the meaning of Yatra wrong. Eventually, you will know why.


Exactly a month before, I got an opportunity to travel in one of the most bizarre ways! It has been a fortnight that I am back to my “normal” life. At times, when I am sleeping on my bed and have all the comforts around me, getting up in the morning hasn’t been the same.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I am up- Why is my bed not moving?! Why is it so peaceful around me.  Why do I not hear people shouting Chai Chai? (Tea, tea).

Why do I NOT hear the sound of a moving train! I sound like a retard eh?

That is a glimpse of the madness!
This is a glimpse of the madness!

If this was not enough, I do not have a sleeping bag with me where I am nicely tucked in, nor can I wake up my cohort with singing random songs. (I used to also open the sleeping bags of my cohort, put my cold hands on their face- that was the only way some of them would wake up! Oh and I was a facilitator, responsible for ensuring 5 people in my cohort were up and ready on time. Apart from easing the process of living in a train for 15 days!)

Continue reading How was the Yatra for you? More so, how does it feel to be back?

15 quotable quotes from 15 days of traveling 8000kms and seeing India from a train

 May you spare 15 days from 365 days?


15 days. It took me 15 days to learn and unlearn.  While I keep saying I am a big fan of my country and India has so much to offer, I got this validated by being a participant or as we all are fondly called-  Yatris as a part of  Jagriti Yatra. The organisation aims at building India through enterprise.  A 15 day train journey, spread over 8000 kms that takes you to 12 cities/districts in a train.  Observations, peer learnings, discipline are all a part of this experiential learning.

Jagruti Yatra

For a  fortnight, you are bound by a train and eventually, whether you like it or not, the train becomes your home. Those of you who know me, are aware of my fascination with the Indian trains.

Continue reading 15 quotable quotes from 15 days of traveling 8000kms and seeing India from a train

Meeting Paris in a small town of India

When iVolunteered

I lived technology free for five days. By living technology free I mean I traveled solo without using a phone, camera and internet! I do not want to tell which place I go to when I need to be with myself. However, I am always here to share my experiences and more so how I felt. In these five days, about 9 hours- spread over two days, I spent volunteering. Getting up at 4.30 in the morning, I was present at the western canteen where I assisted in making sandwiches for 1000 delegates who were a part of an international conference. (Western canteen- the place I remotely talk about serves food which foreigners are used to eating.  It is not spicy, bland unlike the food we are used to eating in India. Volunteers from all across the world come here to help in cutting fruits vegetables, making meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are cookies, salads, desserts, exotic vegetables, pizzas and pastas among many other dishes that are available here at a subsidised rate- with just bearing the minimum cost of food. For example a cookie in Starbucks that would cost me 150 bucks or more, is served here for Rs 12.) Continue reading Meeting Paris in a small town of India

How traveling solo for five days without using technology shaped my perspectives.

Use and abuse of technology


As much as I use technology, I despise it too. It was just two and a half years ago, I got myself a smartphone  and came on  whatsapp. (Well, some of my friends were so fed up with me and one of them even wanted to gift me a smart-phone because he probably knew I would not buy one myself)

But those were the days of the past. I have been using and abusing different means of technology. Now, I can say that I am a whatsapp and Facebook addict. I need my phone with me and I may suffer from nomophobia- the fear of loosing or not having my phone with me.

Smartphones

@mariascrivan

Good old days without a mobile


But hey! Once upon a time, I did not have a phone. I was able to manage things well. People were able to communicate with me.  I had real friends and meaningful conversations with them than the virtual world. I was happier than as well. And thus, as a personal experimentation, I wanted to disconnect myself with a mobile phone, laptop and a camera and re connect with self. Continue reading How traveling solo for five days without using technology shaped my perspectives.

How bird-watching and spotting some Flamingos helped me break some stereotypes.

I am not a morning person. I love to see a sunrise, but would seldom get up in the morning for the same!

The few times I have seen the rising sun is when I have been up all night.  Never by choice, I have woken up in the morning. I know I a missing out on something. I am dumb. I know that too.


Having visited Varanasi, I have not seen the sunrise at the ghats. George Clooney talked about how beautiful the sunrise looks from the Ganges in the movie Galaxy. I have been to the holy city about four times now. I feel Varanasi is a much hyped city. I did not like the dramatic and the poetic Ganga aarti.  No offense meant. But this post isn’t about that.


This post is about me breaking my stereotypes and trying something different.

I love nature, but I am more of a beach person. Water does that to me, what mountains do to people.

I am also not so much into birds and animals. I love human beings. How much ever twisted we  are, I love the way we feel, express and survive. Darwin got it right. Continue reading How bird-watching and spotting some Flamingos helped me break some stereotypes.