In 2013, I entered the 10th year of blogging. Looking back it is a journey that opened so many doors and windows for me. It expanded my world vision multifold giving me multiple perspectives. This journey changed my identity from that of a software professional to a travel writer or writer in general. An identity that I never imagined I would have when I was growing up, at least not consciously. Yes, I used to read a lot even then. So it is possible that somewhere subconsciously I nurtured that dream of writing. Now for the Reflections from 2013 – the year as it was for me and this blog.
Reflections from 2013
Through the year, I wrote about all the travels I did this year. At the end of the year or shall I say at the beginning of the new year I wanted to share my reflections on the ‘Travel’ and how it impacts us and hence the world. Many years back I had read about Atal Behari Vajpayee’s speech that said ‘Tourism is an antidote for terrorism’ and I could not agree more. It is very difficult to dislike the people whom you have visited. There is a natural understanding that develops for the region and its people once you have visited them. You start understanding their context, their ethos, and their problems. No wonder, the concept of Yatra or travel was so well integrated into our ancient learning systems and lifestyles.
To me lately, travel is the way to build trust that is depleting in the world. My biggest insights on travel have come from being a part of the Couchsurfing community. Where I hosted absolute strangers from around the world in my home and a few times lived at other couch surfers’ home during my travels. I cannot think of a bigger example of human trust where for no gain; you open your heart and your home to a complete stranger. You tell someone I trust you and you contribute to building trust in human society. So, I realize, Travel has a far higher meaning than a lifestyle activity it is perceived to be. And I am getting inclined to consciously work towards it.
Travel wise two highlights of this year were snorkeling in Malaysia and 7 days on Luxury train Deccan Odyssey. I spoke on all three fields on mine – On Innovation at various colleges and Universities, on travel at CII Travel Fest conference in Chandigarh. And on Books at the Publishing next conference in Goa. The usual writing for blogs and print publications, media coverage and other speaking engagements happened this year too.
Personally, this was a year when a lot of backroom work happened that should hopefully come to the forefront in 2014. I shall keep sharing with you as soon as the developments reach a stage of sharing. Thanks to Reflections from 2013, Look forward to 2014.
Thank you for being a part of my journey.
Here is wishing the world with less cynicism and more acceptance for all of us, this year and every year.