No matter how close we get to technology (Pokémon Go anyone?), human beings need nature, they need other beings… other people, animals, trees, the beauty of all of it… Isn’t it ironic how we spend most of our lives in the conveniences of a metropolitan city and crave for natural beauty when we plan our vacation? I’ve heard the Alps are amazing. Tokyo has its own charm. We should go diving in Boracay. The cuisines in Hong Kong can give you a food coma. Drive along the Great Ocean Road anyone? It’s true that we always need a change from our current surroundings and that the grass looks greener on the other side but let’s face it… it’s the grass and its greenness that we crave for. After a few back to back vacations in concrete jungles, we need the lured-after cabin in the woods with nobody around. One of the main reasons Pokémon Go is a huge hit is because it has managed to blend technology with nature. The thrill of catching a virtual Pikachu in an unexplored territory is what is making the world go bonkers.
So what is it that we look for when we go on that perfect weekend getaway to the pristine beach? It’s the experiences. As clichéd as it may sound, but we need those moments to charge our batteries; to make us grow; for the realizations; to revisit and alter our paths towards our goals; to give us the much needed push to help us solve our problems and most importantly for the friendships we initiate and memories we capture along the way. So here’s an anatomy on why the wanderlust.
The food: Oh the food! Hailing from India, a country known to be crazy for its gastric chaos, I take my food seriously. There was a time when planning a holiday was more about sightseeing and trying local food was left to recommendations from ex-travellers and locals. However, with the internet boom finding the best places to eat is just a click away. Humans prefer a blend of both. Too much researching kills the purpose and the thrill of randomly entering that mouth-watering dim sum place in Kowloon is inexplicable. Good foods are known to boost your mood and who wouldn’t want to be upbeat on a holiday?
The visuals: Be it the cityscape or the breath-taking hills, we all yearn for beauty, for symmetry, perfection with a tinge of disruption. Our surroundings add to our memories which we capture in our minds and in our cameras. Have you realized that there would be times when you forget the name of the street or the beautiful structure but relate to it with a description wrapped around your memory? That cobbled lane with stunning graffiti, the dome-shaped museum with solid pillars… Humans relate to visuals more than they do to names and numbers which usually fade away with time. It’s these visuals that are embedded in your minds for life and flash before you in an instant as you revisit that memory lane of yours.
The luxury: Be it a beautiful resort spread across acres of land or a cozy cottage along the river, we look for a perfect accommodation. The primary reason for choosing that perfect place to stay apart from accessibility to the major attractions in town is to get that uplift of staying somewhere so good where everything is taken care of for you and all you need to focus on is making the most of your time building beautiful memories to foster. You are on a holiday after all… Who needs to get stuck searching for a breakfast joint around the block when you got room service at your disposal, albeit I personally prefer getting lost in town… Finalizing a place to stay is a personal choice bound by monetary constraints. It’s subjective on what the place has to offer and what you wish to absorb out of it. The perfect combination is possible only when you know what you want… A relaxing spa session by the pool or a splash under the waterfall?
The people: These are the little dots which connect to you to create your memory web. You might not remember that coffee you had at that little cafe in Sydney but an exchange of experiences with a local or a fellow traveler will be etched in your mind for life. Each being has his own story to tell and the opportunities to bond are limitless, be it a quick 5-minute exchange or dinner and drinks together. With these exchanges, you realize that all of us are not that different and are experiencing similar joys and struggles in life. This feeling is liberating. It makes you feel good. It makes your problems seem smaller than before and most importantly it pumps you with energy, much needed to fix the broken, finish the incomplete and pursue something new.
Each place isn’t perfect. Some cities have efficient transportation but a terrible weather. Some towns welcome you with open arms but may close early and thus lack a vibrant nightlife. Some are chaotic and unsafe. The list goes on. As you explore places, you will beautifully unravel your needs and what each place has to offer. If it’s an “almost” perfect match then who knows, you might just move there someday. The decision is yours. The choice is yours. Make a move. Take that stride. Leap. Learn. Live.
The best part about going places is the novelty in you as a person after you return. Your home is going to remain the same but you will be a different person than before every time you head back. Your perspective towards life alters with every interesting experience you garner and with every new person you meet. For some, traveling is an escapade from the hustle-bustle of the home city, for some, it’s the rush one gets from the unknown and for some, it’s the much-needed peace of mind. It’s a way of meditating. It clears your head and definitely motivates you to go for a workout after an exciting gastric ride… So yeah it’s healthy as well. Pack your bags and get moving, will you?