‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER.'- Mark Twain.
This quote by Mark Twain pretty much summarises the thoughts that are going through my head at the moment. These days, travel is what is foremost on my mind most of the time and that is what I am most passionate about. Twenty years from now, I do not want to be disappointed by the things that I wanted to do but didn’t or the places that I wanted to visit and didn’t!
For the past few years, my life’s plans have been to first travel around India and see as much as I can of my beautiful country before I go abroad and explore the rest of the world and its different cultures. For the past few months though I seem to be veering off course- no longer on the path of my aforementioned plans but instead now what I really want to do is backpack across Europe with my best friend. Ah well!
The Europe plan started to take shape in my head when my friend found out that she had got into college in London. That was when we had this discussion on how I would go visit her and we could backpack across Europe together. After that particular discussion, I would start planning trips around India but my mind would invariable end up wandering across Europe with my friend. That was when I realized that I really wanted to do just that, and I thought the first step towards getting there was to tell my parents. My parents heard me out and were quite supportive about my plan- not surprising at all since they know by now that I have a serious case of wanderlust.
Obviously I don’t earn enough to do this trip on my own and my dad is going to ‘loan’ me the money (one of the many ‘loans’ that I have taken from him in the past couple of years to go on my trips!).On my part, I have decided to start giving up on the material things in life and live ‘frugally’ for the next nine months, to save up as much as I can with the little that I make. So, from next week on, no more weekend trips to the theatre to enjoy a big tub of popcorn and a movie, no more eating out or spending obscene amounts of money on cocktails, no more taking autos but instead I have to learn to take the bus to get me places, make my own coffee and drink it at home instead of buying coffee at the Coffee Day that’s just below my office and no more lusting after the new bag that looks so amazing( lusting is okay, as long as I don’t buy it!).
It is definitely not going to be easy and I know I am going to slip up quite a bit but maybe after I start, I will consciously think about whether I should be spending money on certain things, which I think is a step in the right direction. This is me trying to save as much money as I can, and living the ‘frugal’ lifestyle by not spending money on the things that I can do without.
As I sit at my desk and write these words, I have no idea of knowing whether my ‘frugal’ lifestyle theory is ever going to pan out and even if it does, there is no way of knowing how long I am going to stick to it and to what degree I am going to stick to it. I don’t know if this big plan of backpacking across Europe is going to finally be anything more than a dream or if it is going to be something that actually happens.
But, what are we without our hopes and dreams? I for one, have so many dreams, dreams of visiting every country in the world someday, dreams of living in another country for a couple of years, dreams of making a difference in my own little way by volunteering for an NGO, dreams of being a fairly decent writer someday, dreams, dreams and more dreams. But for me, that’s what keeps me going- my hopes and dreams. Like John Lennon sings so beautifully in ‘Imagine’- ‘you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one, I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will be as one’.
Whatever the outcome of this whole plan, the thing I know for sure is that I learn something from this whole experience either way. Maybe I learn to save money and I end up going to Europe and having the trip of a lifetime. And if that does not happens I still have my dreams which will keep me going long after anything else.