Recently I went to watch a Bollywood movie which had a very profound dialogue that got me thinking. The dialogue went somewhat this way, (and yes, here I am taking the artistic liberty of paraphrasing the dialogue seeing as some amount of translation is due) “I don’t want to return to the place that you brought me from, I don’t want to reach where ever it is that you are taking me, but this road, this journey, this is good.” That one dialogue put into words the feelings I have never fully managed to convey with all meaning intact regarding the way road trips make me feel. And not just me, anyone who has ever been on a road trip can vouch for the fact, that it isn’t the ultimate destination that you’re going to end up at that counts, but instead it’s the journey that matters the most. Though don’t get me wrong, the ultimate destination of your road trip is important, but it’s the journey that you cherish, it’s the memories you make on road that last with you forever.
The thing with road trips is, it makes you discover new worlds, new lifestyles. For the brief moment that you are in a particular place, you get to live like the locals do. For that brief moment, you are a part of their story and you aren’t, you get to experience that way of life as if you are on the inside and at the same moment you are someone on the outside looking in. As absurd as it may sound, (seeing as I am struggling to eloquently phrase this feeling) this dual aspect of experiencing life is oddly liberating, one which can be felt only on road trips. Road trips free your spirit, they help you grow. You find yourself in a new environment, one you have never seen before, an environment you only have a few brief moments to experience, discover and enjoy, but most importantly an environment where you’re not sure you’re ever going to return. All this combined with that fact that you’re amongst strangers who don’t know you, who don’t hold any expectations from you lightens you up. You find yourself truly letting go, and enjoying and living out your wild crazy fantasies. Even if people judge you, it doesn’t matter, because these are people you are never going to meet again. Your spirit is freed from its shackles of everyday life and you discover a whole new aspect to yourself. And who knows maybe you fall in love with this wild, crazy, carefree aspect yourself, so much so that you imbibe it into your everyday life. Wouldn’t life be easier that way?
Discovering new territories helps you discover new aspects about your personality. It puts you out of your comfort zone, and suddenly you realize you’re much more adaptable and tougher than you gave yourself credit for. It expands your outlook on things, widens your perception regarding life as you get acquainted with the different faucets of life you never knew existed before. The journey on road trips is as much outwards as it is inwards, within you.
The sights and sceneries as you cross from one territory to another, landscape after landscape are so picturesque that no postcard or photograph can ever match its beauty. Be it rough rocky terrain, green lush fields, snow capped mountains, farming plots, grazing cattle’s, the wild wilderness, concrete jungle, or even villages. All have a magnetising quality to it. The best sunrise ever is the one you see as you’re on the road and suddenly the neighbouring atmosphere goes from cold night to warmth, with a tinge of orange to the clouds as the sun slowly makes its journey upwards.
Reading all the poems where poets often romanticise nature or are awed by its beauty would always baffle me. For some reason I couldn’t perceive nature the way they did, couldn’t fall in love with it. It always puzzled me, and I would be left wondering if it was the charm of nature which I somehow seemed to miss, or was it just poetic creativity. If it’s a question that you too often find yourself asking, well the answer to it lies in road trips. There’s just something about road trips, they open your eyes to the beauty and the enigma of nature. A simple act such as stopping at night and just staring up at the stars as they brightly light up the night sky can feel exhilarating. Or sticking your head out the window and feeling the rush of wind, it makes you feel alive. (Though the latter act is thoroughly advised against)
New landscapes, new people, new cuisine, new life, new memories, new you. Road trips give you all of this and more. It makes you feel alive, and for the first time in all your life you feel like you’re living. It’s one experience that has the ability to change you completely. Especially when you feel stressed and trapped in your mundane life, it’s the perfect moment to go on a road trip. Road trips are a lot like life that way, in the end it’s the journey that matters the most.