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Travel Matters

by Pushpa Raghuram
(Bangalore,Karnataka)

Pushpa

Pushpa

Traveling was not my past time as a youngster. It was not considered in our annual family budget. Others chalked out my travel destination and duration.

As a teenager any journey undertaken by me was to participate in a family function. So the question of getting to know the travel destination well did not arise. Its historical background, the strategic geographical location, the culture and cuisine of the places I ever visited did not become an integral part of my knowledge bank. In retrospect I can only sigh and say "How sad!"

In my Mid-twenties I got an opportunity to travel. It took me to the heart of Europe. My family members wished me Bon Voyage in Bangalore, Bombay and Delhi. I felt like a V.I.P. going abroad.

Going back in Memory Lane, I wonder how everything fell in place. Was it the Lingua Franca of the Vater land, which I learnt passionately for five years that gave me the opportunity? Was that my sheer luck that got me a Job even in recession times? Or was it Planet Mars, as my Astrologer Teacher used to say, which if favorable, sends one overseas?

Anyways I travelled and I was away from home for 15 months.

My stint abroad gave me a paradigm shift in the matter of traveling. I learnt there that travel for Europeans was not an impulsive decision, but a planned project. They travelled to get to know place and people, observe alien tradition and culture, and improve a specific skill, which they have learnt. etc. Reading voraciously about all these was mandatory for them.

During my stay in Germany, encouraged by my colleagues, I travelled in my free time as much as possible, to visit as many European Metro cities, as I could.

A visit to Paris to see Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum was the first one planned. It was then followed by a visit to London. A city tour there covered Madam Tussauds Museum, a Boat ride on Thames and a walk along Hyde Park.

The Tulips during spring season beckoned me to Amsterdam. I stood mesmerized looking at the Tulip fields. The visit to a Diamond jewellery shop/factory there was only to oblige other co-travelers.

Soon I was traveling back home with Nutella spread, cheese, color slides and picture post cards. All the Kitsch I had bought during the travel found place in the drawing room. In the Domain of Travel, my Self Evaluation score was "Excellent"

Another decade went by without my realizing the passage of time. Family, Profession, maternal commitments & aspirations left me with no time for anything else. But the desire to travel, which was lurking in my heart, pushed me out again. I travelled at intervals to show my Better half and off springs the places I had seen and admired and to see the places not yet seen. That meant separate schedules to accommodate their time specifications and activities. All these three turned out to be Herculean Tasks, which I survived by God's grace.

Let us see how they found the places they saw the very first time.
Were they awesome? Were they breathtaking? Did they wonder at what they saw? Did they stand anywhere spell bound for a second? Forget it. I won't let you ask them. I wanted to brief them about Goethe and Schiller, the doyens of German Literature, they were eager to know more about Michael Schumacher and Boris Becker. Instead of ride on the Autobahn, they desired the Roller Coaster rides. My better half thought that the trip to Munich could have been during Oktoberfest. My thespian daughter, being a fan of Christopher Plummer visited the shooting spot of Sound of Music in Salzburg, instead of joining me in the city tour. My knowledge about these places did not help them a wee bit and my enthusiasm to show them those, waned trip after trip.

Well, Time is a best healer. A couple of years later, to be precise, the turn of the millennium brought me the opportunity to get to know the piece of planet Columbus had discovered. It was a Family get-together in a far off home. After landing in Reston, close to Washington D.C. we had the first family meeting to discuss the travel plan. After an hour long meeting, we decided whom to visit in which city, which invite need be taken seriously and where to go only for sight seeing purpose etc. East Coast was easier to cover from the vicinity point of view.

I suggested during the meeting, that we better consult a travel agent, who can plan for us everything. But my daughter, a product of Syracuse University and a professional Web Designer opined that Web Sites could help us better. To prove my point, I added that help of the agents might still be required for booking the tickets. My daughter just shook her head and went "online" to block the dates and book the hotels, after reviewing the rooms on her Laptop. I think I sounded quite week, when I asked her for a couple of city maps to be procured and packed in the hand luggage for our guidance in the strange cities. She smiled and said that they would be superfluous, since her Chrysler was provided with a GPS System. Everything she said and did with the Laptop astonished me, beyond words. I chided myself for not being "Computer Savvy", before entering the Cyber obsessed country.

When I was back home, I never tried to go through the ordeal of "Self Evaluation", for the fear of falling under the group of " Below Average".

Time does not wait for laid back people to get better informed. During the last decade, my westbound travels stopped and east waved at me. I turned east word to spend a couple of weeks with my children. Their Bharatha Natyam classes had taken back seat. Tai Chi and Feng Shui attracted them more. Art in Australasia was taken seriously. Baroque and Renaissance Art were may be considered for comparing purposes. The contemporary Art and photos taken on Instagram invaded the drawing room. Traveling had taken on a different dimension for them. Their Horizons had broadened beyond my comprehension. Mine was getting narrower.

The other day, when I was busy with something or the other the Telephone rang. It was my daughter on line from Singapore. She excitedly informed me about her forthcoming Trip to China with her eight-year-old daughter. "Oh, how come China? " Trying to impress her I added" Is it to show your daughter the Great Wall of China?" But my grand daughter had grabbed the receiver to continue the conversation. She very casually said that she is mainly going to Xian and Shao lin to visit the largest Kung-Fu school in China. She added that she would give me a PPT when she sees me or else I can look up at the photos, her mother clicks there, on her Face book.

I thought, Rudyard Kipling must have been turning in his grave seeing this cross culture creativity. The concluded call left me dumbfounded and I sat like a child, wishing to become a youngster again and travel afresh to become a globetrotter with a better vision.



















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Jun 30, 2013
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stint abroad
by: Jayalakshmi B K

Dear Pushpa,

I was able to picturise, feel your feelings/emotions while I was reading the article. well done. keep it up.

May 12, 2013
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Nice one!
by: Sanjay V Arbatti

I really enjoyed reading your article. Looking forward to reading articles especially about your interesting experiences in Germany.

Apr 28, 2013
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Book of places
by: Anonymous

What does Vater land mean? Googled it: Y is Germany called Fatherland? Reminded me of 'Each place is a page and the more pages you read in the book of places the more you benefit!'



Dec 07, 2012
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Travel gives one exposure and education
by: Latesha

Hi Pushpa,

Yet another awe-inspiring write up! Good one! I think travel gives one exposure AND education and matters very much in the development of a child. I am so glad that I had a chance to meet you along my travels and learn from and share with you and your family. As my decade in my 20s comes to a close in 2014, I hope to use 2013 to travel and see the world in the eyes of your 8 year old grandchild (before becoming too overwhelmed with life). I need more exposing and educating! (smile) I certainly hope our paths cross again someday. Bon Voyage til then!

Dec 01, 2012
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AWESOME
by: RAMESH

Pushpa , your article is very impressive & i can tell it has come from your Heart. Enjoyed reading it.
Good Luck

Nov 03, 2012
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Travel Matters
by: PUSHPA Raghuram

Mrs.Vimala Ramu,

Thank you for your feedback.
I have read so many write-ups of yours and I have sent my feedback on a couple of them. I enjoy reading your contributions too. Continue doing it please.

Nov 03, 2012
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Delithtful
by: vimala ramu

I don't know how I missed this absolutely delightful travel-log last month. you really have a knack of writing Pushpa. Let's have more of these from you.

Nov 01, 2012
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Travel Matters
by: Pushpa Raghuram

Srinivas,

Thanks for going through my write-up and giving your feedback on the same. Have a nice day.

Oct 30, 2012
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The shades of travel writing
by: Srinivas charlu

Nice write up ,Pushpa A. You have neatly put the perspective of the explorer very nicely as opposed to the perspective of the tourist --going through a predetermined scheduled ensuring a glimpse of a place. NOt that conducted tours are banal or uncultured, they have their place in introducing the high points of an unexplored/unexperienced place as preparation for an indivdualised exploration at leisure ( time and money permitting!).
The variation in individual likes and must sees is a given in managing itineraries -even amongst contemporaries ,leave alone across generations. Yet the ease with people share their images and impressions through social media is very well brought out.

Oct 14, 2012
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Travel Matters
by: Pushpa Raghuram

Thanks a lot Giridhar for your feedback. I appreciate your frank comments, which will help me in my further efforts.
Thanks again.

Oct 14, 2012
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Travel matters
by: Pushpa raghuram

Thanks Usha, for your feedback.

Good that you took some time off to read my write up. I know your passion for traveling.

Wish you both lot of fun during your travel!

Oct 14, 2012
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Traveling
by: Anonymous

Dear Pushpa
I enjoyed reading your article on traveling a lot. My husband and I both enjoy traveling. Ours is to see nature in all it's beauty and do hiking in the mountains, in national parks,visit quant little cities etc. Takes the mind away from mundane tasks for a brief period.

Happy writing!
Usha Srinivasan

Oct 14, 2012
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A writer is born...
by: Giridhar Gururajan

This is certainly a lovely piece of writing..
German akka! For a starter, you are too good. The style and presentation..going back and forth is commendable. Travel writing has definitely caught on with you on the bandwagon!

I recall you collecting travel trivia and putting them painstakingly in scrap books...you need to write about them as well.One important point you missed is capturing your own bliss and experience.. while visiting the spots be it the Berlin wall or the Eiffel Tower.

Your predicament on the generation gap is well captured. But good you have since moved on from there-- the fact that you have matured into an e-writer is proof enough. Hail Hitler for we have not lost out on the English writer in you. I am sure you would do well as you attempt more writing in future. Best Regards...

Oct 11, 2012
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Travel Matters
by: Pushpa Raghuram

Thanks to both of you, Mr.Rajesh and Mr.Krishna. It is nice of you to have taken time to read the write up.

Oct 11, 2012
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Great Writing
by: Rajesh.A

Great writing and a good read madam. would love to read more........ keep them coming!!!!!!!!!!
Regards,
Rajesh.A.

Oct 11, 2012
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Good one
by: Krishna VR

Hello Madam
You have written such a good article and I am surprised while reading that you have such a strong hold on Englisch language as well. Keep sharing your experience.
Regards
Krishna

Oct 11, 2012
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Travel matters
by: Rocky

Travel broadens the mind. Your article illustrates this very well. Please keep writing about different subjects of interest to you so we can enjoy your articles.

Oct 10, 2012
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Travel Matters
by: Pushpa Raghuram

Thanks Mr. Ramakrishna,
Thanks Mr.Kishore Badami,

I thank you for your comments and suggestions.

It is good to get feedbacks, which will help us improve our writing.

Oct 06, 2012
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greezy trips
by: ramakrishna

the article has a breezy and impulsive style and hence easy to read. some amecdotes and educative references would have helped for readers who have not visited the places. Know this has to be brief but would be welcome. well done pushpa

Oct 06, 2012
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Nice nostalgic travel story in a changing world!
by: Kishore Badami

I liked the article. You must continue writing.I could relate to this as we recently did a family europe trip and cameback.

Your next logical story could be about travel then and now! How the cyber world has changed the way people plan, book, travel and experience the world and take virtual tours nowadays vs the days when travel was such a family experience.

My two cents! Look forward to seeing more from you. Regards

Oct 04, 2012
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Travel Matters
by: PUSHPA RAGHURAM

Thanks Raksha, Thank you Padmaja for your encouraging comments.

I will continue to write about my views on some topics.


Oct 04, 2012
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Heart-warmingly
by: Anonymous

I really enjoyed reading your article Pushpa. Very well written. I could easily empathize with all the different emotions and feelings you have so lucidly described! Keep writing!
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Oct 04, 2012
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Heart-warming!
by: Raksha

I enjoyed reading your article Pushpa! It was very well written and honest in it's approach! Continue writing! Look forward to reading more from you.

Oct 03, 2012
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blockbuster.
by: padmaja

that was ablock buster travelogue and believe me you somewahat my story!!!mebbe all the modern mothers and grandmothers story.

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