Fun Fact: The word ‘travel’ is derived from a certain Old French word that originally meant bodily or mental labour, exertion or hardship. Interesting that a word of suffering has evolved over centuries to something that signifies quite a pleasant journey.
Travel causes as much ‘travail’ today as it did in the 1300s. The only difference being that the way we travel today may cause no or little suffering specifically to us but contributes immensely to the degradation of our environment. We have been successful in creating mountains of landfills and landfills on mountains. Read: Mt.Everest is now the world’s highest garbage dump.
Our attitude towards travel has become as pornographic as it has ever been with our constant need to be titillated by the aesthetics of a landscape but staying oblivious to the subtlety of its ecosystem. We, as a culture feel the need to consume dozens of places but belong to none.
What if we traveled not just for the sake of it? What if travel meant more than only selfies, copypaste-d quotes from the internet and a false sense of achievement? What if we traveled in a way where learning wasn’t incidental but an integral aspect of it?
This issue of the Bhoomi magazine looks at four individuals who moved beyond ‘what if’ and have travelled the way less travelled. Shashank Kalra of Youth Alliance writes about what a Gramya Manthan revealed to him about systems thinking, decolonization of the mind and the interconnected complex realities of a community. Tautik Das shares with us his learnings of being a seasoned slow traveler. Rahul Karunpuriya of Travellers University writes about how true learning for him happened when he moved beyond classrooms and Vinod Sreedhar of Journeys with Meaning shares what it means to travel with the eyes and mind of a pilgrim.
Here’s to hoping that we develop a sense of Veni. Vidi. Amavi when we do travel.
Articles in this issue