One of my passions in life is to travel. I love visiting new places and meeting people. I also love to understand the culture and crafts of that new place. I have been lucky to visit different parts of the world and of my wonderful country as well. Every time I have travelled to a new place, it has been a new insight for me. The place, the people and the practices indeed teaches me many life lessons, which no education in the world can.
It does not matter which part of the world I am visiting or during which time of the year. Every new place has a new meaning for me in life. Every new location teaches me new things. I wish I could have been a travel writer, visiting places around my country and the world and sharing my experiences with everyone. Although, I have almost visited all the states of my country , I am yet to cover all the treasures of my native country.
I remember my first travel out of my country. It was way back in 1989, when I visited UK for a three month training programme. Apart from the learnings in the programme, which changed my perspectives on being a trainer, it was indeed great insights into a different country with varied cultures, norms and behaviours. I still remember how I enjoyed the Big Ben to see the UK parliament or the Buckingham palace and these brought back vivid memories of my limited knowledge of history studied in school.
Another wonderful visit was my first visit to the state of Jammu & Kashmir, the northern most state of my country. It was way back in 2004 and many of friends cautioned me against the travel since there was tension between ethnic groups and also the state was seized with terror attacks. Both me and my wife felt that terror is a world wide phenonomenon today. It can happen in your backyard where you are staying and hence we decided to go ahead. This was one of the best decisions of my life.
This state gives you the best glimpses of nature. Its warm and flat at Jammu, cold and chilly in the valley and solemn and snowy at Ladakh(as in the photo above).As you land into Srinagar, you feel you have arrived in a fairy land. You can see snow capped mountains around you and the warmth of the people you meet is unbelievable. All the people you meet here are hospitable and are always keen to make you comfortable. They call it “Kashmiriyat”. It means the culture of secularism in simple terms. It is such lessons, no book in management or psychology can teach you.
One of the best states I have visited so far is Sikkim, one of the smallest states of India. The capital Gangtok is again surrounded by snow capped Himalayas and the city is spotlessly clean. You have foot paths all around the city and you can enjoy walking around without worrying about any road mishaps. I sometimes wonder why all of us living in different parts of the country in other states cannot learn from this wonderful state.
Last but not the least, I would urge everyone to travel around whenever you can. I would urge parents and elders to take your kids around the world and around India whenever you can. A visit to a new place and meeting new people can never be substituted by books or the television. My wife and kids have travelled around withme in my country and around the world wherever I could afford to go. Each visit has brought in a new lesson for each of us.
Lets start our learning journey today.
S Ramesh Shankar