Editor’s note: BootsnAll kicked off a new community event April 1 called 30 Days of Indie Art Project. For the entire month of April we’ll put a new prompt out each day, and we want you to participate! As editor of BootsnAll, I’m going to play along, too. Below is my response to the day 4 prompt, “What is your favorite method of overland travel and why?”
Part of the fun of this project is to interpret each prompt how you wish and respond in whatever way you see fit.
We did a lot of overland traveling during our year-long RTW trip, but it’s the story of trying to buy bus tickets in India that stands out to me when I think of overland travel.
If you’ve never been to India before, I feel this story perfectly encapsulates how traveling in a country that is so far different than your own is, ahem, interesting to say the least.
Looking back on many of our experiences in India can actually be quite funny because it’s just different than anywhere we had been. My wife and I both said, on many occasions, that it seemed like it was always “Backwards Day” in India. Logic as we know it? Forget about it.
Take this encounter at the Jodhpur bus station for example:
Going up to the “Enquiries” counter at the bus station: “Hello, we want tickets to Udaipur.”
Us: “We want to go tomorrow.”
Us: “What time do buses go.”
Us: “Any other times?”
Him: “Yes, 7, and 8, and 9, and 10:30, and 1, and 2, and 3.”
Us: “Great, can we get tickets for the 8 o’clock bus.”
Him: At this point he points over to a building across the parking lot and says, “Advance booking over there.”
Us: “Over there, in that building over there” We point. He nods.
We walk over there and go to the one window that someone is standing behind. He’s counting money, with two glasses of chai on his desk in front of him. We walk up and stand there, and he completely ignores us and continues counting his money. I walk to a different window and finally my wife gets his attention after saying “Hello” a few times.
Megan: “Hello, we need tickets to Udaipur at 8 tomorrow morning.”
Megan (bewildered): “No, no, I couldn’t possibly.”
Megan (guessing that she wouldn’t get an answer to her question until she accepted his chai, accepts his chai): “Thank you. We’re trying to get to Udaipur tomorrow morning at 8. Can we buy tickets here?”
Him: “No, over there.” He points back across the parking lot in the vicinity of three buildings, one of which is the building we came from, “New building.”
Us, to each other: “None of those three buildings look new.”
Us, to him: “Thanks”
We take the chai and walk back across to the first building we were at. We go to another window, not the “Enquiries” window.
Us: “Hello, we’re trying to get to Udaipur tomorrow morning.”
Attendant: “You need to go to the window down there.” He points to a window at the other end of the building, right next to the very first window, “Enquiries”. So we go there.
Us: “Hello, we’re trying to go to Udaipur tomorrow at 8.”
Attendant: “You need to go next door, to that window.” He points at the “Enquiries” window, of course.
We knew that was going to be the case, so we go next door, to the very first guy we talked to.
Us: “Hello, we want to go to Udaipur tomorrow at 8, and the guy next door said we need to talk to you about purchasing tickets.”
Him (mind you, the first guy we talked to, only about 10 minutes prior to this): “You can only buy advance tickets to the 5:30 bus. If you want to go on the 8 bus, come here at 7:30 tomorrow morning. You can buy tickets then.”
Us (shaking our heads in disbelief, muttering): “Thanks.”
We walk away, me throwing out a few choice words while just shaking my head back and forth, Megan just kind of chuckling. We were laughing about the whole ordeal shortly afterwards as we were recounting to each other and then shaking our heads while saying, “India.”
That one word was our explanation for many things over the course of our 6 weeks there.
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On Tuesday, April 1, we teamed up with Dani from Going Nomadic to bring you the 30 Days of Indie Travel Art Project (#Indie30).
It’s off to an awesome start, and during yesterday’s #RTWChat, we blended the two projects together, as we’ll do for the remainder of April. Check out the first 3 days prompts:
It’s not too late to join #Indie30, and if you couldn’t join #RTWChat yesterday, check the recap below!
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Editor’s note: BootsnAll kicked off a new community event yesterday called 30 Days of Indie Art Project. For the entire month of April we’ll put a new prompt out each day, and we want you to participate! As editor of BootsnAll, I’m going to play along, too. Below is my response to the day 2 prompt, “What, where, when, and with who is the story of your travel origin?”
Part of my personal challenge during this project is to try new ways of expressing myself other than always writing. So today I decided to do a short video blog of my story of how my travel obsession began.
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Editor’s note: BootsnAll is kicking off a new community event today called 30 Days of Indie Art Project. For the entire month of April we’ll put a new prompt out each day, and we want you to participate! As editor of BootsnAll, I’m going to play along, too. Below is my response to the day 1 prompt, “How has travel changed your view of the world?”
That’s honestly the first thing that came to mind when I read the day 1 prompt of how travel has changed my view of the world.
It looks ridiculous at first glance. Travel has impacted me, my life, my relationships, and my “view of the world” in literally millions of different ways.
And that’s my first thought?
I know what you’re probably thinking, “Seriously? Be selfish? Isn’t that the opposite of how travel should change your world view?”
Why yes, yes it is. Travel has changed my view of the world in that way, too. I look at everything differently now. I don’t put a priority on stuff and money and defining myself by my career like so many others who live in a western, consumerist society.
But it kind of depends on how you define selfishness. Some might say that working 70-80 hours a week and never seeing your family is selfish. Some might say that accumulating stuff and spending all of your hard-earned money on even more stuff that you don’t really need is selfish.
What I mean by “Be selfish” is that travel has changed how I view life – the big picture of what life is all about.
Travel, and long-term travel in particular, completely changed the vision of how my life would turn out.
Like many in America, I always just assumed I would go the way of 99% of the populace – go to college, begin a career, get married, buy a house, have kids, watch them grow, then retire – then maybe I could travel and live the good life.
Then that fateful dog walk happened, my wife and I planned and went on a year-long trip, and my view of life changed forever.
While I’m not going to lie and say career and income is not important – it is, especially now since I am a father and have another life I’m responsible for. BUT my job and accumulating money is not the most important thing in my life.
The most important thing in my life is spending as much time as possible with those I love. It’s not getting that next promotion. It’s not getting that next raise. It’s not buying that new car. It’s not filling my house with new toys. Don’t get me wrong – I like all of those things – new job titles, more money, a nice car, fun toys.
But that isn’t what drives me in life.
What drives me is figuring out a way to spend more time with my wife and my son.
And travel is what taught me that.
Taking that year off in my early 30′s and spending it traveling the world with the person I love most was the best year of my life. And how we have lived since our trip is all about that – not necessarily traveling the world again (though that will certainly happen at some point) – but moving towards a lifestyle that is going to afford us the chance to spend as much time together as possible.
What does that look like?
Honestly, we’re still trying to figure that part out.
- It may just be that we both work from home and have more flexibility in our daily lives.
- It may be that we save our asses off, quit our jobs, and take this show on the road again, this time with kids in tow.
- It may mean we move to another country and culture where the pace of life is slower and the priority is spending time with family.
How has my view of the world changed because of travel?
It’s simple really. Travel has taught me that it’s okay to go after your dreams. It’s okay to “be selfish” and live the life you truly want to live, no matter what that life looks like. You don’t have to do what society tells you to do. You don’t have to live a certain life just because that’s what you’re supposed to do.
We only get one life here on Earth, and I think it’s perfectly okay to be selfish with that life.
Travel has taught me that you should go after those dreams, whatever those dreams may be.
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On Tuesday, April 1, we are teaming up with Dani from Going Nomadic to bring you the 30 Days of Indie Travel Art Project (#Indie30).
In yesterday’s #RTWChat, we wanted to inspire travel lovers to join our project by getting to know more about them. If you couldn’t join, check the recap below, and be sure to join us starting Tuesday for this awesome community event!
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