Sharing my story is not an easy task because I do not like serving my lack of general knowledge on a silver platter to even my closest friends; however, this contest, #
Let’s start at the Beginning
Once upon a time, there was a girl named Ankita. She was born in a city that was far from perfect. People from this place believed themselves to be the kings and queens of their own world. So, Ankita, too, believed her city to be the whole world. The only place she visited during her childhood and early teenage years was her grandparents’ house. She considered this small 30 minutes trip from her home to their house as traveling. Of course, she read about far away places in her textbooks, but she could never visualize these places and considered these as useless information. Then, something changed.
First Time Out of the “Kingdom”
Then the time arrived for her to actually travel somewhere for her college education. This, too, was a significant milestone; however, this place was no better than her old city. In fact, there was not much to do in this new city. Nevertheless, each journey out of your city/country teaches bestows something remarkable. She learned to be on her own. The day her parents dropped her off to this new city, she had to grow up and learn new things to survive. The most important fact, however, was slightly funny. She, for the first time, realized that there was a city called “Gorakhpur” in her own state. The dreamy geographically-challenged girl realized that there is actually so much to see. The other kids were ready with a bucket list of places they wish to see, but this girl was just listening and soaking up all the travel inspiration.
Travel Inspiration Transformed into Self Exploration
Things could not have moved any faster from there. Each time she traveled to a new place, she explored something new about herself. When she visited Mumbai, she found her deep affinity towards beaches. In Mumbai, she met with a girl from Colombia, who was there for her internship. Earlier Ankita hadn’t seen people greeting strangers, but this Colombian girl’s mannerisms taught her this basic etiquette. This was a cultural difference, which she learned without even leaving her country. If just engaging with people of different countries or cities could instill good manners and excellent knowledge, imagine the immense wisdom that traveling can inject in a person.
When Ankita traveled to Goa, she realized that she doesn’t love beaches. She loves CLEAN beaches. When she traveled to Bali, she could not believe the fascination of Bali’s people with Indians. Many people were saving money to just be able to visit India and get the water of holy Ganges. This was bizarre for her because earlier she had only witnessed almost everybody hoping to get out of India. This tendency is still super strong among Indian techies. IT employees are willing to do just about anything to get a chance to be at the Onsite, and their managers are more than happy to take as much leverage of their upper hand as possible. So, you can imagine Ankita’s surprise at hearing that there were people who were actually saving money with the sole intention of visiting India some day. This enriching experience insisted that she #SayYesToTheWorld.
The Geographically-Challenged Girl Found the Cure
Her love for travel now knew no bounds. With each new trip, she started gaining new knowledge about the places, their location on the map, the cultural differences, the diversity, but most importantly, about herself. In her childhood, her favorite season used to be winter, but after traveling so much, she found her new favorite: summer. She noted that she enjoyed natural beauty so much so that she could sit and stare at the landscapes for hours, but she could not bear the thought of camping. She observed that she was vain in her infatuation with the comfortable and luxurious staying arrangements.
The most momentous discovery was that she started learning a lot about cities, states, and countries. Her condition of being geographically challenged had just one cure: Exploring the World. The more she traveled, the more her condition cured. Earlier, she knew US as just US, and New York as just New York. After visiting the states, she realized that New York is both a city and a state. This particular fact could be too obvious to many readers since an early age, but, to her, it was a gift of exploration.
Ankita still has no bucket list. She knows the only way to explore herself and gain wisdom (mental, cultural, spiritual) is through exploring the world. There are a few places whose allure has not gone unnoticed by her, and she wishes to see those places for real. Nonetheless, she is open to a blind date with the world. There is so much wisdom spread across the world that no bucket list can cover it all. #