It’s been a while, and writing is some serious mental exercise. Just like getting rid of that stubborn arm flab gets harder with time, shedding the mental hubris and actually making sense of the word vomit in your head is a major achievement. But I finally had some major inspiration, thanks to a wonderful blast from the past. Friendships formed in elementary school last as long as an ice cream on a hot summer day. I probably had a new best friend everyday and all it took for the catastrophic shift of allegiance was a piece of gum. Score!
It’s a miracle then, that I met someone who touched my life in a myriad of ways that I realize only now, almost 11 years later. (Shoutout to Anisha!) I’ve always loved to travel and I assumed that it was something I was born with, having lived in a foreign country for four years. In retrospect though, I have Anisha to thank for much of it. We were incredibly precocious kids at the tender age of 7 (or was it 8?). If we weren’t busy stuffing our noses into a book or chasing kids around the pool, we would chronicle our mystical journey around the world.
And it went on, to over twenty different countries that I still have relics of and probably several more that we dreamed up ourselves. It was always dreams on paper, places too exotic to exist in the realm of reality. But that germ of an idea festered and grew into a full fledged travel bug that caught the both of us. Australia Belgium Canada Czech Republic Denmark England Finland France Germany Hong Kong Italy Indonesia Kenya Malaysia Mauritius Norway Poland Singapore South Africa Spain Sweden Switzerland Thailand United Arab Emirates United States Vatican City. 26 countries in my 21 years of existence and I feel blessed.
For me travelling isn’t all about the sights and the scenery (although that is a huge part of it). It is the thrill of new discovery, finding those beautiful little nooks that the world has forgotten. Opening yourself up to the new possibilities, of finding yourself by losing yourself completely. It’s the freedom of being the person you always thought you could be, but never got the chance to. It is the joy of meeting new people and the awe that comes with knowing we’re all the same. It’s the smile on your face when you see a gorgeous couple holding their dog on a leash and kissing in the rain by the Seine. The magic in the air as even the most mundane things like taking a bus or ordering food become new experiences to be relished and recollected and recounted over and over again. It is a drug, and the high never ends.
Anisha: I’m so glad we got to experience this together, maybe not in body but in spirit. I’m sure you know what I mean. Some part of our subconscious was plotting away and put us back in touch right where we left off.
Going from there to you being on top of the Eiffel Tower is so ridiculously romantic, it should be made into a movie. We wrote such long letters to each other despite living in the same city, on colourful paper with those sparkly pens. I guess I have to thank you for my love for writing too. Ah, the list grows longer. We’ve come full circle with the postcard that took an entire month to reach me, but it was completely worth the wait (Paris to Hyderabad is kinda far). I’m glad you got to do it and I’m glad I could be a small part of it.
I also just noticed, you sign Love the same way we used to. I guess some things never change.