Every time I plan an impromptu trip, I have people come up to me with various queries. The most common ones are: “Weren’t the flight tickets too expensive?”; “How is it that you haven’t booked a hotel yet?”; “Oh how can you want to be on the move always?”. Well, I have no answers to that, except “I love travelling. I love unplanned, off the cuff trips.”
But what about those who fear travelling and have to come up with excuses to explain to friends why they don’t want to join them for that road trip, or tell relatives they do not want to accompany them for a family vacation.
There’s nothing wrong in wanting to stay in your room, in your comfort zone, and stare out of the window, enjoy a good book or a movie, or simply laze around with the sweet sound of music wafting in through the speakers.
But the following are a set of tongue-in-cheek, hypothetical excuses I would have come up with. What would be your excuses to miss that flight?
Have you ever wanted to discover a new place, but failed to do so, only because of self-imposed restrictions? Well, I sure have. And, I also have excuses. Excuses for not being able to give in to the lure of wanderlust; excuses that I concoct in my head to save me from the guilt of being a couch potato. Too much of television viewing can have strange effects on you: firstly, you are left with no time to plan the next vacation; secondly, watching anchors in those travel and living channels discover new cities, try new food and meet new people somehow becomes your way of having fun. Would I be able to lead such a glamorous life? I do not fit into the expected role of a traveller, or into the clothes I see people wear in those shows. Oh, also, did I tell you, I am scared of confined spaces—claustrophobia they say—and so booking long-distance flights are a strict no-no for me. Of course there are a few places that I would simply love to visit, but where’s the time or money?
Excuse number 1: I don’t have the money (quite true since writers don't make much money)
When friends planned a trip to New Zealand: This country made of two main islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean has been on my go-to list ever since I watched the first of The Lord of the Rings movies. New Zealand, with its right mix of landscapes—lush green forests, pristine beaches, magnificent mountains and serene lakes—is where my heart longs to be. I would love to see Queenstown, set against the Southern Alps and known for its vineyards, the place to visit if you want to paraglide and bungee-jump. But, where is the money, I ask myself. So, New Zealand is put on the backburner, while the map is neatly folded and kept inside my drawer.
Excuse number 2: I don’t have the time (no, seriously I don't)
When my family wanted to travel across the Seven Sister States: Living in the plains all my life has made me long for vacations in cloud-covered, mighty mountains. I have always wished to travel across the Seven Sister States of India, namely, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Although I have travelled to Assam, the other states remain a mystery to me. But, to travel across seven states, discover local culture, food and spots, take an awful lot of time, don’t you think? So, for now the plan of travelling to the easternmost parts of India remains just that—a plan.
Excuse number 3: I am not fit enough (which is true; apart from running after Mumbai locals, I hardly get any exercise)
When the bestie suggested we go to Ladakh: What I wouldn’t do to see the frozen Zanskar River in Ladakh up close and personal. I am ready to save money, skip office for a few days to be able to do the ‘Chadar Trek’ (when the river freezes, it looks like a white blanket, hence the name). The trek, however, is tough even for seasoned trekkers. Sadly, I am no Bollywood heroine, who transforms from a non-trekker to the one who, in a matter of hours, is the first to finish a difficult. It is my fitness or the lack of it that stops me from heading to the majestic Ladakh.
Excuse number 4: I suffer from aquaphobia, acrophobia, agyrophobia... (apart from emetophobia, I suffer from none really)
When the better half booked tickets to Sri Lanka: The tiny tear-shaped island country to the south of India is exquisite and worth visiting. Dotted with Buddhist temples, it has stunning beaches (with exquisite corals) and equally beautiful mountains. So, what is stopping me from discovering this locale? Well, I worry if I will be safe there. The people are most gracious and friendly I hear, and that’s not what I worry about. You remember the Tsunami that ravaged parts of the island don’t you? It’s not just the fear of confined spaces; I am also equally scared of humongous waves. I had nightmares for days after Tsunami hit India and neighbouring countries, where I saw myself float away into the sea. It seems Sri Lanka will have to wait till I win over my fear of the sea and giant waves.