Yes I did bring back loads of stuff from Rome, Madrid, Barcelona and Paris for close friends and relatives. My own stuff lies now in the show case and every now and then I take a look at it and go down the memory lane. I am pretty happy with what I purchased but not quite with my expedition. A slight regret. What regret?? you may be wondering. We were going to spend almost 19 odd days with a partially known agenda. So for a first time traveller packing a bag seemed to be a daunting task since we were going to be on a move, travelling by bus and train. I had to be prepared. I tried making lists, spoke to a couple of friends who are 365 days globe-trotting, researched on the internet but it is only after you have your fingers burnt will you realize the ultimate truth. So what is thee ultimate truth? This is according to me. You can add your own.
1. Travel light. Heard it. Ignored it. We travelled by Emirates Airlines, whose baggage policy is pretty good. With 30 kgs as checked in luggage, I felt I could take almost every piece of junk I owned. How could I remain without my favourite pair of shoes? As a matter of fact I packed a pair of clothes for every day… crazy as it seems… I guess I can be forgiven for the moral of the story is pack sensibly. clothes can be repeated. no one cares if you wear that t-shirt twice or thrice, provided its washed. vacations mean not carrying your entire wardrobe but rather making place for some good and rare souvenirs to get back home. The last night in Paris as we sat with not so happy faces with the thought of saying goodbye to the friends, freedom, clean and unpolluted atmosphere, awesome volunteers and begun packing our bags, most of us didn’t know where and how to get those stuff organized.
2. While on the move, no matter what don’t miss the opportunity to click that road side patissiere or the man riding a bicycle in his coat. If you do come back to the same place, you may or may not get the same emotions captured. it’s not that I haven’t clicked good amount of pics, it’s just that I didn’t capture everything.
3. Make a list. Again though advised didn’t pay heed. How does making a list help? Even if we didn’t our agenda on time, a list of places that should have been visited first, events to attend and activities to complete, would have saved a hell lot of my time.
4. Switch off your cellphone. The world can do without talking to me when I am spending one of the most important events in my life. I struggled to get network in Rome. But once my phone was up and working, calls were made regularly to my mom. So what did I miss out?? Nothing. But I just missed a great chance to detach myself from an object that hampers my privacy. I could have switched off my cell and easily enjoyed my new-found freedom. Yes, cellphones are important and should be used only when required.
As the days drew closer and the bonds of friendship growing stronger the thought of going back to the life that we had chosen to leave for those 2 and half weeks, did seem a little too dreadful but yes indeed what lies ahead is Rio. Hopefully during the course of the next few years I may eventually mature to be a much better traveller… 🙂