It has been three months to the date since I returned from my last long term travel stint! The duration of my last long term travel stint was 90 days incidentally.

And yes, though in the time since my return I have been making a few discreet exits and entries back to my home base (more on that in a post soon, I promise), I have also spent the reminder of my time planning ‘Be You For You‘, my workshops on expressive writing AND agonising over two things:
(i) not being able to travel (not as much as I prefer to), and
(ii) not being able to write (because I just couldn’t, not in the long form at least).

To overcome those blocks, I decided to vicariously live through my own travels – dating from my first solo travel experience in October 2012 until December 2015. To do this, I chose Instagram as my medium. The 75 post series – #NomadicThunkerRevisits – also turned out to be an interesting way of using photographs as a β€˜writing prompt’ to tease those creative juices.

Below are 25 of the more well-appreciated posts (Instagram hearts being the metric) —

Memory No. 1::
You know that voice in your head that won’t shut up about asking you when you’re going to travel next?
Oh well, I do
I hear her all the time
Self-deprecatory humour aside, I thought it would be nice to dig down into the hard drives and fish for memories from not too long ago. Because it hasn’t been that long.
This one’s from my first solo trip in October 2012.
Trasi, near Udupi in Karnataka
A beach all to myself
I was most ecstatic that I hadn’t driven myself up the walls in my own company those five days
Needless to say, life hasn’t been the same since πŸ˜‰

Photo: Trasi, Karnataka (India) | October 2012

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No. 3::
Do you know that feeling when you pass through a place and in that moment you realise that irrespective of what has happened in the past or will transpire in the future, this is as definitive as it can be?
I’ve had such moments too many times to recount now. And this journey from Srinagar to Kargil in August 2013 is one of the earliest of those.
That’s Zoji La about 10 kilometers away from Sonmarg.

Photo: Zoji La, (Kashmir, India) | August 2013

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 9::
Do you recall the time when social media did not overpower our travel experiences? I’d be a hypocrite if I said it’s still as undiluted. But I’m being more mindful about how I use it now. In that, I abstain from live posting in the spirit of delayed gratification. .
This is from when I chose the then quaint Coorg as a getaway during Christmas. I had spice gardens and coffee plantations to lull my senses. Turns out not being a slave to social media resulted in very little photographic evidence from the travels. 😈

Photo: Ganesh Estate Homestay, Coorg (Karnataka, India) | December 2013

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 11::
You know that feeling that comes from leaving a part of you behind each time you bid adieu to a place?
I know I do
And it comes from knowing that I came a stranger and left with a sense of belonging. That’s the magic of homestays. I have families strewn across different parts of the country who at some point in this journey of mine shared not just their roof and food but a little part of themselves with me.

Photo: Devpur Homestay (Kutch, India) | March 2014

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 14::
Our digital existence robs us of things we’re capable of doing with our bare hands

Photo: Lacquered lathe wood work (Bhuj, Gujarat – India) | March 2014

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 16
I tell her my dysfunctionalities and she lets me be.
The sea.
My comforter. My confidante. My mirror.

Photo: Velas, Maharashtra (India) | March 2014

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 18
There’s much to be said, observed and learned from a nation that places a premium on ecology and a sustainable way of living without getting carried away by the current discourse on development. Don’t you think?
Bhutan makes me think.

Photo: National Museum of Bhutan, Paro (Bhutan) | May 2014

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 21::
“You are who you are when nobody’s watching”
What if there is no God or Force or Universe monitoring our every move? Would you still make the choices you’re making – whether or not out of a sense of obligation?
Can our inner compass not function without the proverbial carrot?

Photo: Langza, Spiti (Himachal Pradesh, India) | August 2014

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 25::
On some days I feel like I’m trying to make life happen
While Nature seems to be teaching me to not only accept but also to be the flow!

Photo: Thoseghar Falls, Maharashtra (India) | September 2014

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 24::
They said, ‘You don’t take a trip but it’s the trip that takes you’
I didn’t believe them
Then Kaas happened
And someone who barely gave anything floral more than a second glance, was suddenly cooing and squealing in delight.

Photo: Valley of flowers, Kaas Plateau (Maharashtra, India) | September 2014

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 26::
Methinks being asked about your favourite beach should not be permitted as a question. Would you agree?

Photo: Om Beach, Gokarna (Karnataka, India) | October 2014

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 29::
In our pursuit of all things transactional, the fields of right-doing and wrong-doing have been levelled beyond recognition.
Love can save us
Only if love wasn’t being transacted either

Photo: Kalsubai, Maharashtra (India) | October 2014

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 30::
Do you know that feeling where it seems like you’re running out of time and if you don’t carpe the diem, it’ll all be gone, forever?
Whether it’s career, love or jumping off a cliff (with a chute, of course)
It’s not always true
Travel has helped anchor how I perceive life events; both, the positive and the not so positive
Perfection and symmetries are better left for architectural marvels
As for you and I? Well, “nothing good gets away”

Photo: Jahangir Mahal, Orchha (Madhya Pradesh, India) | November 2014

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 34::
“There is more to Chanderi than silk sarees” said local who’d accompanied me as we went around exploring the history and verve of Chanderi.
22 months later, I realise that as humans we’re no different; there’s more to who we are than just our designations or even our last names/surnames!
It’s not easy but it’s rewarding in every sense of the word when we look beneath the superficialities we’ve constructed around ourselves. Especially when they become the very shackles that we’re desperate to break free from.
Is there more to you too? Are you who you want to be? What are you doing to make that happen?

Photo: Koshak Mahal, Chanderi (Madhya Pradesh India) | November 2014

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 41::
Thinking about thinking. Afflicts you much? *consequently not much of a caption*
Suggestions are welcome πŸ™

Photo: Nalanda, Bihar – India | February 2015

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 49::
It’s not enough that you find your calling
You have to then shout it out loud and often enough – for yourself and for others
It’s 20 months to the date
20 months since a regular paycheck has become a thing of the past
20 months since I decided to trade my shackles for independence and my comforts for unpredictability
20 months since I’ve experimented, scavenged and unravelled Life
Only because the possibility of failure has and still seems like a better prospect than the guarantee of regret from never having ventured
In 20 months, I’ve come closer to knowing what role I want to play with my time here as an Earthling.
Afterthought: What do you love so much that you don’t fear failing at it?

Photo: Sun Temple, Konark – Odisha | April 2015

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 38::
What if instead of fortified walls to protect ourselves we built bunds instead?
Low enough to let people in
High enough to demarcate boundaries
Learning how to teach people to treat you is among the most liberating things you can do for yourself
I’m learning

Photo: Diu Fort, Diu (India) | December 2014

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 39::
What if like Nature we channelled everything that has the power to erode us to instead shape us and bring us closer to our destiny?
Doesn’t everything boil down to perspective?

Photo: Naida Caves, Diu, India | December 2014

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 53::
A man said to the Universe:
“Sir, I exist”
“However,” replied the Universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation” ~ Stephen Crane (1899)

Photo: Diskit, Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir – India) | June 2015

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 54::
Of foregrounds and backgrounds
And changes in perspective!

Photo: Qutub Minar, New Delhi – India (June 2015)

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No 58::
Nature demands
And permits
An immersion
An involvement
And unrivaled
#Throwback to July last year when I undertook 7 train journeys over 18 days …just to avoid having to take one direct train πŸ˜‰
Stopover: Kanyakumari

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No. 64::
Le Me circa ~2010
I see dysfunctionalities everywhere I go; it’s the one I see in the mirror that worries me the most
Le Me circa 2016
Nature provides good counsel. The mirror doesn’t worry me anymore
#Throwback to July last year when I undertook 7 train journeys over 18 days …just to avoid having to take one direct train πŸ˜‰
The Mandovi Express from #Goa to #Mumbai was the last of it

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No. 67::
Are you seeking to be found?
Or are you seeking to find?
Yes, there’s a difference

Photo: Pushkar (Rajasthan, India) | September 2015

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No. 72::
Cast your ideas
Tether them to the currents

Photo: Outskirts of Kanha National Park (Madhya Pradesh, India) | November 2015

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

Memory No. 75::
It’s a wrap to vicariously living through my own travels
All the way from 2012 until 2015
And having some company en route
Thank you for your comments and nuggets
Keep them coming…
Here’s a quote that befits the photograph and the mood: “Direction is so much more important than speed”

Photo: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (erstwhile Victoria Terminus), Mumbai – India | August 2015

A photo posted by Elita (@nomadicthunker) on

To know about workshops I facilitate on expressive writing, lookie this link up —

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0 thoughts on “iRevisit | What I Do When I Am Not Travelling”

  1. Your writing is a pure gem. I love the fact that you travel solo. It is a brave thing to do and I want to do that some day. Great article and great pics too. Love it.

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