For as long as I can remember, I had dreamed of traveling far and wide. But my “Que Sera, Sera” attitude wouldn’t allow me to take this dream or any dream seriously. It doesn’t mean that I have stopped dreaming of traveling because I still do, every day but I don’t fret over it. If it will happen, it happens. The very few places I’ve had the privilege to visit have been dreams come true. These experiences had been eye-opening and a reminder of how small I am and yet how rich. Simply, my travels have taught me that we are all the same.
Travels is always an exciting topic to embark upon. The unknown, the undiscovered, the virgin, rouses everybody’s senses. We feel alive just talking and dreaming about visiting a new place. It doesn’t matter if the plans materialize, just imagining stepping on these new territories do much in reviving our souls. At the same time, when opportunity knocks on our doors, turning it down is a mistake. Not traveling when we can is something we will never get over regretting.
As my husband and I discuss our next holiday destination (not anytime soon and yet), it is a tricky decision as to where we really wish to go. Till weeks back, I had always seen myself journeying to places where it’s not touristy and where I am surrounded by nature at its best. Popular destinations like London, Paris, New York and all in this league don’t appeal to me. My ultimate holiday destinations are quiet, unheard places where all we can do is marvel at nature. I still want to do this but a realization struck me some days back.
I don’t watch much television but whenever it is on, it’s mostly stuck on travel channels. Past couple of weeks, I have been watching more TV than usual and as much as I envy the travels of the presenters, I found myself wishing that they hadn’t gone to many places. Man’s footprints are toxic and we want to tread on everything. Anything that man had not touched is pure, perfect and beautiful. The moment we lay a finger on it, its value just collapses. I found myself wishing that we will allow the very limited untouched pockets on earth to remain so. Whether it is in the Amazon, Greenland, Sahara, Antarctica, Australia or even in the smallest of places like Nagaland, it is crucial for such places to remain undiscovered.
In the recent past, my people in Nagaland have been working hard to promote our land to tourists. We had been exposing our true treasures (whichever is accessible) to the public for them to explore and leave their prints. My heart aches whenever I see pictures of my exquisite land on social media. Call me an enemy of progress and growth. I have always been a very jealous and over-protective child of my land. I don’t want people to be walking all over our forests. It is true that even without the help of tourists, we will manage to kill our land eventually but the process will be slower. At least we can breathe easy for a few more years.
Now I don’t mind my next travels to be to popular lands that are overcrowded with tourists. No matter how much I wish to see the unseen or less seen, I think it’s the least I can do to preserve what is left of the natural. It may seem absurd but funnily it matters. Just like how me deciding not to learn driving is sparing our earth from the emissions from another unnecessary car. It is just a one person’s mini step but it still matters. There is no point trekking into the heart of wilderness and putting up a sign ‘Save our Planet’. I repeat, “Man is Toxic”. I realize that I would be much more at peace if I visit a place where my presence couldn’t possibly add anymore to its pollution level.
Anyway, at the pace we are going, very soon every single plot will be accessible and bared for a guilt-free and conscience-free travel around the world.