Not that we live a life that is planned down to the last detail, but unplanned trips have a certain romance associated with them. To deliberately not plan infuses a certain mystery and adventure in a journey. After a very long time, I embarked upon such a trip, and had with me for company someone who had never done such a thing before. The enthusiasm on his part helped. Apart from the romance of discovery and surprise that unplanned trips have, there is a lot of learning that happens on the road. Often, from the dynamic sights and sounds that surround you as you drive; sometimes from being on a long empty road that clears your mind of the accumulated daily tinsel that you seldom sweep away. I had ample opportunity to absorb from the outside as well as see clearly through the things that had been made obscure by familiarity.
The last week of the year saw a few of us on the road. We drove a stretch of 1,732kms (that is 1,076 miles, for those of us still using the imperial system) to Central India, in the last six-and-a-half days. It is by far the longest I have done in a single trip.
I have started retracing that journey, filling it with the moments that we experienced all through, the first, basic trace below:
At the start of the journey, I was concerned about my ability to disconnect from the world that I lived in. I often feel I have too many gadgets and connectivity means that might get in the way of living this week the way I had imagined it to be. I can now say, I succeeded to a good measure. There was a level of Facebook interaction, primarily for photo uploads. I realise though, I can easily do without it. (Note, for the next trip)
Driving is refreshing. Especially in India, where the landscape, food, vegetation, people, attire and colours change every two-hundred kilometres. I have some photos, but they can never do justice to what the eyes and your heart are able to absorb. The themes of experience were plenty and this one post can never do justice to all those themes. They’ll show up, soon.
I am glad I did this and even more glad that I had good company for every kilometre of the way.