Freshen up: Shower or Travel?

This writing challenge is not the only challenge I’ve taken up, if you were wondering. (which is a stupid thing to say, because why would you be wondering about that!) And sincere apologies – again – for starting a post about the challenge. This post however, has nothing to do with writing or the challenge of a-post-a-day.

Parentheses /pəˈrɛnθɨsiːz/ (singular, parenthesis /pəˈrɛnθɨsɨs/) (also called simply brackets, or round brackets, curved brackets, oval brackets, or, colloquially, parens /pəˈrɛnz/) contain material that serves to clarify, or is aside from the main point. A milder effect may be obtained by using a pair of commas as the delimiter, though if the sentence contains commas for other purposes, visual confusion may result.

In school, we used to call all enclosing symbols as brackets. Later, while working as a technical writer, I discovered that there were parentheses, (hard) brackets, (curly) braces, chevrons, angle brackets, and corner brackets. And apparently each one of them has a specific purpose. I’ll ignore them for this post.  (Because this post isn’t about brackets)

For a person who likes to travel a lot, I travel a lot less. (See? How I constructed that sentence? Smart, eh? Lot; Lot less?) Definitely less than I’d want to. I had promised myself, that come what may (I promised myself this in April, not in May), I’d travel at least once a month for at least three days. I did go out in May (Just so you know, I took up this challenge in April (like I said before)), but did not in June. But then this June was more like a curse, less like a boon. (OK, I just made that up because it rhymed – there’s no rule that says there cannot be rhyme in prose.) July is a bit more relaxed, so, in July I will fly. (Yes, I made that up too). And I won’t discuss the other months, because I already know the rhymes for all the other months, thanks to April, Come She Will (We fans, call it the 2-quarter song – because it goes from April-September).

So, for a person who likes to travel a lot, I travel a lot less. I wish I travelled more. The other day, an ex-colleague of mine advertised for a job of CTO for a travel startup. I thought, hmm, that would be fun (actually, I thought, that would be interesting; not fun; but fun sounds better). Not that I am qualified to be a CTO, yet, I thought about it, for a while. I then realised that the CTO would be sitting in one place, ensuring all the code and software is written, and not travelling. (It’s like being an accountant for a perfume company, or ground staff for an airline company, or something like that) I said to myself, no way, I’d take that job. Not that I am looking for a job, I am quite happy and excited about what I do.

But the travel bug continues to bite. As I write this post, I am ignoring all the scars and the pain (emotional, mind you, not physical) of all the biting that has happened in the past several months.

People travel for different reasons, but all those who travel are enriched in some way or the other. Some travel to tell themselves, “I was here,” some travel to tell others, “I was here.” Some travel to see, some to eat, and some, to meet new people. Whatever the reason, travel is liberating. It unshackles us from the daily humdrum that we eventually begin to accept as the norm. I, for one, have never tried to analyse why I like to travel. I do show off on social media about where I am, making the then city dwellers envious. I post exotic (if you can call them that; they’re just local) photos of food that I eat. I usually do not care to take in the popular sights, but I’ll go along if my companion wants to.

No one has yet called me that, but you could call me the reluctant tourist.

A Night Street

I have rarely travelled alone, someone has always been with me, yet, I travel to be with myself. There’s something sticky about the city, that is always on you, unrelenting, an intangible gooey smear all over your self, which never leaves you alone. Of all the things that I enjoy when I travel, is the absence of that sticky, gooey thing. I do not detest it, for I am a city person, and love everything about a city. Yet, a short stint, being free of that layer is a sense of lightness that I cherish. It’s a feeling of freshness, like you have just had a nice shower. That sense of me, being with myself is all I seek. Apart from that, I really care little for what I do.

There may be some travel in July. I look forward to it.

But I won’t be taking up that CTO job. No.


4 thoughts on “Freshen up: Shower or Travel?

  1. Every time I have commented on your blog in the past so many years, it has been a positive response in one way or another. This is the first time I am commenting to leave a negative feedback.

    This is your poorest writing.

    Only because of the excessive use of parentheses, which I think you have used judiciously in the past.

    Forget the grammatical minutiae of parentheses, brackets, braces I have never understood the obsession some writers have with parentheses. Overuse of parentheses is leading readers into a maze, where you expect them to stop, pause, take in each of your branching thoughts, and then move on. It is like tackling opposition players when you’re playing soccer, where parentheses require the reader to dribble against the opposition.

    Soccer players are inherently motivated to move towards the goal, readers need to be motivated to reach the goal by the writer.

    By the time I reached the latter half of your post, I was already so much distracted by the maze of parentheses, that my mind was no longer empathetic to the rest of your post, which I think was its true substance.

    Parentheses are disruptive: Use them judiciously.


    • First things first, am very glad to see your comment – it has been a while 🙂 Secondly, I am not sure why you would call this a negative comment/feedback. I do not see anything negative. On the contrary, it is very constructive, describing what’s gone wrong with the post and writing. Finally, this post was a failed attempt at humour. I don’t deny that this is ill-written. July is a sort of a purge month for me. 🙂


  2. Now that you write more often, I read more often 🙂 Was reading about the travel paradox sometime ago.

    The paradox of travel is that after a while, you long to be in a familiar place with a routine. When you’re in a familiar place with a routine, you long to travel. It’s a balance and you need both lifestyles to appreciate them.

    Food for thought?


    • Ah good @ reading more often. Glad; much.

      Oh, I completely agree with the paradox. Familiar is comforting, so we seek the routine. Adventure is exhilarating, so we seek travel.


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