“Life is a book and those who have not travelled have read only a page.” I couldn’t unfold this saying of Saint Augustine unless I stepped out to the foreign soil. I knew my country and my culture—it was a part of my life—but I never really knew how enormous and diverse the cultures in the world are!
We travel these days mostly for business, family events, or to relax. And what do we do? Visit famous spots/landmarks and tell others that we have been to such historic, beautiful places. This is not the kind of traveling that I am talking about here. Real traveling in my opinion is all about Wanderlust.
It’s a story of those days when I saved enough money to buy a laptop, ten years ago a laptop meant volume to me. I was so looking forward to it! One day I told my German professor that I was going to buy it and he gave me a look like I said something loony. “Why? Don’t you already have a computer, enough for your use?” I didn’t have an answer to his why. Therefore, I kept quiet looking at him bewildered. We save money to buy something we need – that’s what was programmed in my mind but my professor didn’t get it and said casually “Why don’t you travel and see the world instead? Life has got many other dimensions to explore. Believe me, this is the golden age to look around the world.”
This struck somewhere deep in my mind. After a week I was in a mitfahrzentrale car to explore Heidelberg with two of my friends. It was my first trip of its kind. Since two of us were vegetarian and not so well versed with German food, we packed five or six kilos of ration (Oops! Carrying it all was an adventure). The car owner was a middle-aged German language teacher, and we learned a good deal about the language from him. He stayed in a cool mood to explain and told us about the places that we wouldn’t want to miss.
We started talking about the print industry of Heidelberg and its natural beauty, which resembles a fairy tale city. Heidelberg has a beautiful landscape, a castle at the top of mountain, a beautiful scenic way to reach there on foot. When we reached our destination, clouds were already touching the tip of the castle, a mesmerizing sound of birds were appeasing our ear drum, and above all the natural beauty was making me to feel the essence of my childhood fairy tale stories.
That’s the beauty of the Mitfahr service. You come to know about many things which a tourist guide would never be able to tell you. Additionally, you save the bucks and know that somewhere you are helping reduce pollution as well. I really appreciate the person who implemented this system.
After spending a day in the luxuriant meadows, we left for Switzerland. After six hours of travel, the glittering boards in the skyline were welcoming us with “Bienvenue en Suisse!” Those words felt as if a heavenly beauty was sending us a welcome message. I was feeling happy like a child who his first time at Disneyland. It was around 10 pm, and people were already closing their shops and offices. We got down searching a motel where we could spend night. Unfortunately (perhaps fortunately), we didn’t find any such place nearby and we decided to spend that night in a park. It’s still a vivid memory – that night we slept counting stars in the cold summer and talking with each other. The cold currents in the warm quilts felt welcome and with the fragrance of flowers around, made us feel complete.
The next day we went to ETH Zurich, roamed in the gigantic palace-like campus and wanted to dissolve in the aura, which has seen many scientists including Albert Einstein. In the evening we headed for Sedrun for our last day of tour. It’s the place where I tried to learn skiing without much result. After many months, I came here with my professor and he almost pushed me down from the high point on the icy Alps to teach me skiing. It took my hurt leg three to four days to recover but that was the most adventurous event of my travel-ship. Learning skiing!
loved Switzerland not just for its scenic beauty but also for the waste management. Like Germany, they have one of the world’s best waste management system, and they use it dexterously to maintain the natural beauty. Every country has nature’s beauty spread on the land but few of them do maintain it like Swiss.
My first trip was an eye opener event for me. After that trip I made it my routine to travel as frequently as possible and many times simply took an unplanned expedition. When I decided to go to Berlin I also went to its suburbs trying to comprehend the earlier differences between the east and west side and to understand the famous outspoken line of Mr. Klaus Wowereit “Arm aber Sexy.” I wandered with Spree basin, unveiling the cultural heritage and saw places of historical note. I preferred the curbside and walked a lot when they were covered with golden maple leaves.
These are the memories I have taken with me of the travel in Germany – the vast empty roads running parallel to forest or rivers, coiling through turrets, the lonely stony paths in the forest, tall dark trees with sunlight scattered through their leaves, the hills where I rolled like a kid, the still reflection of green forests in the Spree water; these all still mesmerizing me in my thoughts. More than my days in the Shell lube office, I enjoyed the much avoided glass of Gluehwein during the cold nights in the wooden cottage of my Mitfahr car friends. I loved these days when I was a wanderer in the laps of mother earth. There I saw a real world; there I lived a rich life. I wish to be a traveller all over my life. Amen!