A few weeks back, I asked people on Instagram to send me stories about how they want to travel and weren’t able to. In this letter, I’ll be sharing a few stories that I think were most common among all the stories people submitted. I’m attaching pictures with the three letters that I feel relate to each letter. I selected hardly three letters for this, I will be sharing more for other letters soon. the letters also made me realise how lucky I have been, to be able to travel so much and to fulfil my dreams.
“This is about how I never got the chance to travel, although I love travelling. Since I don’t really express my feelings, the thought of expressing my love for travelling comes with a lot of courage. Ever since I met a person who was a good photographer, I got to see the beautiful side of this world. My biggest dream is to travel to places which brings me closer to nature. Just the thought of looking at billions of stars at night, give me chills. I want to travel to all the green parts of the world. Beautiful serene beaches with clear blue water and warm sand. Initially, I was too young to travel, then series of events stopped me from travelling, after that ‘girls aren’t supposed to travel alone’, and now it’s ‘you can travel after you get married’. Whenever I get time I watch vlogs, look at breath-taking pictures of my favourite places. I don’t know what people my age dream about, all I dream about is green lands, tall trees, myself at a beach or lying down somewhere and looking at clear sky with thousands of stars.” @roojness
“I once went to Kaghan Naran and since then I’ve been in awe of people living there! And now I literally want to leave everything behind and just go live in the mountains but it’s not realistic! If I get a chance I’ll go to north all alone and probably never come back! I love the immensity and the serenity you feel up there! Like how all your problems are so small and pointless when there’re a whole world out there that you could explore!” @anfrk
“I was born and brought up in Quetta, this city has been the hub of my 23 years life. Irony is my dad is an army man, he travelled around all his career, but it was my mother, for her job’s sake we always stayed with her. I happened to live a few years of my childhood in Zhob and that’s the only travelling a 7-year-old me remember, from Zhob to Quetta to spend Eid vacations with my grandparents.
In 2004 we moved to Quetta, and since then I haven’t seen anything beyond these mountains.
Like any other teenager growing up who hadn’t had the chance to travel, I too held the desires to explore what was unknown to me, I too wanted to know of the world that lies ahead of these mountains. Even though I never left this valley, but I did travel the world through YouTube and that only is enough to intensify the already unbearable urge to travel, to be on the move, to discover the land and meet people.
Things that happen when you least expect them to be, aren’t those the one that leaves the deepest imprints? That changes you forever? That gives you unmeasurable happiness? Well, something like that did happen to me. For a girl who never thought her near future holds any travelling, got a chance of her life by getting the privilege to go for Umrah with her grandparents.
For someone who hadn’t seen any other city of Baluchistan, let alone Pakistan’s got to experience Dubai, Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah (even though if it were just the airports) the whole experience was surreal. I mean, I can flood pages just with the happenings of flight from Quetta to Dubai. The details of my experience are irrelevant here, but the point is, the vibes, the energy, the change you get after travelling is contagious.
Once you have gotten the taste of it all, there is no going back. Travelling rejuvenate your soul. It changes your body and mind. The change that comes with travel is like the waves unsettling the soul and it takes time for the water to become stagnant again. How long that would stay is an answer I am still searching.
Now, things are back to as they were, back to the same monotonous drudgery of life, and the longing to be back in the world out there is soul crushingly painful. Now I wait again in the hope of unexpected to happen, hoping against all odds for the time to come when I would be able to unleash what more travelling has to offer.
Now I wait to feel and inhale the air of a different place, sinking in every fiber of my being, calm my soul and at the same time rumpling those feathers of mine which now know how it feels to soar.” @Mariam201294
So here is the thought,
You’re sitting in your office, doing a 9-5 Job and scrolling through your social media apps to see where people are travelling? how they are achieving their goals while you are unable to even take a day off.
Does that mean you are lazy? or you choose this for yourself? NO!
Everyone is bound in one way or the other. As soon as your graduate you are constantly planning a road trip, but then reality hits and the next day you’re doing a 9-5 job.
The important thing is, that you never stop dreaming, there is always a side of you that wants to leave everything and travel and as much as you want to leave, you can’t and feel trapped. What makes it worse is the people around you, they are either forcing you to stay focused to be socially accepted or they are living your dreams. And between all that, you lose yourself, not sure which path to choose and how to deal with the chaos.
Slowly, you start to lose interest in everything and start believing this is your fate. you start to believe that you cannot travel.
Well, that’s what I thought, although I’ve had the privilege to travel all my life, but I wanted to travel solo, and it was nearly impossible for me. When I decided to tell my father what I wanted, I needed to be very clear, I had to convince him to agree with what I wanted. I realised it was impossible to make him understand why I wanted to travel solo, so I decided to find work related to my field, that would allow me to travel.
In the process of making him understand, I lost my motivation more than once. It was because I was trying to listen to everyone, was trying to please everyone. In this process I started to search what love actually is? I wanted to know why my father doesn’t understand what I wanted.
I tried to search the meaning of love, to learn what love is. Is it when you put your baby to bed? is it when you give medicines to your father before he sleeps, or to hug your mother before sleeping? Is it when you miss your brother when he’s away, or it is the heart wrenching pain of knowing that they all will be gone one day, all the people you love, and cannot live without will be gone. Some will go away while they are alive and some will leave because death will take them away. Is it love when you cannot sleep or even close your eyes knowing the person you love the most is in pain? Is it love when you pray each and every day for the well-being of the people who have caused immense pain in your life?
I think love cannot be described in words, it’s a feeling. It’s that energy that you feel around people you love. I started finding what caused my father not to let me go? was it because he didn’t love me? or was it because he loved me way too much?
We think our parents are not humans, they are not flawed, they cannot make mistakes, but we forget that they are humans too, they have feeling too, they can make mistakes too. Even then they give us their entire life, is it because they don’t care for us? or because the love us in ways that we cannot even imagine?
Once I understood that, that my father in not my enemy, he wanted good for me, he was worried for me, just like I’m worried for him if he’s even an hour late or if his phone is unreachable. How can he allow a piece of his heart to go thousands of miles away, that too to places with no connectivity? I realised it that If I want to travel like this, I have to find something that will at-least give him peace. Slowly and gradually things worked out for me in ways that I never imagined.
You’re born a Traveler, a dreamer. You spent your childhood reading about places, dreaming about places, writing about places. No matter what, you always choose to see the positive side in every situation, but as you grow up all your dreams start to vanish. No one remembers the exact moment when they gave up on their dreams. it is because dreams never vanish, they are buried. when you grow old you try to find the remains, and try and rebuilt your dreams, slowly all of it re-appears.
It is one of the hardest and most heartbreaking thing to find yourself when you’re lost, but let me also tell you that when you find yourself, it is the most fulfilling experience of your life, and once you find it, there is no going back. you have a direction for life. And let me tell you, running away from everything has been the best decision of my life. It was scary and sad and even dangerous, but it was all worth it.
I hope you find yourself and your dreams, and I hope you have the courage to fulfil your dreams.