i’m seriously considering taking a month off and going travelling. escaping the commonwealth games in melbourne could be a good idea as i have no interest in the games. this means however that i’ll have to make plans now, select a destination and book flights. Realistically, april will probably be my month away. for some reason, india is providing some appeal. a month is not a long time, so i’ll have to decide on the region to focus on. The well worn path from Mumbai to Goa and its environs then back again may be the easiest trip to start with.

there’s a part of me that is reluctant to leave. i am not so much of an inveterate traveller that the thought of leaving my home and my comfort zones thrills me. In actuality, I see little appeal in the process of travelling. maybe it is because i have travelled although that has mainly been around south east asia and australia (which perhaps does not count) and my memories are of loneliness and dislocation.

The people in the countries i’m going through have lives and realities that i cannot access or even if i do, will only provide shallow understanding. The one thing that matters most to people, which is the interpersonal connections they have with each other and the landscape, is something that as a traveller, I’ll never really share. The backpacking circuit serves only to highlight how removed travellers are, how illusionary and circular the journey they make is and how finally, it really is about seeking new sensations, new sights and its associated bragging rights.

The thing that makes a difference is the object of travel. When focussed towards a destination, the journey becomes a quest and quests are something else again. The problem is, at this stage, my quest will be peripheral to going to India. I have a plan to do some substantial writing and this can certainly be done if I find a nicely priced hotel room with a window. And there is something enticing and romantic about writing during the day before seeking out the sights in the evening. But i do not intend to write about india and the only reason to be writing there would be to be away from Melbourne and to have something to give structure to my days while away.

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