The best way to judge the character of a person is not in how they behave around their friends but rather, in how they interact with total strangers. Why you ask? Because even the shyest of individuals comes alive around people they are comfortable with. Being placed in a room full of strangers leaves one in a very compromising position; you take your steps so cautiously and calculate your every action because you’re afraid of what they everyone else will think. No one ever wants to be in a situation where their every action is analysed. It’s very scary (or maybe it’s just me) Well, now imagine not only being in the same room with the strangers but having to travel long distances, in a somewhat uncomfortable bus for hours on end , for 5 whole days! Sounds like pure torture, right? (Especially for the anti-social folks).
The CRBC “On the Road” photography competition seemed like a nightmare to me at first. I was frightened to say the least. What would I say to all these people? How was I to conduct myself? I have never been great at striking conversations, neither am I the naturally charming and funny type that has everyone in stitches within a few minutes of encounter. I am a rather(very) boring individual and the things that amuse me vaguely rouse the interests of others. What would my seat mate on the bus think? I was afraid of breaking the ice; I didn’t want to seem too eager to start a conversation neither did I want to come off as snobbish. To cut the long story short, everything turned out great in the end; defintely among the top on the list of my best experiences for 2015, despite the sunburns I nursed. All this was not without valuable life lessons;
- Judge Lodging Facilities based on the Quality of its Tissue Paper
I am not even kidding. This is a full proof method. If you want to look at the quality of a lodging facility just look at the toilet paper you’re offered. The answer lies right there. If you’re given one of those yellowish, rough toilet papers that nearly grace your bum, then rest assured even the towel will be so. At these facilities you’ll mostly be given Bata slippers that do not match, mostly one will be red and the other blue or green. You will be scared of any part of your body making contact with the shower walls lest you contract some weird disease. The pillow will be as hard as rock and you will spend the entire night wishing for the day to break. The opposite holds true; where the tissue paper is soft, white and fluffy, your stay will just be as comfortable. You will spend hours in the bathroom because it’s all too clean. That night, you will drift into peaceful slumber and curse when the morning comes.
- It’s never that serious
Yes, it’s never that serious! The moment you get out of that shell you’ve surrounded yourself in, everything will flow so easily. Everyone has just as much insecurities as you do, everyone is just as afraid as you are. We all just want to be happy and make friends at the end of the day. Throw caution to the wind and enjoy life 🙂
- Beauty is in the most unlikely of Places
People assume that you have to go to exotic places in order to find beauty. How wrong! The most breath-taking scenes are those we ignore on a daily, we unintentionally turn a blind eye to them. When you travel , take time to admire those things that everyone else ignores, in them you will find indescribable beauty . You’ll be stunned; you might even shed a few tears. My point? Take in the details, live in them.
- If you want to know the culture of a people, sample their food
I am not talking about those fancy overpriced meals on hotels menus. If you really want to experience the true culture of a people, walk into the streets and take your taste buds on a culinary trip. You’d be surprised at how much good food you’ll find. I’m also not ruling out the bad experiences as well. There are always two sides of the coin.
- If you meet someone you want to kiss, go right ahead
If you meet a stranger that you like and likes you back, do not hesitate in expressing your intentions. Life is too short. Grab that person and kiss the hell out of them. It might be the best kiss you ever had, it could also be the biggest mistake you ever made. How else will you know if you don’t try? Do not subject yourself to a world of “I wish I had…” and “It would have been beautiful…” If the Chemistry exists, run with it. Don’t think twice. Too much thinking always ruined good things.
At the end of it all, I have come to realize that being with strangers brings out a certain character in your that you didn’t even know existed. You feel reborn, more alive. So if you’re able to, once every year, go on a safari or camping with total strangers. You might just rediscover a new you 🙂