Travel .. Random.
Posted on: 02/02/2012
The transition phase between summer and monsoon is probably the dullest time for an adventurer in INDIA. Irregularity in the weather, the uncertainty in conditions makes it practically impossible to have a fixed outdoor adventure activity scheduled in this period.
I say so not only because this weather is unhealthy but also because it makes the terrain very hazardous.
All said and done this period does give me a chance to indulge in another favorite activity of mine - Travel - and by that I don”t mean trips to Goa, Mahabaleshwar or other conventional holiday spots but traveling to random places using cheap transport and staying in cheap motels .Although I love to travel in luxury, stay in resorts at lovely tourist spots , traveling the non-conventional way gives me a great opportunity to explore our vast country, meet new people and off course save a lot of money.
For a lack of a good word lets just call this type of traveling by its nature -
"Random Travelling" Yes!! where nothing is really concrete, no real travel plans,no confirmed reservations, no clue what”s going to happen the next day , it really is spontaneous.
It may be impulsive but there are certain guidelines one should follow to make his journey safe, sound and memorable.
How does one embark on Random Travel ??
If you have within you the spirit of adventure, love for travel and ability to make good friends, all you will encounter on this journey is great fun and long lasting memories.
Like I said before the plans maybe impulsive but you need to fix certain guidelines for your trip so that at least you have a clue of when you depart and when you come back.
The first thing one should do is to shortlist the part of the country you want to tour, buy a Tourist may of India, maps by India Tourism under the "Incredible India" campaign give
us really good information on places of historical and political importance in our country.
One book that the random traveler should always carry along is the latest edition
of "Lonely Planet –India" although mainly compiled for foreign tourists , the book really gives us a in-depth information about roads, modes of transport, places to stay ,restaurants, local tourist spots, shopping squares and all classified according to budget.
The Indian railways has an extensive network of rail roads all over the country, their website www.indianrail.gov.in not only gives you detailed information on available trains but even allows you to book tickets online. I recommend making your plans well in advance so as to get confirmed tickets for your entire train journey.
Always research your trip on the Internet it lists various sites giving us extensive information on modes of transports, hotels & guest houses, hospitals & clinics and nearest tourist information center located near the place of your choice.
There is one golden rule that I follow during such travels, to make it cheap you can compromise on Travel, Compromise on Stay but never compromise on your food and water. Yes! You must savor local food where”ll you go, but always buy it from known shops and hotels. The best option is to get your food prepared from some locals; it not only adds authenticity to the dishes but also makes it much safer to digest.
Also always drink bottled mineral water, preferably of the same brand through out the entire trip, try and purchase water of national brands , locally made bottled water maybe good but the taste changes with brands and constant changes in taste and quality may not suit you stomach.
Always carry a personalized First-Aid kit which includes your 1) Your Prescription drugs,2) Basic pain killers 3) Ointments for cuts, burns, sprains & rashes 4) Mosquito repellent cream 5) Drugs for Digestive problems 6) Sunscreen 7) Anti fungal powder for your feet and other sweaty areas. etc
If you fancy photography or wish to document your journey do carry a good digital camera but also carry a simple film box camera , in the interior parts of our country you may not get electricity for days , also if the memory on your digital camera gets filled its really difficult to have access to a computer. Film cameras are still widely used in the interiors of country giving us easy access to film roles and camera batteries.
Always carry your luggage in a backpack, haversacks not only store lot many clothes and other stuff but they are also very comfortable and convenient during travels.
In your sack you should carry a sleeping bag, just enough clothes, ample sets of inner wear and socks, a heavy duty torch , a penknife, pair of floaters, a rain jacket and warm
I prefer carrying sweets and chewing gums during the trip, they act as great Ice breakers with strangers. Another good of way of making friends along the way are a deck of
cards, set of good books and your portable music player.
Now that you are all set to embark on this wonderful kind of voyage I can sum it up with a famous quote by Ursula Le Guin “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but
it is the journey that matters, in the end.”