When my parents began planning a vacation to Europe, sure I was super excited, because who doesn’t like to travel? So, with crazy enthusiasm, I packed and shopped (of course, how could I not?) and readied myself to be out of country for 16 full days. Goodbye, girlfriends. Goodbye, boyfriend.
And then.. 9 hours later we landed and I saw the most enticing sight: London! That was when I realized that Europe? It was not going to be like just another international tour. I had heard a lot about how breath taking Europe was so when I finally saw it, it was love at first sight.
Unlike other countries, Europe does not have skyscrapers and sophistication, what it has is charm. There is nature everywhere. How could I just not get charmed right away when everywhere I looked, I was mesmerized. For the first time in my life, I did not want to close my eyes even for a minute. I wanted to take it all in.. the old world charm, the beauty of nature, those aristocratic buildings, mountains, greenery, water, flowers of every color, historical monuments and much, much more.
London’s Victorian charm, the glamour of France, the simplicity of Belgium, the stunning beauty of Netherlands, the diversity of Germany, the mountains and rivers of Switzerland, the gorgeous sights of Austria, the fairy tale land of Vaduz, the raw appeal of Italy and the historicity of Vatican City left me craving for more. It really made me wonder how there can be so much untouched, untapped, glorious landscapes everywhere.
For me, who grew up reading fairy tales, Europe was a fairy tale land!
This blog, however is not going to describe Europe (you have Google for that) but it is about how it impacted me.
Yes, I fell in love, but more importantly.. this trip changed something in me. Changed a lot, actually. We have all seen these films (like Zindagi Ne Milegi Dobara) where people go on these trips and voila! They are changed persons. I used to see those and find them unrealistic and surreal but after these 16 days, it does not seem that way anymore.
Of late, stress had been a lot on my plate. My dad’s hospitalization, career-wise confusion, my decision to quit my first job because of a terrible boss. Had it been okay for me to quit my first job or had I seriously screwed up my career? Had I done the right thing?. In Europe, my question was answered.
Somewhere between the mountains of Switzerland and the mountains of Austria, the answer hit me loud and clear ‘’Yes’’. Yes, it was the best decision. I did not deserve to be treated that way, I deserved some peace of mind. In Europe, I saw how people were there.. so relaxed, so stress free and that’s when I realized that is what I want in my life. Balance. And some peace of mind. Also, I understood that to be unique, you need to be blessed. Like the continent of Europe that refuses to allow glass and metal to replace wood and water.
It showed me exactly how much I love travelling. It also reminded me how much I love writing and how much I have begun to love photography (actual photography, i mean. Not just selfies). I have decided, one day I will become a travel blogger and photographer. Wouldn’t that be cool? Instead of just a nine to five job, I would get to see new places, have amazing experiences, meet all kinds of people, click the most beautiful pictures and share it with the world.
Till date, I had been the kind of person to overly stress out. I wanted high rise buildings, malls and what not. But I have changed now.. the beauty of Europe called out to me and filled me with peace that I had not had in ages. Amidst Mother Nature, I felt at home. Now, I have decided that my life is going to be that way, no matter what. I want to go live in a place which has peace, serenity, natural beauty and can make me feel at home. Hell, I would take those rivers and mountains over fountains and malls, any day!
Exactly like how it happens in ZNMD, it happened to me too. I finally understood the concept of ‘’YOLO” in Europe. I truly felt like everything around me was speaking to me and giving me some sort of life lesson. It is true. It is one life and even in that life, your days are numbered. I do not want to live a life where I am constantly stressed, depressed and worried. I do not want to be a robot or a slave. I am a butterfly (Hey! I even have a tattoo of one) and I want to fly free. I want to pursue my goals, make my dreams come true in the way I want. I will make my own path and not follow everybody else. And o will always, constantly put in the effort to be happy. Because happiness should be everybody’s first priority.
It is really weird how one trip can change your life. I do not really know what it is about Europe, but honestly I have never felt truly at home, at peace than I felt there. I have not felt that in my own country. I have decided that one day I am going back to Europe and then, I am going to re-explore it and fall in love with it all over again.
Its been days since I returned home and I feel home sick for Europe. Ironic, isn’t it?
Here is a note to myself on the things I learned in/because of Europe:
- Balance is the key to life, Be like those Europeans.. work hard but always relax later.
- Its not man-made stuff that is great, its Mother Nature. Nothing can replace that!
- I feel most at peace when I breathe in fresh air, wander in forested paths, relax my feet in a stream and just take in all that spell binding awesomeness around me.
- Go live in a place that gives you that kind of peace, permanently
- Do not be caged, fly like a butterfly
- Do the things you want to, not what others expect from you. Be the master of your own destiny!
- Never try to fit in when you are meant to stand out
- Become a travel blogger and (or) travel photographer
- Travel the world. Explore.
- Live to the fullest.
- Go back to Europe. Period.