Thursday, June 2, 2016

For the first time's sake....

I don't think this one needs a caption.
I could not write over the last few days because I was travelling to the two beautiful cities in Canada, Montreal and Quebec. I particularly love Quebec city dwelling by the shores of the majestic St Lawrence river. The exquisite European architecture around every corner of the city is hard to be missed when you walk on the typical French narrow streets. If you are fond of history and culture, this is the city you have to visit. And if you are a relaxing stroll kind like me, nothing is more relaxing than the walks across the old Quebec city in the warm and quiet summer early morning.

A beautiful restaurant we spotted while in Quebec city.

Evenings in Quebec are not as quiet as mornings, because of all the tourists and travellers from around the world. Even with all the tourist rush, the evenings are beautiful and enriching. I like to visit a patio once in a while. Patios feel great if they are on a beautiful location, because you get to have your dinner in the nice warm and fresh weather appreciating the life and nature around. Quebec city has plenty of them and any location here just seems nice.So, Quebec naturally becomes a great destination for a patio lover as well.
The heated patio of Savini where Mr and Mrs Banyan bat enjoyed an Italian dinner.

Well, while we are on the subject, let me share the story of little Joe who is now starting to enjoy his travels and who is secretly wishing to visit as many beautiful places as he can. He doesn't even know how he would visit a lot of places in his list. But there's no harm in dreaming, right? Before his 21st birthday, Joe had hardly crossed his native state (a beautiful state in India). The only out of state travel he had done was a trip to Jabalpur Bhedaghat (a magnificent water fall on the river Narmada). It is a little Niagara Falls. That was the most amazing trip he ever had, well until 2006. It was the first time he saw a beautiful and gigantic waterfall in his life time. On 3rd February 2006, he embarked on the 36 hours journey to the God's own country, Kerala. The longest train journey he had been on so far. The views from the train while it crossed states one after the other were breathtaking. The view when the train entered Kerala and cruised along the coast of Arabian sea was simply great. Joe was going to Kerala for the initial training before starting his first Job.

The training period was filled with a lot of new experiences like green/blue waters in deep Indian ocean, Interactions with people who didn't share his mother tongue and staying happily with complete strangers who will become his best buddies in the time to come. This is where Joe got the glimpse of a multicultural community.

The training was completed and Joe joined the company, worked in Mumbai for another 4 years and the time came when he boarded an international flight for the first time. He was travelling to Toronto, Canada. He would get only one chance to fully embrace these moments because as you know, First times happen only once. Any international flight after that would never be first time. All the time in the flight, he was preparing his first few sentences: The conversation with the Cab driver. He was trying to imagine the accent of the driver and how Joe will tell him where he had to go. It was thrilling and a bit scary. Well he enjoyed every single moment in that flight with a little bit of fear of unknown and finally landed in Toronto.

Well, life is funny. After everything from immigration and baggage claim was done, Joe went for the cab. You won't imagine, He did neither :). The Cab driver spoke in Joe's native language and he seemed to be from Joe's place in India. :) Well that was the first time Joe's "First time experience" was screwed so badly. :) Come on... he wanted to speak to an English guy. Well, but that actually gave him a lot of comfort as well and for the first time in his life, Joe truly experienced what it means when people say, the world is really a small place.

Beautiful Sunset somewhere in Nova Scotia, Canada

Since then a lot of first times happened. A few of them are worth a mention. I don't think joe would have ever imagined jumping off a flying plane from 5000 Ft above the ground if he had stayed back  home. Learning to swim was Joe's dream since he became sane, but that became a reality only when he was in Toronto among a lot of others who shared his dream of swimming. Upgrading the waterfall experience from Bhedaghat to one of the most voluminous waterfalls in the world, Niagara falls could not have been possible if it were not for Toronto.

This list could go on. But why am I telling you all this? Because all these first time experiences give a great feeling. They keep giving us joy even as days pass into weeks, weeks pass into months, months pass into years. This has become the "why" behind my travel dreams.

There are a lot of ways you can get various first time experiences, but I believe the easy and fun way is to travel. Whenever you travel to a new place, you invite a lot of first time experiences into your life. They may not always be great, but the risk is worth taking.

I must confess, I don't claim to always have a specific purpose for travelling and I am not always a true traveller. To be honest, a lot of times I am really a tourist, wanting to strike out as may places in a city as I could. Sometimes the sheer goal is to add that funky destination to my list of "Places I have already been to" so that I can flaunt my travel experiences when the topic crosses our chats.

Whatever the why may be, travelling always refreshes your mind and it gives you a sense of appreciation about all the possibilities and miracles the world has witnessed and will witness in the times to come.

This part of my life where I try to travel as much as I can, is called exploring the world. This is where I will share my enthusiasm about travelling to new places, trying different cuisines, exploring different cultures and anything else that the journey offers.

If you like this article, do share your thoughts. I would also like to hear your "why" for travelling.

Until then,
Happy Journey!
Banyan Bat.

P.S. Travelling inherently helps you increase your knowledge in the areas of your interest. Here's the evidence.

I accidentally stumbled upon this while I was visiting Biodome de Montreal in Montreal, Canada. I could not resist clicking a picture and I could not resist sharing it here :)

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