‘Pathik’, in Sanskrit, means ‘the one on a journey’. I have always felt like a constant traveller. I have been out and about since I was 8 months old. Travel, in early years of my life was not fun. It was basically moving from place to place which included travelling to and fro boarding school four times a year. Even visiting Taj Mahal at the age of six, was frankly, not much fun. The fun part came with the ‘educational trips’ with friends, where education, was incidental. When time came to decide what to do in life (professionally), the obvious answer to me was travel. I went on to study Tourism. It set my base for a life of a nomad. I have now been working as a tourism professional for almost 20 years, and it has been quite a roller- coaster ride.
I have often wondered, what is it that makes one want to travel. This intense need to get out and explore lands and cultures different than ours. Animals roam about, but essentially for food or for safety. They are okay with usual drudgery of forever foraging for food. Well, we travel for a living too, but are not limited to it. We want more. We are inquisitive, forever unsatisfied and searching for answers. We are a species that is forever stuck between pushing our boundaries to expand our knowledge of the unknown and seeking safety, stability, and comfort of the known. Nourishment of the body is not enough. We look for nourishment of the soul. Travel is one of the mediums that helps us realise that. When I started traveling, I had no idea why I wanted to do that. It was just this inner call of seeing new lands and ways of life, that created a sense of romance and adventure in my head. At the same time, a fear of the unknown always crept in, making travel, even more attractive. And each time I ventured out, I gained an appreciation of the world outside of me. In doing so, I gained better understanding of myself and my life closer home. Travel, I believe, has made me more accepting, tolerant, appreciative, and loving of myself and my near and dear ones.
It is by traveling outside of our known, that we understand more of the unknown within. Pathika is my attempt to explore the ‘spirit of travel’.