Until I was 30+ I was just existing and suddenly on one of the fortunate days I decided to start living Life. Within a week, I went on backpacking across Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and I have ever since been to hundreds of places across 4 continents in the last few years.
I always keep bumping into amazing people and get to experience different cultures while on the road. As much as I have loved meeting people from various cultures, I have equally enjoyed meeting Desis in different countries. Sometimes I’m surprised to bump into Indians in the most unexpected parts of the world though I eventually end up becoming good friends with them. Once I met a Bangalore-based entrepreneur who had traveled all the way to a start-up event in Antalya – Turkey to pitch his business. And another time I met a Hyderabadi in Barcelona who had been living in Spain for a decade, and speaks perfect Catalan and Spanish.
Another interesting experience was on the other side of the world in a little town called Guatape. It is a couple of hours away from the City of Medellin in Colombia. I got onto a public bus in Guatape and a girl who very much looked like a Colombian greeted me and asked if I was from India! To my pleasant surprise, she was from Mumbai and was working in US at that time. She came all alone to explore Colombia which otherwise was infamous for the Drug wars during 1990’s. I was so happy to meet her and to know about her experiences that I strongly felt, that is how free women should be, along with being courageous and hard-working !
To top it all, just a week back we bumped into an amazing Indian couple in Trinidad, Cuba who originally live in the U.K. We had a great dinner together and shared some interesting stories. The next day my wife had a nasty fall at the Hotel and got her leg fractured. We went to a local Hospital and got treated and realized we were running low on cash and our insurance didn’t cover cashless treatment!
Our cards didn’t work and finally I called up the Indian couple we met the previous day, they quickly came over and paid the Hospital bill. They gave us some extra cash like a family member would, and made sure we reached our Hotel safe. I was blown away by their wonderful gesture and this incident reassured me of what I believe in – People!
I’m not sure if anyone quoted this before but I have always believed that life is all about how much you travel and how many friends you make, and not how much money you make and how many properties you own! While traveling I have met some amazing Desis and some others who do not even return a smile or even avoid eye contact with fellow Desis! But I think it would be nicer to exchange few smiles if not drinks 🙂 otherwise, you may miss making friends with some incredible people !