The feeling of being free is exactly the reason why I travel and in fact, it’s ubiquitous for all. The moment when the flight takes off, the excitement pumps up in the same way as it did when we were allowed by our parents to play the video game for some while. I happily wave goodbye to the boring life of yes and no’s. Now I can be just me. But really? How stupid of me to even think that way. I realised I am living in a country which is the supermarket of taboos and superstition. So whatever I do, the list of travel taboos follows me.
When I tell my travel stories, people on face say I am bold and intellectual to take up such voyage of life but behind my back, they consider me as a spendthrift. Love it or hate it, you are living with hypocrites, the double-faced ones so darling you would not be spared from the strings of wrongs, the taboos, even while travelling.
Chalo Dagmag but no Hug
If looks could have killed, most of the travellers who hugged and kissed in public would have been found dead. Yes, you read it right. In India, personal affection is to be kept behind the locked doors though the idiot box may portray otherwise. While you travel and explore, there are times when you come across such beautiful scenery and surreal landscape that you hug your partner in awe. While you and your partner are immersed in the feeling of altruism and gratitude that you are so blessed to experience that, others around you see it as a public display of love and affection. Suddenly you come out of that magical aura with people ogling you so badly and you start feeling like a thief which is tracked by many security cameras. What a painful climax to the fascination which travelling spellbinds with? Ganda Dimaag!
Start your own bike do not hitchhike
If you want to be stamped as degraded traveller then you can try hitchhiking in India. Follow all the budget friendly tips apart from this one. This is usually advised by our elders when we travel. But what about you do you think likewise or do you find hitchhiking new length and breadth to travel, talking and befriending new people in life. It is like coming out of your comfort zone and discovering what you really can be without the piece of paper ruling your life (money). I read a story of two friends who travelled across India with 100 bucks and the fun, excitement and stories they had hitchhiking is inspiring enough to move you from the couch and pack your backpacks. Wallowing in the luxury of the hotel may be one way to travel but sometimes simplicity overpowers all.
Happy without hippie
I am surrounded by the bunch of judgmental people. Don’t be so happy, even you are. If you are not a hippie yourself then you are expected to stay away from a hippie. I don’t know why but they are looked upon as some villain or so (LOL) and there is preconceived notion that they are spoiled and whatever they do would be incorrect. If you don’t agree, go together with your friend on a train travel and see how an aunty will sit close to you and not your friend, followed by a sympathetic look conveying, “Beta aisi kaunsi musibat aa gayi thi?”
Excess Travelling fever?
“You are not serious about your life. You are extravagant. You would be thrown out of your job. You are making a fuss of your life.” Well! These are the statements given to the person whose passion is travelling and those who find hard to rest their backpacks. Travelling is a lifestyle and commenting a traveller to follow strict adherence to 9 to 5 job is like commenting the Mukesh Ambani (and kind) to stay like poor or middle class. But if all this travelling is with family, it is all good. Can you believe, an excess of travel is also considered as travel taboo in India? So wired!
Women can travel – *Conditions Apply*
I know you are wondering why a male is talking about the secret diaries but ladies I am taking your side. There is a complete set of rules for females and when they are on periods they are looked as if some vampire has dug his fangs on her. She can’t do this, she can’t touch this and there are many series of don’ts, one of which is travel. While many of the females are breaking the rules and are comfortable trekking and travelling over a month or two, there are many places which never allow women to enter like Velliangiri (Vellingiri) Hill or the Sabarimala temple. But it’s not about Naari Shakti, please take due care if you have a painful one. This travel taboo is never going to leave you.
Single Couples not allowed
This travel taboo is forcefully fused in for no reason. A single couple travelling is most of the time deemed as the love birds or honeymoon couple. When both of them travel the world they are often looked as “ek bhi samjhdaar nahin hai”. After marriage what others expect from a couple is that they should also sink in household responsibilities and start spilling the beans of woes of marriage as others do. Thank God! I am single as of now.
Short Dressed? Beware of Vultures in culture
How we love to watch foreigners on the beaches sun bathing and relaxing? But Indian cannot take any Indian to be in such revealing clothes. Other than the beaches, revealing clothes are not considered safe for travelling. In India there is nothing like pleasing self through a dressing, it is like go beyond the rules and don’t complain if you suffer. Such travel taboos are so disheartening
Travellers never complain about anything, then why such depressing travel taboos still prevailing? I don’t understand why travel can’t be considered as a space between the regular life and special time to be you. Nevertheless, some things never change and as said by Ellen Bennett, “The path in front of you is rarely a straight line. It is full of bumps so embrace the bumps in the roads.”