Why I Spend Half My Salary on Travel

The title is lame but I just could not think of a better one. So I was trying to take a nap this afternoon while my heart was aching for something. I was crankier than usual. Food tasted stale. Even the urge to dress up was gone. I know that feeling. It's called wanderlust. I am craving for my next trip. I went on my last trip in March. I went to Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. This was my second trip to Rajasthan. And even though I can't claim to have covered the entire state, Rajasthan is pretty much off my bucket list. And hence my quest for the next destination has already begun.

Most people around us (other than those super cool travel bloggers and a bunch of lame ass 'influencers') don't go on trips every month. They have jobs that don't provide free travel around the globe. They have responsibilities, kids, and every other damn thing that keep them enslaved to their routine life. Although honestly, most of these people don't deserve to travel either. I have spent a year and half in one of the most popular tourist destinations of India and I know how idiotic general tourists are. They are less of explorer, more of nuisance. As for me, I am neither a professional travel blogger, nor a dumb influencer with rich parents. I am one of those millions of middle-class, tax paying citizens of a third world nation. I don't earn in dollar or euro. My reality is always tormented between the URGE to travel and the NEED to save up. I am contemplating buying a good dslr camera these days and the moment I buy it I wouldn't be able to go on any trip for at least next three months. Reality is so full of irony, isn't it? Plane tickets constantly put my credit card out of spending limit. My card usually run with a steady high and low pattern. One month I have exhausted my credit limit. Next month I am paying the bill. Again the very next week I am buying myself that goddamn vacation. And round and round it goes. It hardly has any Under the Tuscan Sun kinda vibes.

I have been travelling since I got my first job. It was a government job so it didn't pay well. It still doesn't. And yet somehow I would always manage to have at least one trip every year. Of course I wasn't flying off to fucking Europe but as an Indian I believe you must not start with having your passport stamped. Our mother nation has got so many places to see that one lifetime is not enough. No I am not talking from my begrudged middle class consolation seeking point of view. Trust me, standing in front of the temple of Abu Simbel or walking down the stone cobbled alleyways of Italy feeling like Julia fucking Roberts are very much there on my bucket list. But so is visiting all the ancient monasteries of Spiti Valley.

I am a budget traveller. Yet I am not one of those hippie backpackers. I cannot even imagine staying at a dormitory room or travelling by sleeper class. I enjoy good food. I never miss to shop on my trips. I prefer taking the road less travelled even though I don't mind indulging myself in touristy activities. When I went to Manali I explored the city as well as I went on jungle trails to find the lost city of Thava. So maybe striking a balance between taking yourself seriously and taking yourself too seriously is the most essential part here. I splurge where I cannot compromise. Like the plane ticket. Because I am on a pre-approved leave schedule as well as I prefer hygiene and safety over parsimony. Usually I tell myself "You're gonna die anyway so fuck this shit" and go ahead with being broke. I pinch penny where it can be helped. Like booking a homestay through booking.com, or Airbnb. But you would never see me travelling with a bunch of idiots who think visiting a tourist destination with the entire family once a year make them 'travel enthusiasts'. Sadly, it's mostly the Bengalis that suffer from this kind of pseudo-intellectual identity crisis.

don't mind being broke, honestly. I have colleagues who have fat bank balance and yet I wonder when was the last time they actually lived a life. I don't wanna be rich like that. Of course there are some bastards as well who somehow managed to get hold of really well-paid jobs even though they didn't deserve shit. I resent them to death. Their death, not mine. But that's a different story. As for me, I am single and childless. I hate my job. So who the fuck cares? In fact I work because I love to travel and shop. My mother HATES my spending habit. Especially the one that involves travelling to some godforsaken place every two months. She thinks I am stupid and those rich 'friends' of mine couldn't be more prudent. Well I am stupid and I am OK with it.

I get bored VERY easily. Now what can I say about that? I am what I am and I can't help it. Money, luxury, shopping, sex, love -- nothing can keep me from getting bored. Routine makes me sick. The allure of the unexplored gets me on more than anything. And before I knew it, I am hopping into that cab all ready for my next destination again. I fell in love while travelling. I broke my heart while travelling. I made terrible mistakes on my trips that had lasting repercussions long after. But I made memories. Those people may or may not be in my life anymore, the stories of them will always be a part of who I am. I am but a true story-seeker. I don't mind getting bruised every now and then in the process.

We are all gonna die anyway, so why not fuck this shit and live a life worth writing books about?