Tour and travel at what age 

A friend once remarked that he was too busy with his job and hence he could not travel to various tourist destinations. He had deep desire to visit several historic and pilgrimage places. He was in government service and had limited opportunity to avail leave. He had shortage of time as well as money. There are many businessmen also who have ample money but hardly find any time to visit places.

Does this mean that travel and tour suits only the super rich who have also ample spare time at their disposal? Obviously the former princes and sons and daughters of the super rich have ample time and money. But then many of them do not have any taste or craving for such travel. Many think that they will travel to their preferred destinations when they retire from active job. In fact, many retired people travel a lot. But it is also a fact that when you grow old, you also lose interest in many worldly things like travel for fun. Possibly, some may choose pilgrimage travel in old age. Famous Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib had remarked that one must travel around the world in youth. He wrote-  Sair kar duniya ki Ghalib, yeh zindgani pfir kahan, Zindgani ho bhi to yeh jawani phir kahan (Ghalib says- travel around the world. There is no another life; even if so, there will be no youth). This is indeed true as far as adventure tourism is concerned. You need be young, adventurous and healthy for tracking in hills. One adventurous person volunteered for posting at Kargil in Ladakh region of J & K state. He visited very tough places like Amar Nath during field posting in Ladakh. It is very doubtful if he could ever travel to tough places in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and other hilly places like Badrinath in old age.  

In fact, best time to visit places is in youth only. There are many reasons why you will lose interest in visiting places in the evening of your life. One is that most places are similar. Broadly speaking, all regions on Earth may be classified as Plains, hills, desert, water- lakes, ocean, water falls. Thus if you visited Kashmir, Himachal and Switzerland will look alike.  Also similar purpose buildings are alike. How does Agra Fort differ from Red Fort at Delhi. Many buildings are constructed similarly as architecture is common. For a young man, everything is new. But after seeing some places, he will find only similarity in other sites of similar nature. 

Travel via Internet/ U Tube 

These days Intenet is also a good source of getting view of different places. One friend visits almost all places in the world on U Tube. You get everything and every place on u tube without passport, visa, travel expenses and so on. It appears that this is a smart idea. You may see many more places in U tube than you can actually visit. However, actual visit gives you unique direct experience that you cannot get on internet. But Internet can enable you to select some places that you find more interesting to visit. If you have already seen some place in u Tube, you will find it more interesting to actually visit that place. Moreover, there are some places that you cannot physically visit owing to your physical health or lack of time. For example, Kailsah Mansarovar in Tibet (China), North and South Pole are difficult to visit. You may visit these virtually in U tube or other sites.       

Coordinate business/ official  travel with personal tour 

There is a way out for the youngsters and middle aged men and women. They must better combine job with travel. The employees in transferable posts should shed home sickness and opt for more frequent postings. There are many in defence service and other transferable jobs, who have seen almost entire India at no cost. HospitalityorganizationsThey just volunteer or opt for posting to new stations. They visit all historic and other important places during active service.  A friend had traveled to Kashmir, Bangalore, Hyderabad and some other places along with his parents as his father was in a transferable job. When he grew up, he was employed in Indian Army. He visited not only several places in India but also abroad. He went even to Germany and other places in Europe. One has to constantly keep himself abreast of various tourist opportunities at or near his place of posting. So, if one is posted at Patna, he can well see museum, zoo, remains of Nalanda University etc. at Patna. Besides, he may travel to nearby places like Hazaribagh that has a wild life sanctuary. Orissa and West Bengal are also near to Patna. If possible, he may move on temporary duty to these places and mix fun with pleasure. While at Delhi, there are places like Agra, Mathura, Khajuraho that you may visit easily. 

Combine social functions witth personal travel 

Also, sometimes you need to visit your relatives and friends on occasions like marriage and other functions. On such occasions you can well visit the nearby tourist places. For example, if you visit your friend at Mumbai, you may well go to Pune and visit Yervada Jail where Mahatma Gandhi was detained. From there you can also go to Goa and enjoy beauty of beaches and see other places like Bom Jesus Basilica and churches and convents of old Goa.   

If you are in business, you may need to travel to many places in connection with business. It will be a clever idea to include in travel program also the places of tourist interest. It is customary in west for company directors to accompany their spouse on business trips. They get opportunity to visit many tourist sites in addition to performing business routines.

If you move on employment or business work, your hotel and other expenses are well met by travel allowance or business expenses. But you may have to spend extra on hotels and small travel to places not strictly covered by official or business trips. There is a smart way to keep such expenses to minimum. You need just maintain a list of friends and relatives at various places. Some of them may even host you or make your stay comfortable in one way or the other. But you should ensure that they are not unnecessarily burdened. One man had a ready list of friends and relatives at the places he would visit. He would seldom stay at hotel. But he would always carry some gifts for his host's children. He would also not be a burden on the host. He would buy some fruits and vegetables during his stay. Such strategy also presupposes that you are social. You cannot expect to get what you cannot give. So, you should also be prepared to help your friends and others visiting your place. Visitors to your place may only need benefit of your familiarity with the place. Thus if you are at Agra, your friends visiting your city may only need some guidance in seeing places. They will be happy if you just accompany them.       

Friendship/ Hospitality exchange organizations facilitate travel at less cost 

There are some friendship organizations like SERVAS having membership all over the world. When you go to any place a SERVAS member would be of utmost help to you. Such association also encourages international brotherhood at people to people level. One friend of mine at Agra is a member of SERVAS.  He receives some times guests from countries of Europe, Australia etc.  The guests get better awareness about Indian culture and tradition by enjoying hospitality in Indian homes. There are also facilities for stay provided by some other bodies, for example- YMCA, YWCA. One can avail of these.

Conclusion

In short, one may make a judicious use of time and money by combining personal visits with business and office and those in transferable services may choose to volunteer for frequent positing to new places. We have a limited life span and need to accomplish everything during this time. We cannot wait for old age retirement to visit places.          


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