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What can I say about an emotion that is rooted to my being, embedded in the core of my soul? Is it a state of mind or an obsession? Is it a passion to discover unexplored horizons both geographic and within myself? I have ceased attempting to define it. I just live with it. I call it wanderlust!

In my introspective moments, I have wondered if this state of mind that is forever dynamic, owes its inception to any specific stimuli. Are people bitten by the travel bug all of a sudden? Does it stem from a happy travel experience in childhood? Do wonderfully attractive travelogues on television enthuse one into travel planning? Or do great travel writers inspire us to follow the footsteps of great journeymen? All of it perhaps, since each one of us moves to rhythm of our own hearts.

I have been fortunate that I have had the pleasure to travel widely from an early age. I have come to believe that travel and its consequent exposure to worlds that are distinctively separated from our everyday reality, are great educators. We enjoy the lesson, we are pleasured by the learning and enriched by the experience. In this seduction of travel we develop into better selves. We learn, we shed inhibitions, we assimilate information, we reject prejudices, we shun bigotry, we unlearn. We transform into more tolerant human beings.

If most of these are true for a majority of travellers, then I recommend travel as the great unifying spirit that can make ours a happier world. No one can tell when the waters of one ocean mix and blend and flow with that of another. We just know that the oceans are unified by their freedom to flow, as they wish. Can this not be so with humans, who can move seamlessly through cultures, borders, religions, customs, art, food, music and literature and leave a little of themselves behind and carry back a little from each place they travel to. To love each other. And harmonize. And create a symphony that the heavens will smile upon.

All great journeys begin with a single step. In our lives we must ensure that we do not crush anything under that step. In fact, we should leave a footprint that posterity will recognize and emulate. Of having lived our lives meaningfully and responsibly. Tolerantly and with empathy. Nomads have a great philosophy. Wherever they stop, they make a home. At one with their environment. Like animals are in the jungle, the birds in the trees, the fish in the oceans. Can we do the same, perhaps? May we all, become travellers who embrace strangers when we meet and part as friends? Travel can unify. Travel can make a fractured world whole again. In doing so, perhaps all of us will have become whole within ourselves and transformed into beings with human values. Then we can truly travel through realms of ocean depths and mountain highs of our own consciousness. Across borders physical and undefined. And ride the highs and lows of our minds. We can have tourisme sans frontieres. Travel without borders.

(The author is a tourism consultant, travel writer and Executive Director of Travelcorp. Email:

Consultant Editor - TravelDailyNews Asia-Pacific | Website | + Articles

Shekhar is a veteran journalist and destination marketing consultant. With over three decades of experience in covering MICE and all aspects of tourism, he continues to travel extensively and contribute news, analysis and commentary on trends in the industry, globally. Email: