Monday, April 05, 2010


My friend FiFo is one of the most interesting guys I know. He's extremely well read and informed, has immense personal drive and ambition, displays an inspiring capacity for hard work, faces the world with admirably stoic calm and humours all the madness and insanity the rest of us throw at him.

One of the things I've come to admire about him is his willingness to travel, often by himself, to places on his life wishlist. He selects a destination, does the required research, and strikes out. A new destination, a new adventure, every six months or so.

Some time ago, he put up a list on his blog, here, his ten year travel plan.

I have long had a wishlist as well, one that I have often read through wistfully but never really taken the initiative to act on. And everytime I see this list, I sigh to myself and go through a series of seven thoughts in the following sequence

  1. Aargh, I hate myself for not being more planned and making a serious move on this list
  2. I'm so glad I got the opportunity to cover at least Australia and New Zealand - perenially near the top of my list - so thoroughly
  3. I'll definitely get cracking on this once I get to India. Definitely
  4. I hope I don't do what I always do - let work, mental inertia and my habitual procrastinaation and indecisiveness kill my plans
  5. Oh hell, marriage - if/when it happens - is probably going to tie me down and limit my current carefree world-be-damned-I-love-to-explore travel. Dammit, I'd better hurry up and get all this travel under my belt asap
  6. I'll start as soon as I'm back. I promise. No more delays. This time I mean it. I think
  7. Aargh, I hate myself for not being more planned and making a serious move on this list

Following in FiFo's footsteps, I have now decided to commit this to blog-form, moving it from the dusty archives of an Excel sheet lost on my chaotic computer to public domain. How will this be any different, how will it matter, you may be tempted to ask. And quite rightly so.

The answer is that I'm not quite sure. But admitting to a little more openly, setting it in writing, so to speak, may help make me more accountable to myself. I would also hope (though not expect) that others who stumble across this list will offer their suggestions, and friends will periodically prod me about my progress on this list. And give me the pressure/support required to make my dreams reality (didn't mean for it to sound so dramatic, but that's exactly how I feel about it now).

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
A good representation of me and my desire to travel. Except for the
ridiculous moustache and world-domination megalomania.

Anyway, here goes. Most of them are the usual suspects, to begin with. And I haven't yet planned the specific cities in each country. I'd like to do the major cities, and then a couple of smaller ones (for example, Athens and then a couple of the small islands in Greece).

I plan to update this as the months roll by, but here's my initial list, in alphabetical order. Also, just to push myself to action, I've marked out what I am committing myself to do in the next 18 months (*) and the next 36 months(**).

India, beautiful India
Andaman & Nicobar
Kerala (in slow, unhurried detail)
Ladakh and Leh*
Pushkar (the mela)*

The world
Austria and Hungary
Everest Base camp*
South America - Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia**
South East Asia - Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia
South Korea
Spain and Portugal

It's something of a laundry list, but I am confident I can cover these in the next 15 years. That will allow me to die a little more satisfied with my life.