The Joy of Exploration: My Passion for Travel

“Life is about the adventures you take and the memories you make.”


Travelling has been a significant part of my life for as long as I can remember. From childhood trips with my parents across India and the world to my adventures with my family now, my travel experiences have enriched and fulfilled me profoundly.


Recently, planning my next holiday got me thinking. I realised that just the thought of breaking away from a routine was so energising and refreshing. As I dug deep, I began to understand how travelling to me is not only about a change or a break but so much more. It is about learning, experiencing and making memories. The thrill of stepping into a new city, the awe of witnessing a natural wonder, and the joy of connecting with locals over a shared meal are the moments that enrich my mind and feed my soul. The thought of going through a different way of living for a few days is like adding a spark to the mundane and routine.

As I sat back and reflected, I was struck by the transformative power of travel. Exposure to different people, places, and things has broadened my horizons and allowed me to see the world from a fresh perspective. These diverse travel experiences have shaped me into a more aware, knowledgeable, patient, adaptable, and tolerant person. Immersion in different cultures, climates, and cuisines has broadened my perspective and enhanced my ability to appreciate diversity.


Exposure to different people and their ways has made me aware of other ways of living. For example, very early on, I learned that dinner is served as early as 6:30 PM in many Western countries, which initially felt unusual to me. However, understanding that people there start their day early and manage household chores without much help made me appreciate their routine. Such insights fostered a deeper understanding of different lifestyles and traditions.

Exploring new places is a source of immense joy and excitement for me, especially in regions rich in history, like Europe. The experience of visiting ancient churches, cathedrals, and castles feels like a journey back in time, providing insights into past lives and events that resonate with present-day experiences. Despite changes in expression and methodology, the continuity of human nature is a fascinating aspect of these explorations.


Apart from this, visiting museums and art galleries is also a must for me. Walking down Chelsea in New York with my son and stopping to explore art galleries on the way again feeds my soul.


Nature has always been a source of solace and rejuvenation for me. When I was in Hong Kong, I found solace in going for hikes and walks, and Hong Kong’s hiking trails, like Dragon’s Peak, Victoria Peak, and Lantau Trail, offered a perfect escape.  Walking along these trails amidst lush greenery and fresh air felt so therapeutic and refreshing. Similarly, trekking to Triund in Dharamshala was an exhilarating adventure, showcasing the beauty and thrill of the great outdoors. So when I plan my travel, I make sure to include places where I can go for walks if hiking is not possible to maintain that sense of peace and connection with nature.

Walking in the parks is another thing I enjoy doing, especially when I am visiting big cities. Walking in the parks of big cities provides a unique respite amidst the urban hustle.  When in New York, Central Park is high on my list of places to visit. Its sprawling lawns, serene lakes, and scenic paths offer a tranquil escape. It’s a haven where I can unwind and connect with nature right in the heart of a bustling metropolis.  I have lovely memories of doing and feeling the same when I visited the Tiergarten in Berlin, a park seeped in history.

Travelling by train and car also offers a unique glimpse into local life. I fondly remember driving from Munich to Berlin on the Autobahn, stopping by quaint villages and savouring traditional cuisines. One particular interaction with a local in a small village left a lasting impression on me. They shared their family’s recipe for a traditional dish, and we ended up cooking it together. Such journeys reveal the essence of places and their people, adding depth to the travel experience.

Food is another delightful aspect of travel. Different regions offer unique culinary experiences. From savouring various chocolates in Switzerland to enjoying a hotdog on the sidewalk in New York, the authentic flavours of local cuisines are unmatched. Trying out the local food is a great way to connect with the place and its people. I fondly remember gorging on the spicy Maggi in Meghalaya on my recent visit and relishing the authentic tiramisu in Rome in a small quaint café.  It is often about not only the food but the combination of the space and the food, like enjoying a cappuccino and a macaron sitting by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. My food coma would be incomplete without mentioning fish and chips in London.


Travel also provides me with opportunities to reconnect with friends and family, creating cherished memories. Meeting friends of friends helps form connections, enriching the travel experience and adding a social dimension to the adventure.


One of my favourite travel activities is visiting bookstores. I have a bucket list of visiting five hundred bookstores worldwide, so wherever I go, I factor in exploring both quaint shops and grand establishments. I feel bookstores offer insights into local culture and preferences, making each visit a unique learning experience. Whether it was the Sausalito Books By The Bay in Sausalito, a bookstore known for its collection of local authors and artists, or The Strand in New York, a historic bookstore with a vast selection of books, each bookstore visit is a treasured memory.

Visiting new places also inspires me to write. Travel and writing inspiration seem to go hand in hand for me. I don’t know whether it is the change of place or something else, but there is an influx of new and fresh ideas when I am out of my routine. This piece is a result of my being in New York right now!


In essence, travel encompasses a wide range of experiences in art, culture, literature, music, nature, and more. Each journey enriches me, contributing to my growth and making me more complete.


“I travel not to go anywhere but to go”.

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Hello! I’m Sangeeta Relan. Aside from being an educationist teaching at the university level for the last 28 years, I have been a corporate wife and a mother to two boys who have now flown the nest. I love cooking, singing, travelling and exploring new places.

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