I have been traveling quite a lot in the last 2 weeks and that is helping me to be fit. Business Development meetings/ conferences at different cities have been reason enough to travel and I travel by all modes – flights, trains and luxury buses/ coaches. One’s body actually adapts to new situations quite promptly on its own….call it the wonder of human body. While in coaches, I get to see the movies available…..to keep myself occupied and relaxed. Flights are quick ways of reaching destinations, if required. Travels by train are quite long and it builds patience by taking up such long journeys.
It is not that I have not traveled earlier ( being the most traveled person in my family). I like traveling for several reasons:
1. It gives me an opportunity to meet different types of people while traveling.
2. It develops ‘heath factor’ just like jogging, walking, swimming do.
3. It is necessary… as I have this function as part of my job.
4. Though it may look nomadic lifestyle, it is a way of living for many in my profession of Sales & Marketing.
5. Lastly, it is fun to travel.
Travel also helps in broadening our perspectives as we come across different cultures when we move from one city to another. Especially in a state like Kerala, placed in the southern part of India – in the city of kochi or called Cochin earlier – language is a problem. One needs to know the local language ‘malayalam’ to converse with others in general. Of course, it is fun to make attempts to converse with those who do not understand what you are saying. It is ‘humor’ to watch myself trying to converse with them. Strangely, in India, after Nehru made linguistic division among states, the ‘conversation aspect’ has become a problem for the traveler. There are nearly 300+ dialects besides 15 national languages. Mostly, a common ‘cosmopolitan’ man knows 3 or 4 languages including English. I do not think you can find this sort of situation anywhere else in the world.
In the year 1992, when I was much younger, I engaged myself in a 8 day trip through a luxury coach to visit all tourist locations in the south covering Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry ( called as Puducherry now), That meant being on the road for 8 days continuously except for halting on some nights in certain cities to get to sleep on the bed….I am sure I cannot do that now as I have grown older. I have traveled for 30 hours at a stretch in Greyhound bus ( from Oklahoma to Florida state) while in US. This was quite enjoyable due to the good infrastructure/ good condition of roads on the highway made available in the US. I have walked from Bombay to Pune as a NCC cadet in my teen years. And this was really taxing at the start of the ‘walkathon’ but it developed my calf muscles well. I have climbed mountains in my hiking trips during my college going days.
I have had the opportunity of traveling to 19 out of 29 districts in Maharastra, few cities in Gujarat, Indore & Bhopal in Madya Pradesh, all the districts in Goa ( several times) as part of my job. These travels were done in much earlier years of my career, when the concept of luxury coaches and well connected railways to these districts was not available. In lieu, I have traveled by State Transport buses and they were not so comfortable at all. Being part of the job, I have taken these travels in an enthusiastic manner and enjoyed it. In fact, I drove down with a colleague on a bike from Nagpur to Akola, a distance of 400 kms to and fro combined.
I have driven from the city of Salalah to Muscat, a distance of 1100 kms, by taking turns to drive with two of my friends, while I was in Sultanate of Oman. This was really enjoyable as we traveled through the deserts on the highway. On weekends, I would travel by a four wheel drive to the mountains in the outskirts of Salalah, along with my friend Denzil.
‘Eating right’ is important while traveling. One should eat less but eat often. Liquids are necessary to stay away from dehydration that normally happens in long journeys by the road or railways. It is essential to eat ‘healthy’ foods. I find it convenient to carry home made foods, when possible. Drink lot of water!! One should not drink anything else other than water or juices while traveling…. to keep body fit to travel.
My father used to walk a lot during his old age of 70s and 80s. In fact, he was active till the last day of his life confirming that ‘Walking’ is the best exercise. A good ‘cushy’ job of spending eight hours in air conditioned office does not guarantee a good physical health. In Bombay, everyone travels by local trains – lifeline of Bombay – and that keeps them healthy.Traveling really keeps one fit!