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Travel on earth and beyond

Space Travel“Travel” is this word just a noun or verb that describes the movement of body from one place to another or is there more to it? Has it not lead to expanding of our mental horizon and at times even spiritual enlightenment? So to speak traveling is the most practical form of education. What we see has a higher retention capacity than what we read or hear.

Traveling has a very extraordinary thing about it, that whatever may be the reason for travel, social, religious, business or vacation, it always adds to our knowledge base. The changing scene of the tourism industry and the growing craze amongst people towards travel, is visible from the trend that people no longer plan a trip because they have holidays, rather since they wish to travel they take leave.

The tourism industry is cashing on the growing keenness of people to explore the world. Every country is distinctly promoting its culture, landscape and environment to draw hordes of people. Today the tourism industry is a major contributor in the world economy. So much so that, a number of countries like , , , etc are economically thriving largely on tourism. The scope of tourism is also undergoing expansion due to generally growing income and higher spending capacity of people even in the developing countries. Especially with the financial convenience of holiday loans by banks, our vacations are no longer confined to local beaches or mountains.

 

After grueling work schedules and pressures of meeting targets, the prospect of sprawling languorously under the sun in a sumptuous resort is very inviting. With no mundane rut to follow, the adventures of travel are magnified. A recent study argues that people get maximum satisfaction from hard work and not tanning oneself under the sun. But it is unwise to confuse relaxation to satisfaction. Mountain climbing, scuba diving, para-gliding, snorkeling, skiing, desert safari, and many more, add exhilaration to life. Our world is an inexhaustible store house of magical things. The more we explore, the more are the wonders revealed.
Apart from holidays, traveling is taking a completely new dimension. Senior executives traveling from one country to another to gain political, diplomatic, financial or material advantage for expansion of businesses was common knowledge. But this kind of negotiating travels were on top level management, where the middle level management or workforce was not involved. But today, the outsourcing jobs have created multitude of opportunities for young managers, engineers and entrepreneurs to travel far and wide.
There is also a basic shift in the general approach of conducting business with a new-fangled trend of organizing seminars and conferences at places of tourist interest. The companies are holding their agents’ and distributors’ meet in the backdrops of sun, sand or snow that catch their participants fancy. But it is not merely the idea of inducing maximum participation in organizing meets at such places. It is a fact that a relaxed and enjoyable background provides impetus for colleague and competitor gelling and emergence of and consensus at fresh ideas.

 

The globalization of world and internalization of education has further seen an influx of students traveling from distant countries to acquire education from the best of universities. Surely the lure of big names and higher incomes draws people to land of opportunities, but it is also the exposure and first hand experience of a country, its culture and economy that hones the mind to a greater extent making them street smart and savvy.

Talking of travel is not narrowed to the charms of the destination alone; it includes the time and mode of reaching the destination as well. When the mode offers more or equally interesting experience, it is a travel destination in itself. The cruise liners like Royal Caribbean, Queen Elizabeth 2, the Grand Princess, Star cruise’s Virgo and Gemini give the most delightful and lush experience in midst of a beautiful sea. The trains Royal Scotsman of Scotland, Palace on Wheels of India are an ultimate experience of luxury and aristocracy in train. The plushy cars like Buggati and May Bach add speed to life on roads.

 

The amazing natural destinations and equally fascinating man made constructions, makes us wonder how far God’s and man’s imagination can reach. But if you thought traveling was only about appeasing the eyes, rejuvenating the body and revitalizing the mind, think again. A statement of profound depth reads, “We are not human beings having spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having human experience”. This truth was revealed to the masters of our planet during their wanderings.

 


After six years of wandering and traveling, Gautam Buddha came upon divine enlightenment and Godliness under a fig tree. And contemporary history shows, it was his travel to , where Mahatma Gandhi witnessed extreme racism which changed the entire course of his life, giving it a higher purpose.

It is not as if the purpose of life or enlightenment is got literally only through wandering or traveling. But traveling gives us a chance to interact with others and look at the world around us more closely. It enriches us with new perspectives, adds wisdom to our understanding and makes us cautious before being judgmental about others, their culture, religion or thoughts. It unknowingly makes us more tolerant about others differences and making us realize that somewhere we are all a part of a common pervading energy.

Despite residing in distant parts of the world we incline to visit places of our religious and spiritual importance because they promise a sense of peace and God’s presence. Even after centuries, we find these places filled with magical powers of God because of our absolute faith in Him. We go to spiritual workshops, meditation and yoga spas, to learn to connect to the Higher Consciousness of our self and the cosmos. But this is an invisible realm. However, our technological advancement has opened completely new vistas of exploration that might shed light on our cosmological perception.

 

We are now at the threshold of the most dynamic travel of our lives, that of the space. So far it was only the astronauts and cosmonauts making their research trips, but now any man who can afford the extravaganza like Dennis Tito (first space tourist) can go around the space. Some four years ago the scarlet rains in a village of Kerela (South Indian sate) has shown a possibility of organisms from other parts of space coming to earth. Microscopic study of the rain shows that the red particles are not dust particles. They could be another life form airlifted from a distant source of earth via comets. This study corroborates the idea that we may not be the only living planet and there does exist extraterrestrial life.

The universe is a magic of God. While we may or may not reach Mars or Venus, there are plenty of fascinating places on Earth itself. We are fortunate to enjoy this splendor with a responsibility to leave a similar legacy for our next generations. But if the snow covered peaks of Himalayas (Everest) are dumped with leftover food and beverage packets, the coral reefs are covered with polythene, the enchanting is sullied with riots, the picturesque Kashmir gives lost families and the resorts of Bali are targets of vengeance, it leaves much to explain with our fumbling words.


It took 3.5 billion years for the Earth to be the way we see it now. But with the threat of nuclear weaponization looming large upon us, it will take not more than 3.5 minutes for our world to be blown away with a nuclear weapon. The questions for a beautiful environment and a peaceful world stand before of us. The answers to these questions are within us. It is time to unlock our hearts and let the love of Lord flow to preserve his glory. It is time to think beyond ourselves and our greed.