Travelling with children is not a good idea. Why? They have less immunity. They fall ill as a result of change in environment and diet. They have erratic sleeping timings. As a result even the adults can not enjoy most of their trips. Most importantly they forget the places which they had visited when they grow up.
But these ideas of mine changed during a recent road trip which I had with my nephew. He is three years old. I saw this journey through his innocent eyes. Let me tell you this was the best journey of my life.
When we hit the road and reached the highway, he was too happy to spot cars of various colours. He was happy on just seeing such a variety of colours speeding on the road. “Red is my favourite,” he informed me.
Soon the mountain ranges became visible. “I want to go to the top of the mountain,” he said. The next question he posed was how to reach the top. There was no path or stairs visible. All that we could see was a flock of cattle grazing at the top. His young mind was inquisitive to know how did those cattle reach the mountain top. He requested us to stop so that we could climb the mountains. Unfortunately we adults ignored his request with a laughter. This was the point of time when I could absolutely relate to him. Even I would hanker as a child to climb every little unknown mountain which we would encounter and pester my parents to take me to the top of the mountain. Why is that the adults never know the road to the top of mountain.
The child was helpless but not dejected. The next we saw a restaurant. The child pleaded to stop and buy him an ice-cream. This time his plea was accepted and all of us got down of the car for some coffee and snacks. There was a small garden in the restaurant. There was a swing and a see-saw. The child finished his ice-cream and went to play in the garden. We adults were not yet served with masala-dosa which we had ordered.
My nephew was so happy in the garden. He had forged friendship immediately with other children who were playing. He even found a mate to play see-saw with him. Fortunately our dosas took much longer to find their way to our table and my nephew got ample time to play. I was watching my nephew. He was so happy. This is what living in the moment is all about I said to myself.
After relishing our crispy dosa and filter coffee, we again hit the road. This time the simple sight of shanties serving as tea stalls made my nephew happy. “There are shops on my side, there aren't any on yours”, he teased me. Then a stray dog, huts, pinnacle of a temple, river, a bird flying in the sky, every thing upon which he could lay his tender eyes made him happy.
Even we have enjoyed this little sights as children. But as grown ups why have we lost the art of finding joy in little things which we feel are too insignificant to be noticed? Can we gain it again? The answer is yes we can regain it. How? Travel with a child. Look at the world from its eyes. Look at the world from a child's point of view and everything will appear magical. All your frustrations, tensions of being an adult will vanish. The child within you will get one more chance to resurface and to relive the life of a child.