Compared to the Bucket List which has known wishes, The Blind List has unforgettable enriching experiences that remain unknown until you get there! Bucket Lists are passé. It’s time for #TheBlindList!
As a child, I along with my brothers and parents would always go for a vacation in the winters since we had a long three-month break from school. Travelling with the family was a ritual and my father made sure that all the necessary arrangements were made well beforehand. He would ask us to think about the places we would want to go. Then we would have a poll and accordingly, he would choose one destination for us. Since he likes everything to be well planned he executed the same with the travel itinerary. Though once at our destination, he would love to try the local food, and interact with the locals. This ritual of travelling together soon came to an end when I went to college. I did not accompany them that year and the year after my brothers did not accompany them. Now as we have all grown and moved to different parts of the country, my parents still go on a trip every year but sans us. It is just the two of them. But I like their spirit, of travelling near and far sometimes alone or accompanied by us or their grandchildren.
When I got married I wanted to include this ritual in our lives as well. Initially, we did some planning, but as the years passed my husband got busier and busier with work and the bucket list just did not come into existence. Many times we would try to squeeze in some days for our next destination and fail to cross it out. Year after year we got more involved in work and mundane chores.
Then it happened all of a sudden, out of the blue, we went for our very first unplanned trip. We won 6 days 5 nights hotel stay (gift voucher) in Kerala on one of our shopping sprees through a lucky draw. At first, we did not even think about the trip and just put it aside. The next morning my husband surprised me with tickets for Kerala. I was happy and shouted with joy but at the same time, I could not keep calm as we were finally going on a holiday and there were bags to be packed in a short span of time since we had to leave for the airport in two hours time. Quickly we packed our bags and managed to reach the airport well on time for an Unplanned Trip and no idea of what we would do.
When we reached Kerala, our blind date with God’s own country began. To start with we collected all the brochures of the places nearby from the hotel’s travel desk. We also took help from them. On one of the days, we ventured to the tea plantation, the other to the forest side, then to the mountains and also to the backwaters. We would leave the hotel after breakfast and return by dinner time. But the day we went to the backwaters we did not return to the hotel as planned. When we reached the designated area from where we had to take the boats, we opted for a ferry rather than a houseboat. Midway on the ferry, we wanted to go on the houseboat and thus returned back to the banks, booked a houseboat. While the houseboat was being prepared for us, we quickly bought a t-shirt each for the two of us, along with other necessary things from the local market, since we would have to spend a night on the houseboat. With minimal things, we were yet ready for another unplanned adventure. And yes! we still remember it…
After this trip, we planned many trips, where some materialised and many didn’t. We finally came to the decision that unplanned trips are the best since planned trips never happen.
With the passing years, we have literally become last-minute planners. This fact did not change when my daughter was born and we made our first trip with her to Pondicherry when she was 5 months old. Though this time around we made every possible arrangement and a list of things which our little one would need. Not only this, but I have also gone on solo unplanned trips and only mother and daughter trips. We also boast of an unplanned trip to Bali.
The blind list somehow manages to find a place into our daily lives as well. There are days when our morning walks turn out to be longer than expected followed with a scrumptious breakfast. Over the years with the number of trips we have had I have realised that trips which were not planned have been less complicated, full of surprises, helped us make new friends and have been memorable. When we went for our first unplanned trip it made us realise that all things unplanned are not bad. That trip made us resilient to the unexpected things that could happen in our life. While gazing at the sea we understood the deeper meaning of life hence broadening our horizon. We could feel a new sense of confidence, positivity and courage. Together we embarked on a new journey and we didn’t realise that it was just the beginning and many more to come our way.
I have lots of places on my bucket list and with each passing day, I wish that I get to see all of the places listed on it. In the years to come, I really don’t care how many countries and continents have been ticked off. What I really care about is the fact that I go on one trip irrespective of the place I go to, how I reach there – planned or unplanned, and what I do there when I arrive. The one thing that matters is that I go … because regardless of where I go, I find that I return as a better person than what I was when I embarked on the journey.
At every moment I would embrace the world and say yes to it, with a Blind List, whether it means diving deep down to engulf the beauty of the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef or summiting the Mount Everest. Be it visiting the Land of Rising Sun or witnessing the northern lights. From camping in a tent to spending a night in the most luxurious hotel, or traversing through the forest to spending lazy afternoons on a beach and hiking the mountains, I am sure The Blind List will have numerous unforgettable enriching experiences that shall remain unknown until I get there.