A Tourist by Routine

You know how some people are always longing to see new places, but complain that they can’t do so because of commitments like work or other routine things that need to be taken care of?

I am one of those people.

Every day, I spend nearly two hours travelling to work, where I spend most of my day. Again, in the evening, I jostle for space in the public bus and then the train along with thousands of other people who are travelling back home from work. The journey is long, and I have no power to make the bus or train go faster. I have to patiently sit (or sometimes, stand) through the crawling traffic and the multiple halts at the stops/stations. Even if I leave the office at exactly 5:30 pm, I won’t be home until 8:00 pm.  And it’s not like it will make any difference if I leave a little later, because there isn’t much I can do after I get home so late. So I don’t participate in the mad rush, although it is hard to miss.

Until recently, I used to think that my complaining about not having enough time to see new places was justified because I spend most of my day either travelling to or from work, and at work itself. I assumed I am making the most of my travel hours by gazing out the window, or reading an ebook. But I was so wrong!

One of these days, on my way to work, I realized how much of this city I had seen from the bus window, but never actually visited! Yes, I see the Papa John’s pizza place through the window of the bus every day, as do I see Movenpick, the ice cream place! But I have never been to these places, never tasted the food there, NEVER experienced the ambience and whatever else they have to offer! There is a beautiful architectural beauty of an ashram too; but I don’t get to admire its spires and towers when the bus swiftly passes by.

This realization led me to a very interesting take on my daily routine. I’ve decided that, instead of dreaming of unseen faraway places while sitting in my office, I would focus extra hard on my work during those hours. And instead of staying back in office until after official work hours, I will head out exactly at 5:30 pm. And instead of catching a bus and heading directly home, I will intersperse my journey with visits to places I’ve seen from the bus window, but haven’t been to before!

I’ve decided not to spend too much time planning these visits; the fun part would be that I will board any random bus, and get off at any random stop where I find something interesting. And although I’m perfectly comfortable travelling alone, I might be inviting some of my crazy counterparts to join me (if they want to!)

This way, I decide to make the most of my evenings, and at the same time satisfy my hunger for visiting new places. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I will no longer dream of my ‘unseen faraway places’; those plans are also in the making for an occasional holiday that I might be able to sneak into my schedule. But for all the busy work days, this sounds like a perfect plan!

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