"Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going."
- Paul Theroux

AIRDA NewsDesk

Message of the Month

December 2018

Hello and welcome to my Message of the Month.

This time we talk to another very interesting travel photographer – and strangely, he’s an extremely private person – shoots for himself. Though he’s gone as far as being seen selectively on social media - “This is only to obtain feedback on my photography,” he says.

There’s one question we asked him that we have asked many people, and his response made the most sense to me. Here’s an excerpt:

“If the brief is to travel as a tourist (visiting new places of tourist interest) I would prefer to do it with family and friends. The atmosphere is always full of fun during the journey, and the conversations punctuated with non-stop excitement.  If I am travelling with only photography in mind, I would prefer to be a solo-traveler. For one thing, you can make your own plans - for another, you can avoid group itineraries, and rushing through your day.”

Now this debate can get interesting, so I popped the question to a few others who are frequent travelers - primarily in the space of vacations and annual holidays. Here’s what some of them had to say:

Preethi Kumar, Chartered Accountant
When we were kids – I’m talking about the time when we were in school – it was great fun to go on vacations with the family. Dads, moms, aunts, grandfathers, grandmothers, granduncles – and a whole bundle of kids. We had so much fun that we did not want the holiday to end. And when the time came for us to head back home, we were truly miserable.

But as we grew up and went to college and beyond, I found the need to go on solo journeys and treks – I found that I discovered things about myself on a solo journey that I hadn’t known earlier. Things like resilience, the ability to go deeper and discover new and unexplored paths, and maybe to just survive a mishap on the way, rather bravely.

Just heard that one of my uncles is planning another holiday for old time’s sake – at his timeshare resort. That most certainly is good news and gives us an opportunity to catch up with cousins and other relatives after a long, long time. I guess we will be back to behaving like giggly schoolgirls again.

Rakesh Jagirdaar,  Automotive Engineer
I come from a one-parent home, so for me travelling with a large family was both comforting and reassuring. As a child I really felt a sense of comfort and togetherness when we travelled as a family. But I do understand what the new world is doing to us, with the inevitable emergence of the nuclear family. Something that invariably happens to young couples largely because of the career and job choices they make.

I am newly married and in that phase where I have left behind an empty nest - with my mother living alone. I often wish she could come across and stay with us, but she does prefer to stay by herself. A good bonus here is that she always accompanies us on both short and long vacations. This is how she gets to spend time with our kids and does enjoy every moment with them.

A cousin of mine does have a timeshare membership and he is our ticket to a good annual holiday which we all look forward to. A holiday with the entire extended family.

About travelling alone, or solo - I have not done any of this I must confess. I am not much of a solo traveler – I would like someone with me to share the travel experience, the food and other things that go with a holiday.

Sneha Manchagudda, Beautician
At my beauty parlor I do meet a lot of fancy women who work in high places, or have husbands who work in high places. And I am truly amazed to see how much they spend on vacations – in the country and overseas. Some of them even go on a vacation every two months – it’s like going on a picnic for them, that simple.

As I listen to these conversations (not eavesdropping, but just curious) I find that most of these people do value the importance of travelling with their families - which is most heartening to observe. They want their children to meet other people in their extended family, and get to know the elders in the family circle. If this does not happen children can grow up isolated (or insulated) as the case can be.

I have heard the terms “timeshare” and “vacation ownership” at my beauty parlor during customer sessions. I found the concept interesting and did manage to convince my husband to invest in a plan. I am glad I did, because it gives the family a well-deserved vacation – every single year.

There’s something about a vacation that resets all the stress buttons – it can even turn a frown, upside down. Believe me this can happen to you.


B. S. Rathor
Advisor & Member - Executive Committee

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