Musings of a curious nomad

John Lennon Wall in Prague

I like to travel because I like to subject myself to new experiences from which I can learn and grow. I find inspiration in people who have lived a life different from mine. I love hearing their stories. From these stories I see life with fresh eyes. Their emotions rub off on me- an authentic conversation can can be cathartic and leave me inspired. Some stories cultivate in me empathy for the struggles and sufferings people have experienced, which I could never even imagine.

Sometimes, during these conversation I reveal something about my own life or express feelings that I never knew I had. People I meet during travels have made me realize how little I know and how much more there is to learn. I have met people with great knowledge, profound wisdom and humility as well as people who are lost, struggling and feeling trapped. I have found from my travels that people open up to strangers and are willing to reveal to them the darkest side of their lives or craziest aspects of their aspirations.

From the people I have met during travels I have learned that human mind is a maze- and that getting into other people’s heads is an adventure by itself if you enjoy exploring the unknown and discovering things that challenge your view of the world.

Conversations during travels have taught me that human relationship are complex and cannot always be understood using the coordinates of the relationships I have lived with.

Street food in Bangkok

My various travels to over 48 countries has taught me that people from different cultures carry the baggage of their own traditions, myths and rituals. It is not easy to understand their perspectives with the cultural framework I have inherited. Travels help me to rid myself of the temptation of prematurely judging people. I have become more open to the surprises the universe has to offer. Meeting people with different cultures and traditions has made me respect their search for and pride in identity. At the same time it has made me sensitive to the constraints of the politics of identity.

Travels have also made me impatient with people who are arrogant, opinionated, boastful or patronizing.

I have realized that I can be lost with my eyes open and find my way even in the dark if I have curiosity, courage and persistence guiding me along the way.

I have learned to remain intrigued with unsolved unresolved mysteries of life. As a result, I get less excited when I find solutions to problems and answers to questions because I have learned that neither the solutions nor the answers are permanent. The only thing permanent is change and the only way to be prepared for the change is to be curious and open.

Tea Shop in China

I love to wander in the real world, smell the earth, chase a butterfly, and take delight from the sight of a rainbow that shows up only once in a while. But at the same time wandering inward in my mind also helps me search for meaningful engagement with my environment. The lockdown during the pandemic did not stop me from wandering. I wandered the maze inside my head discovering nuggets off epiphanies along the way. Despite the lockdown, I feel free because I am a curious nomad.

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A design activist and ethnographer of social imagination.

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Uday Dandavate

Uday Dandavate

A design activist and ethnographer of social imagination.

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