My husband’s reckless proposals had not shocked me until this summer when he tabled his idea of an all-boy, all-bike, all-hill 15-day trip to the Land of Lamas, Leh, alone.
After the initial hostile reaction, I made peace with the feelings of insecurity, jealousy and loneliness it gave me. When my soulmate and only travel buddy decided to go on this trip without me, I didn’t know it would awaken the nomad in me yearning to measure the length and breadth of the world around.
Normally, with work, deadlines and a home to tend, I am left with almost no ‘me’ time. But days before he left, we had agreed that we’d both use this time productively, in self-exploration and contemplation. The offer seemed irresistible, so I grabbed it without a second thought. Once he was out on his journey and the household chores came down to half, I started making my very own to-do, to-visit, to-catch-up, to check-out, to-buy, and to-eat lists. After all, why should boys have all the fun?
Habitual of being driven around by hubby, it took me a while to get used to driving alone for leisure. I hadn’t done it in a long time, but I started it with a shopping spree driven by the ongoing off-season sales around the city. Once the shopping fever got over, the bug to catch up with long-lost friends and colleagues bit me.
Like old-time partners-in-crimes, we raided all the well-known, well-reviewed cafes and restaurants in and around Chandigarh. My days would start not with the ringing of the alarm clock now but with a glance at the itinerary for the evening. In the schedule I thought was packed, I was surprised to be able to find time for theatre, art, temple visits, morning walks and idle gossip with neighbours.
There were moments when I missed him sorely, but it only reminded me how much I loved him. Having learnt the therapeutic side of real-time socialising (as opposed to virtual networking) when one is lonely, I caught up with my own relatives, too. My mother, who chides me for being a workaholic, found me not only spending time with her but also spoiling her with new dishes, clothes, and amusing anecdotes to share.
Now when my husband is back from his wild expedition and boring us with his travelogues and experiences, he is also keen to know how I managed to find my inner nomad without having to step out of the city or spend a fortune. The answer was inside me all the time — step out and pamper your nomadic buds.
(The writer is a language trainer at Chitkara University in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh)