Travel Before You Run Out of Time

April 11, 2017

"The world is a book and those who don't travel have only read one page" is a well know adage. For most people 'A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you have been taking'. It is time to break out of this extremely interconnected world, where technology keeps you engaged to an extent that it leaves you literally gasping for breath. Social media has successfully brought people who are far closer to you; unfortunately people (family) who are near you are now distant. 

Travel is one antidote that helps in bonding with the family, creating memories and most importantly realizing how much there is in this world to see, savor and marvel at god's creation. Nature, culture, cuisines, striking conversations with people;enriching experiences, it is all there waiting for you. I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have travelled from my childhood, thanks to my parents; we travelled fairly extensively in India and also Nepal. Over the last 2-1/2 decades and over 30 countries under the belt, travel has become a passion and am a travel addict.

Over the last decade Indian, Chinese and Japanese tourists are the top three nationalities one can see in most countries overseas. The Westerners usually set out travelling after retirement in their old age. While they may have their own reasons to do so, I strongly feel that you should travel when you are young and healthy. After all, who knows what tomorrow holds!

Different travel concepts have emerged over time - lavish resorts and spa/wellness holidays, value for money holidays, frugal holidays, and slow holidays to name some. The first three need no introduction.

Frugal holidays are those where you are on a shoestring budget as you are on a longish holiday typically lasting over 3 weeks. You stay in a clean, safe, functional hotel/homestay/lodge and believe me there are plenty of them all over the world. You travel like a local, eat where the locals eat and soak into the culture head on.

Slow holidays are those where you decide to go to a remote place, back to Mother Nature literally. The slow pace of life, intermittent or no mobile/ internet connectivity make your realize there is so much in this world to enjoy - gurgling brooks, chirping birds, long sunsets. You can whet your appetite with local cuisines traditionally cooked, visit small local bakeries enjoy the whiff of freshly baked 'pau', walk around fields. In some parts of Europe, like Italy there is a concept called "Agriturismo" where you can actually live in a farm with the host farmers.

While you make memories, you often make friends, many of them for life. All you need to do is shed your inhibitions, don't hesitate and begin a conversation. A few months back I was about to board a boat in a small hamlet called Flam in Norway.

In Flam, on way to see the Fjords

I got talking with the only fellow traveler there – a German. He also turned out be a travel buff. Post the boat journey on the fjords, we spent the noon exploring a small town called Voss before heading for Bergen where we bumped into each other again. We are still connected to each other and remain friends.

Clicked in Bergen with Alex, whom I befriended in Flam, Norway

While in Voss, I had a lip smacking vegetarian lunch at an awesome Mexican restaurant which had young, smiling and friendly staff. I walked up to the Bar and asked for the Chef who was a handsome Hungarian lad, the charming Swedish girl who served lunch was service personified. They reminded me of the saying 'Let your smile change the world and NOT the world change your smile'. Different countries different cultures but connected with a smile.

In Voss, Norway where I met this wonderful duo

Over a decade back when we were holidaying in Kerala, we met a wonderful German couple who since then are like a part of our family. They stayed with us when we were living in Dubai and we stayed with them when we visited them in Germany a few years back. What's more, a few months back they came on a cruise to Mangalore and we took them around treated them to some Kori Rotti, Kane Masala fry and off course followed it up with a visit to Pabbas.

When cruising the Fjords in Norway (which is one of the MUST DO's in life), made friends with a girl from Singapore who was travelling with her sister and mother. Late 2016, when we visited Singapore, we met again and she was sweet enough to take us around and spend an evening with us.

There is so much to share and write, I leave you with one sentence, a thought-'I haven't been everywhere but it is on my list'.In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take. So do pack your bags and set out on your voyage of discovery.

Prashant R Rao Archives: 


By Prashant R Rao, Riyadh/Mangaluru
Born in Mangaluru, brought up in Mumbai, Prashant Rao is a senior banker by profession, die hard travel addict and a foodie. As a Level 6 contributor and with almost 100,000 readers on Tripadvisor, a blog on food and travel, he has just started a page on Facebook for Travel –TraveLog Advisory to keep his passion for travel kindled
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Comment on this article

  • Dr Mohan Prabhu, LL.D, QC, Mangalore (Kankanady)/Ottawa, Canada

    Sat, Nov 25 2017

    Prashant Rao, I missed this issue and went back to today's DJW where special articles have been highlighted again.
    Your article is excellent, and something to really ponder. Even in my mid-80s I have not lost desire for travel and as I am still physically and mentally able I thought I would visit my native town (Mangaluru) once more. The last time I was in India was three years ago. And over a dozen times before that. In the last so many years I have lived on three continents, a third of my life in India, and the rest in the West, for the longest time in Canada - for over half a century - but the call of the Orient still beckons me. Like you, I have traveled while still young, mostly on international assignments, sometimes lasting for weeks, and twice round the world , in all over 45 countries, but found that one can never forget one's native town. Even at 70 I trekked in Nepal with a group of university students from Canada. It was always thrilling; people who confine themselves to a few places around their home town are missing a lot that the world has to offer.

    Good luck with your travel blog. Will read it from time to time.

  • Leon, Thane

    Sun, May 21 2017

    Prashant, a well written article. It's a eye opener and got me thinking . May not be able to visit the number of countries you have, but definitely plan to make each trip memorable. All the best for all your future travel.

  • Subash, Bangalore

    Sun, Apr 16 2017

    Great post, Prasanth

  • Elcent, India

    Sun, Apr 16 2017

    It's interesting to read the above which is true.

    At the age of 40 and after traveling more than 60 countries and always making an effort to add 2 to 3 countries every year, I personally believe make your travel that it's important to make your travel personal.

    Don't rush to add more to your kitty, but every visit........should remain with you for a life time.

    The very vastness of planet earth itself will amaze you.

  • Kalyan, Mumbai

    Sat, Apr 15 2017

    The opportunity to explore world now when you are healthy is a good pointer. So, being open to meet people and making friends is something which will bring this world together. Excellent article Prashant.

  • Prashant Rao, Mangalore/Riyadh

    Fri, Apr 14 2017

    Hello Prem,

    It will be a pleasure to connect. You can write to me at I also have a FacebookPage called TraveLog Advisory. You could like it and follow me on that page for shares and updates on travel.

    Best regards,

  • Prem, Mangalore/USA

    Thu, Apr 13 2017

    Could you give me ur email address please or any means of contact.
    Would be great to hear lot more stores and experiences also some guidance with respect to travel.

  • Prashant R Rao, Mangalore/Riyadh

    Wed, Apr 12 2017

    Thank you all for your wonderful and encouraging comments. Daijiworld has given us such a wonderful platform to share our experiences, we remain connected to each other through our common umbilical chord i.e. Mangaluru.

  • Jasmine Carvalho, Moovathumudi & Kemmannu/Toronto, Canada

    Wed, Apr 12 2017

    I too am a travel buff and totally enjoy the many experiences. I will be doing the Norway (from Oslo to Flam and to Bergen) train and fjords cruise this summer and so it was interesting to read your write-up. I absolutely agree that one makes so many friends and its truly worth keeping up the friendships.

  • Nagesh Shetty, Surathkal

    Tue, Apr 11 2017

    Well written Prashant..............You live life only once....Make the most of it......Theres so much to see n experience........the beautiful memories of the Places visited,,,good and bad experiences,,friends made,,food tasted,,etc eyc....will give you reasons to smile....Believe me..You grow richer from these Travels....

  • Ashley Dsilva, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Tue, Apr 11 2017

    A very well written article. My family and I are absolute travel buffs.

    More often than not, people talk of money, saving, costs and put of holidaying. For us, holidaying has created a bonding among ourselves, beautiful memories which we and our children can carry for a lifetime, which I value far more important than money.

    Travel has given us an exposure to cultures which we would not have know, expanded our horizons and importantly played in big role in creating a better mindset of the world and the people we live with.

    Here's to many more travels and happy blog writing to you. Cheers.. Ashley

  • Mangalorean, Mangalore

    Tue, Apr 11 2017

    Very good article sir. Thank you for the same. Respect your travel knowledge. However for me to plan a vacation I need 3 things to be in favorable position - a) Money, b) Time, c) Work and Family Commitments. Getting all this at the right time and right place is very difficult. Do spare any tips for planning this.

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