Travel Quote Series – Free Yourself

Pergamom, Turkey
From the vaulted foundation of the temple of Trajan in Pergamom, Turkey

I believe implicitly in the capacity of all human beings to achieve their dreams if they put their minds to it. I also believe that when you want something badly enough, you – and the universe – will usually find ways to make it happen.

Within reason of course. For I know from experience how a lack of means, ill health, commitments – LIFE – can impede and slow down that quest. And being aware of your limitations and working around them on what’s right for YOU, is important.

But, in all my interactions with people of my ilk who bitterly complain about not being able to follow their dreams, I find it is more often than not due to constraints of their own making. A fear of the unknown, lethargy, or even guilt. About not setting priorities. And in many cases, about keeping up with the Joneses!

Having grown up in a conservative society in which saving against famine and calamity has been encoded into its genetic structure, putting one’s future security under threat to plunge into a strange new path is a fear that is understandable.

But think about it: What is the guarantee that we will live to enjoy the fruits of a life less lived? If we do, will that lifestyle be worth looking back on life with regret?

Until next time…………happy travels, no matter where life takes you.

PS: This is partly aimed at hubby whose eyes popped out when I suggested we downsize by moving into a studio apartment. Last week he asked me to go look for one! Bullseye!!!

More from the Travel Quote Series
Pergamom – The Seat Of Satan?

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

71 thoughts on “Travel Quote Series – Free Yourself

  1. Couldn’t agree more with what you wrote! And Good luck with The studio hunting 🙂

  2. Madhu! as you rightly pointed out that we come from a society which has for generations stressed and pressed on saving! In those days the families were joint and everything was collectively owned. In today’s world with increasing global influence especially from western culture this thinking has changed. On the other hand, if you look at reason why such thinking developed in western society, one of the strong propagators are “commercial interest” which gain when you spend. All the advertising is centered around self & instant gratification, the idea is that consumer should spend maximum amount he can! well, to sum up, like anything there are 2 different sides of a coin! take your pick!! 🙂

    1. Arv, I beg to differ. This isn’t about instant gratification. Or about East vs West. This is about giving up that mansion and fancy car and lockers full of gold that Indians traditionally save up obsessively for and experiencing life to the fullest in whatever way one wants to do it. If collecting all the above is one’s passion then so be it. But they should then cut out the envy and the bitterness towards those with less in material terms who lead a fuller life.

      It is heartening that with increased job security, that was unavailable to the older generation, more younger people in India are going after their dreams. All power to them.

      1. you’re right madhu! as a generation, we are far more powered and we have far more options! who could have thought of giving up on job security over traveling 15 years back? today its all a possibility. you are right that giving up today for uncertain tomorrow doesn’t make sense. in my earlier comment I was not justifying any choices, rather that was a general reasoning…not about right or wrong! in the end its all about being happy!!

  3. lol He may be hoping you’ll find a rather large studio apartment! 😉 Seriously though, I agree with you and if I may add you are usually granted your wishes once you’ve forgotten about them! Great quote. Hope you find a beautiful studio apartment which will suit both your needs perfectly! 🙂

  4. A good quotation to ponder as I, too, start thinking about a new path in life … good luck on your journeys of all kinds!

    1. Thank you very much. I started rather late, but I am the prefect role model for “its never too late!” 🙂

  5. Haha! I understand completely about trying to convince husbands to follow our paths. I find that I have a more logical approach to compromise when I write about it. As for regrets, if I have a tombstone when I pass through this world, then it will be inscribed with “Here lies the girl with no regrets in life, for by jumping she accomplished her dreams.”

    1. You are my hero Debbie! I wish I had jumped earlier. But I intend to make every moment of the rest of my life make up for lost time. As much as I possibly can 🙂

  6. Awesome Madhu and couldn’t agree with you more. So much in fact, that my husband and I have been talking about downsizing in a very big way over the last several months – allowing us the freedom to pickup and go, and not be consumed with possessions. Best wishes in your studio find!

    1. Thank you Mary. Finding one that we like might take longer than it took to convince hubby, but its a beginning. Good luck with your downsizing plans 🙂

      1. Thanks Madhu, it will take us probably a year, but we’ve decided and slowly making plans. It may take longer, but what you ultimately find will be worth it in the end – a few discoveries might be found along the way too.

  7. The key is determination and commitment. I’ve seen these qualities in children with little ability who tower above those more capable who lack commitment and determination.

  8. Yay! Bullseye! Brilliant post Madhu. Of course I agree wholeheartedly. When people ask us if we’ll ever “settle down”, or when we think we’ll stop travelling, we shrug and say we don’t know. Life’s too short . . . . .

  9. Hi Madhu…couldn’t agree more. I’m the eternal philosophical optiimist . More when we telecon or meet next.
    Are you moving away from your travelogues?
    And , without meaning to pry,
    what is this about the studio apartment?
    Love and GODspeed!

    1. No! I am hoping to travel more Ashu. Trying to brainwash hubby into moving to a smaller place 🙂 Look forward to talking to you.

  10. Marvelous, Madhu! And how cool about the studio “okay,” too! It reminds me of myself. What finally got me putting the pen to the page was thinking that I had been saying for years how much I’d like to be a writer and didn’t want to be still saying that at the end of my life! So I made a commitment to writing 11 minutes every day. 😉

    And just think of the extra travel that studio is going to bring you! I’m happy for you both. 🙂

    1. The extra travel is the incentive Riba 🙂 I am impressed with how you have stuck to your writing this year. Haven’t had the time to read most of it, but I should be free over this week. Promise to drop by soon.

      1. Oh, please never worry about that, Madhu. I don’t know how you keep up with everything as it is! I always trust you will be back again when time allows. WhenEVER time allows. 😉

        And that makes me happy! So, please, no pressure ever.

  11. I see us in another few years in a condo or something smaller. We are living our dream but the maintenance required to keep our urban jungle from taking over,etc. is growing old. We do hire help, but not enough. For us it’s always about choices as to how we want to spend our time. Apt quote, Madhu. Good luck with your search.

    1. It is certainly a more practical solution Lynne. Our only issue is that we need space for when the children visit us. But they are so busy these days and our travel dates clash so often that we end up visiting them more than they do. Lets see how all this pans out.

  12. That is exactly what is happening here. To keep the extra space and the boat for the “family” to enjoy is shrinking. There are so many conflicts that family doesn’t visit us like they once did. We travel to them….when they have a window open. Changing times.

    1. Hi Joanne, you make some valid points about gratitude in your lovely post. But what is the harm in trying to follow your passion if there is a way of doing it? I think the key is to find the balance that best works for you.

      Appreciate your visit and thoughtful comment. Have a great day!

  13. This post came to me at an opportune moment. I just heard that a friend nearly a decade younger than me died last night after living with Alzheimer’s for four years. That sharpened for me the good sense of your comment. What IS the guarantee that we will live to enjoy the fruits of a life less lived? What an exciting idea to downsize.

    I love the image you’ve chosen: so apt with wall upon receding wall – an edifice against adventure.

    And I’m in awe of your capacity to write a post like this without sounding at all preachy.

    1. Meg, so sorry for your loss. There really are no guarantees.

      Your comment means a lot. I work hard at not sounding preachy, because I find the condescending tones of posts by younger adventurers upsetting. That is why I added that personal bit at the end. Also to re-iterate that it is never too late to take the leap. Not sure if and when the downsizing will happen, but its a beginning. Take care.

  14. yes, I agree. We many times build walls around ourselves and finding unable to cross it. Very true. Thanks for sharing quote with a wondreful picture.

  15. Reminds me of that famous quote from the movie “My big fat Greek wedding.” The mother is instructing her daughter just before marriage and says. “Remember the man is head of the home, but the woman is the neck, and the neck turns the head.” Looks like you’ve just confirmed that opinion. 🙂

    1. Ha ha, and I thought you were my friend! 😀 Frankly I was as stunned by that ‘okay’ as he was when I broached the subject!

  16. Yup, so true. What a conundrum…the walls we build for ourselves that keep us from doing exactly what we want to do if those walls weren’t there. Humans…a very odd species of animal!!! Good words for travelers (or non-travelers), but also good for everyone, no matter their dream

  17. Hahaha nicely done. Totally in agreement with you, how strange are our ways of evaluating a happy and sustainable lifestyle.

    Pssst I am so going to downgrade my living space next year. If there exists such a thing as a pooja room ever in my life, I would not have lived hehe.

    1. Christy, I have seen enough money spent on the contents of a puja room that would sustain a years travel! 😀 In the end it should only be about what gives you joy. There is no right or wrong.

  18. It is true that what many will tell you are the impediments which prevented them from achieving their dreams were actually surmountable, but have changed identity from impediments to excuses.

    1. Absolutely! I used up so many more words to express just that 🙂 Perhaps it is fear that keeps them from acknowledging the fact. Pleasure to see you here Mr.C

  19. Very much enjoyed this post ~ even knowing that there is so much more to chase, sometimes I still find myself “saving for the future” even though the future is now and at some point it is time to chase life…or continue chasing life 🙂
    Cheers to this thought, and thank you for this timely post ~

  20. Profound quote, Madhu…accompanied by very meaningful words! I totally agree. A lot of times, what society or people might think is a big barrier to chasing after our dreams. Or the fear of “what if”.
    Good luck with the apartment hunt!

  21. A very well worded post Madhu. So many people put off their dreams for the reasons you mention and life can pass so quickly. We downsized to a “Granny flat” like a studio apartment, very small, in 2010 when we took off on my dream to travel around Australia. The freedom in minimalism is life changing. So just do it… 🙂

  22. A very true quote, Madhu. I believe we all need to reinvent ourselves on occasion. It reminds me of a quote I once saw, “If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.” 🙂

  23. Hahaha, I love the P.S in this one!

    And so so true, look at me – I was barely alive until I gave it all up. When we want something, the universe really does make it happen.

    1. Ha ha, the search is ongoing….our hearts and the universe obviously not conspiring hard enough 🙂

      I do often catch myself wishing we had started travelling earlier, but then I remind myself that we would have missed out on all the amazing experiences life has thrown up, not least of which is parenthood and grandparenthood. The time at my disposal might be woefully short, but at the moment I feel like I have my cake and am eating it too! Even if juggling all those roles makes my head spin most times.

      Many thanks for the visit and comment Shubham….and happy travels 🙂

  24. I really love the quote… So true… I, for sure, am confined by the walls I’ve built around me… and breaking them down is tougher than I thought.

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