Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
The 4-day trip to Kasol with a friend was meant as a stress-buster, to find new perspectives and to just BE. It turned out to be much more amazing than I had imagined. Listening to crazy stories of other travellers first hand had a huge impact. These stories are what made the trip memorable. So, instead of talking about the touristy stuff - what to do, what to see, where to eat, I would like to share with you, some of these very real and personal stories.
Ivan, pronounced Eevan was a storyteller. 40, divorced, father of a kid he had with a girl he married because he got her pregnant, Ivan is a traveller. He studies chess books and recreates moves between Kasparov & Kramnik but says he doesn’t understand why they made this move or that. He sailed from the Africas to the Carribbean with a friend and 2 other people he had just met. He comes from a country where he says “ Israelis have had the worst”, with his family moving from Bosnia after the 2nd world war because the forces wanted people to build houses and infrastructure. He got me into reading Osho books and says they are cinema for the mind.
Kent, a young South African, IT guy, travelling alone and with a crop of hair which would put David Luiz to shame. I asked him how he feels about travelling alone and if he ever gets bored. He said something which stayed with me till long after - “You have to like your own company. I like mine and so I enjoy travelling on my own”.
Zooey, British, still has her accent but doesn’t know it, left home when 18, fell in love with an Israeli in India. Travelled with him for two months, broke up, went to Cambodia and Vietnam to travel where she bumped into some people she met in Kasol. Now lives in Tel-Aviv a floor below a drug dealer and studies psychology. Talks fast, doesn’t care if someone’s listening or not.
One of our many Israeli neighbors was Shachar. During her time with the army, herresponsibility was to ring the alarm whenever Palestine shoots a missile towards Israel. Just 21, she dreams of having her own farm full of dogs and training them to be with and aid blind people.
Another one of them was a dude whose name I forget. “I’ve had too many loves (sic), they all break my heart”, he tells us. Guitar strumming, didgiredoo playing, drum beating, ‘McShit’ tee-shirt wearing, with the most brilliant tattoo on his arm, he sits outside his room playing with the little kids. He was a very happy man.
The owner of the guesthouse we stayed at was a sweet lady with long dark hair and in the words of another person the ‘smile of a queen’. She sits with us listening to our stories and sharing her own while her two beautiful little daughters who played with us while we and the neighbors did you-know-what in Kasol.
Perhaps the most interesting character we met was a Baba, who called himself a Naga Sadhu. He wore aviators, grooved on ‘Badtameez Dil' listening to it on his high end phone, and wore a tiger skin print cloth around his waist. Devotee of Lord Shiva, he told us of the number of years since he left home and now finds his residence in a cave high up in the mountains around the place.