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  • Aarushi Saxena

Confession: I can't be an influencer

I'm an addict: jonesing once again for a new place, a new landscape, a new perspective. When I don't have a trip planned every month or two, a restlessness creeps in; sometimes it drags along insecurity about my place in the world. Maybe because travel has become an escape, to a home-alike feeling, same but different?

Usually, maintaining this calendar of plans is smooth sailing, but some ships sink mid voyage. This is one of those periods. A recent trip to Meghalaya was called off and another to Ladhak, postponed. Instead of sliding into another slump, I've decided to relive yesteryear's experiences through writing; which itself is therapeutic, familiarizing and challenging, all at once.

In the last few months, so many friends and colleagues have asked me when I plan to return to Italy. They're impatient for regular doses of travel content I post on my social media. An equal amount have inquired why I'm not interested in being a travel influencer!

That latter is simple to answer - it's a full time PR and content creation job that requires me to sign a non-verbal agreement granting strangers the right to an opinion on my life, with clauses allowing my every action to be scrutinised and commented on by haters and supporters alike. It's the kind of hard work that at present, doesn't excite me. But what does make my insides churn in anticipation, is the prospect of writing down my experiences and in the process, re-visiting every city and country I've been to.

So, I've decided to do old-school, ok-boomer style blogging!

However we live in a world where the dominant form of communication is a hasty scroll-by. We double tap instead of sharing words of appreciation and understanding, we send relevant memes instead of speaking about memories and embracing nostalgia. This throws a spanner in the works. There's a limited audience with an attention span for a good sit-down to read. I, myself, have fallen prey to blind content consumption.

But few days ago, I was reminded of something I once strongly believed: Stories are an escape, and that is the hook for avid readers, even today. Somewhere along the way, we've all lost the plot of our being. I hope that writing about my experiences and journeys, helps to re-find that plot; for me and those who choose to read my narrative.

In poet Jenny Xie's words: 'Reading is migratory, an act of transport, from one life to another, one mind to another. Just like geographic travel, reading involves estrangement that comes with the process of dislocating from a familiar context. I gather energy from this kind of movement...'

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