#WomenOfTnl: Travelling with a girl gang can cull out a gamut of emotions. And for this woman, it whipped up memories to last a lifetime. The Director of Atout France India—France Tourism Development Agency recounts three such vacations, each of which transformed her life in myriad ways. By Sheetal Munshaw
It’s no surprise that when Desireless’ single, Voyage Voyage, released in the late ’80s, it broke all language barriers, topped world charts, and ignited and resonated with the spirits of those who couldn’t imagine a life without exploring the world and its wonders. For some of us, travel is not an indulgence, choice, or distraction. It’s a way of life.
For me, the quote “the journey is the destination” encapsulates the essence of travelling. I spent all of last year reminiscing through reels of escapades and a reservoir of rich—sometimes poignant—memories. After all, travel is transcendence. It is an evolution of one’s experiences and outlook; and an amalgamation of living legacies that touch our souls to add to the enrichment of our lives.
I have many travel memories with women who are special to me, but few have stood out and left a mark on my emotional collage. One such vacation was my multi-generational trip to Africa. I was in the fond company of my mother and my mother-in-law. Being accompanied by family and loved ones, and enjoying a vacation marked by matriarchal presence gave us a sense of nurturing and bonding that will forever be etched in my memory. We witnessed glorious sunsets, shared a seamless bond with nature and experienced the enigma of balance. The highlight of the trip, however, was a bush breakfast with nature putting on a show. Picture a star-studded African sky and acacia trees as a backdrop, and a lone gazelle sauntering around our boma dinner lit by mashals.
On a more spirited note, my escapade to Burgundy with a childhood girlfriend remains vivid in my memory. We took a short yet sumptuous sojourn to Beaune’s vineyards and devoured delectable Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune. It was a true parcel-to-palate experience replete with decadent cuisine and indulgent Burgundy hospitality. During the trip, we learned the legacy of the unique terroir. The pride of its heritage, along with my company, left me loving Burgundy wines even more!
And, finally, a sojourn to the humbling and majestic Mont Blanc of Europe enabled me to #DiscoverTheUndiscovered within me. As I took flight on a paraglide during the trip, I unlocked my fears and embarked on one of my most exhilarating encounters yet. Soaking in the breathtaking views of the mountain left me both, besotted and liberated, at once.
Note: Sheetal Munshaw is the Director of Atout France India—France Tourism Development Agency