Yelloz people,

The WeAreHolidays blog is now ‘live’,  so welcome to our shores.

So as things go, I have finally become a travel writer… who hasn’t traveled all that much. At least, not as much as I would like to. But this post is not about me, nor about my sojourns, or my trysts with bandits in shady inns, or promiscuous belles, or cute penguins.

It is about travel writing.

And here in my time at WAH, I have read innumerable travel articles scouting for literature to discover new lands, cultures and people. And though it is a wonderful way to enhance one’s knowledge of the world, there dawns also the realization that travel writers the world over – be it an Eskimo writer in Iceland or a Sudanese Tutsi –  our community has its own dogmatic way of defining the universe.

Please find below a few examples of the same, and if you could add some of your own observations in the comments section, that would be great, mate!

1) Beaches: Every South Asian beach is a “tropical paradise”. Not that it is wrong to call Maldives or Seychelles so, but then Geography teachers should firmly insist that European beaches be henceforth known as  “temperate heavens”or “temperate paradises”. Referring to them as just “coast” could hurt their feelings.

2) Hill stations: They are forever “nestled in the hills.” You’d think a mountainous region would have some pride and ego about itself, be a little rugged and macho, but no it is always nestled like a demure lass, or a little cat in your lap.

3) The Arab World:  For mysterious reasons, the Orient is always “mystical”, even in the twenty first century. And there are “belly dancers” crawling all over. Here Dubai has the tallest building in the world, has a ski park, one of the biggest and best international malls, but no, mystical it remains. Not to forget that one tune (played on the “been” instrument) they play in every movie whenever there is the slightest reference to the Orient.

4) Villages: Each one of them is “sleepy”. You would not be wrong if you’d assume that all that village people do is sleep a la Rip Van Winkle, if travel writers are anything to go by.

5) City Life:  It is always “bustling”, and us travel writers, its our moral duty to urge people to “escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.”

6)  That part about escaping. Well if you were wondering where, it is “in the lap of nature.” Do not forget to enjoy the “tranquil surroundings” there while you are at it.

7) Panorama:  Ever heard of “breathtaking” panorama? Only heard of “breathtaking” panorama? Yep. Same goes for locales, they are “breathtaking” too as opposed to vistas that insist on only being “stunning” and nothing else.

8 Settings: These have only known to be “idyllic” in nature.

9) The Countryside: It is perennially “lush” and “verdant”. Never a dry season. There is no autumn in the countryside, perhaps.

10) Hotels: All hotels in the world, be it in the sand dunes of the Sahara or in the upper reaches of Canada, their architecture is always “designed tastefully in a blend of traditional décor and modern amenities”. What are modern decorators doing, pray? Also blessed that we are, these magnificent people only feed us “aromatic delicacies”. I look around for food, but no, I get only aromatic delicacies.

11) Spas:  Every massage I ever take in a spa has to “rejuvenate” me. We are not allowed to feel any other emotion, sorry its against the Constitution.  Err that doesn’t mean I am a regular-spa-visitor. Nossir, I am a rugged young man, with serious macho pursuits such as spear fishing and the associated not-knowing-how-to-cook-it.

A friend recently asked me to describe her. And I couldn’t help but tell her that she was ” a blend of tradition and modernity,  that her beauty mesmerized my senses and her eyes – a rich hue of turquoise and aqua marine just like the sea near Krabi.” She hasn’t spoken to me ever since.
I think the line about her hair being just like “a tropical rainforest teeming with life” was probably the reason. Drat.

Neeraj Narayanan

At WeAreHolidays, Neeraj Narayanan is Head of the Content and Digital Media Team. He has a Masters in Advertising & Media Communication, has had experience as a Communication Consultant to the Government of Gujarat, and as a Brand man in the IT giant firm - Cognizant.

On weekends, he conducts Heritage Walks in Delhi.

Neeraj Narayanan – who has written posts on WAH Blog.