Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Why I travel

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I travel very much for the same reasons as Professor Santayana: to escape ‘into open solitudes’. I have this rather primordial desire to be where few people have been and where I can be by myself. It was for this reason that for most of my life as a traveller I went alone. The late and much lamented Saneeya Hussain, my friend and first editor at the Star, used to call me Lone Wolf. I have to use the professor’s words again to explain the urge to travel alone: ‘running some pure hazard’. There is a great thrill in it. This is a thrill that tingles up and down the spine. Imagine a walk in pre-dawn darkness in Thar Desert or somewhere in the foothills of the Khirthar Mountains – both places where the infamous krait of the viper family, hardly noticeable because of its sandy colouration – lurks under the bushes and stones. If you are alone and bitten, there is no chance of survival. The poison attacks the nervous system and one dies within minutes.

There is also the ‘taste of hardship’ that Allama Iqbal has the parent shaheen telling the shaheen child: 'sakht koshi say hai talkh e zndagani angbeen.'

But really the fundamental reason is to see what others before have seen. It has happened on countless occasions when walking in lonely places I have imagine how it would have been long before our time. I have a very wild imagination (I am not a spiritual person) and I even start to see people. This is not a physical presence, I just see, imagine would be a better word. And that is the purpose of all my explorations.

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 12:20,


At 9 March 2013 at 19:02, Blogger Jalal HB said...

Travelling is education and every sane person wants to educate himself by travelling - but the saner also write about the traveling and education. I hope I get across the point.

At 22 August 2017 at 23:22, Anonymous Anonymous said...

اک بچہ شاہیں سے کہتا تھا عقابِ سالخورد
اے کہ ترے شہپر پہ آساں رفعتِ چرخ بریں
ہے شباب اپنے لہو کی آگ میں جلنے کا نام
سخت کوشی سے ہے تلخ زندگانی انگبیں


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My Books

Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

The Apricot Road to Yarkand

Jhelum: City of the Vitasta

Sea Monsters and the Sun God: Travels in Pakistan

Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan

Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan

Gujranwala: The Glory That Was

Riders on the Wind

Books at Sang-e-Meel

Books of Days