“There are no bad trips…just experiences which eventually make memories that you look back upon and smile at.” – Sandeep & Smita Sahajpal
When they got married in 1984, travel wasn’t as ‘fashionable’ as it is today. In love with each other and with the idea of travelling, both dreamt of seeing the world together. Living the dream for over 30 years now, both are on an ongoing journey of creating memories and cherishing life’s every twist and turn!
Meet Sandeep & Smita Sahajal – our inspiration behind this series “For the Love of Travel”! [As mentioned earlier, this series is dedicated to featuring travel enthusiasts who have captivating stories to inspire us to travel more but are not a part of the blogging or writing universe.]
Sandeep Sahajpal, a management consultant by profession, has taken a sabbatical this year. Writing a book and learning how to play guitar keeps him busy. Smita is the woman behind his success. “She allows me the luxury to do whatever I wish to, by taking care of our home impeccably,” avers Sandeep. Both met by a coincidence, and “liked each other for a while before deciding to marry.”
Has travel been a passion for both of you?
Well, when we got married, back in 1984, travel was not so much of a need. Only an odd LTC for the government employees’ families, which they would accumulate for a couple of years in order to make a meaningful travel to a desired destination. Only some places were famous then. I was, however, extremely lucky to have experienced an all India travel in one of the LTC’s arranged by my father when I was in college. At the time of marriage, I was 24 and Smita was 23 years old. She had travelled to a few places only, so we decided that we will travel extensively. We have tried to live up to our stated objective. (smiles)
How frequently do you take a holiday?
We tend to be out every two to three months for one reason or the other, besides official travel. We always joke that at the end of one holiday, we are ready for the next. Our friends call us crazy!
Which has been your best and worst holiday so far?
You cannot define a holiday as best or worst. Even a holiday that feels like a hardship at the time you are going through it, becomes memorable eventually. Each destination has something unique, memorable and enjoyable.
Your favourite destination and why…
Our favourite is the one we have not seen as yet! Even though we have travelled a lot, there is a lot to be seen. We are yet to visit some of the coveted places like Australia, Latin America and much of Europe.
We do not have a favourite simply because we want to see whatever comes our way. Somehow, we have not been able to define still what puts us on!
What about your memorable holidays?
Within India, there is Goa, Ladakh, Kashmere, Gangtok, Darjeeling, Ujjain, Kolkata, Munnar, Recong Peo, Trivandrum, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Puri, Tirupati, Ashtavinayak trip around Maharashtra, Ooty, Kodaikana… the list is long. Each visit had something special to offer, either by way of beauty, or by way of culture, or by way of its rustic appeal, or by way of desert and tough terrains.
Internationally, we enjoyed everything from New Zealand to Japan to Iceland to Alaska, whatever we could experience.
As said earlier, we are looking forward to what we have missed out so far, and hope that life will permit us the opportunity to complete the ‘course’!
Travelling together strengthens relationship. Your comments
Well, not necessarily. Travel is a need, and you are the same person anyway. There is a saying that after the retirement, people in Japan go out for long cruises for a couple of months, and file for divorce upon return. The irony is that these cruises are termed as ‘divorce cruises’! To submit our opinion, travel and holiday is a necessity, but after some time you miss your surroundings, and look forward to be back home.
Would you say you learnt anything about your partner that you wouldn’t have without the travel?
The question sounds quite romantic! We knew each other for five years before marriage, and took the plunge after knowing each other fully well. We would not say that travel can make one a different person in those defined days. In fact, as said about the ‘divorce cruises’, possibly that ‘learning something’ could be either way. For defined time when we are on a holiday, we had enough on our plates to not overly concentrate on each other.
Travel advice for couples…
Plan, prepare, stay cautious, and be ready for surprises. Enjoy every moment, as it will not come in your life again. The key to enjoy is be less complaining, and more accepting. The world is not perfect, as we all are not!
Who is the planner between you two?
Travel and itinerary: Sandeep; packing planning: Smita
One place you never wish to visit again:
Have not reached that low point ever, so far!
Leisure holidays or adventure?
Alternate between the two, if possible