The Taj Mahal, India


This week John shares with us his life changing experience of visiting the Taj Mahal in India. Looking for answers to life's big questions he set out on a journey to discover one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

I was 24 years old and lost. Many questions about life and my future lingered but no answers appeared. It finally got to me so I decided to do something about it. I thought in order to find answers I would need to open my mind to new perspectives. I pondered upon numerous strategies and finally decided I was going to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World, since I couldn't afford to visit them all. I wrote them on a piece of paper and stuck it on the wall, then threw a dart to see where fate would lead me. I always wanted to visit the pyramids in Egypt so I aimed for it, but it landed on the Taj Mahal. I decided that was a practice run and I aimed again at the pyramids but once again landed on the Taj Mahal. That was the fate of my dart. So I planned my pilgrimage to the Taj.

It was approximately 200kms away from Delhi so I decided to commute about 150kms and then walk the rest as I love long walks. I booked my flight and was ready to go. The plane trip was a 15 hr movie marathon. I packed my DVD library and player and had Al Pacino, de Niro, Stallone and Jet Li keeping me company. I hit Delhi airport and I was finally in India. It felt so strange and surreal being there. I was fascinated by the commotion.

I caught a train to Farah Town Station and got off purposely to travel the rest on foot. Watching the scenery pass whilst on the train was a great contrast to walking. I absorbed the scenery in slow motion which stimulated many thoughts. Along the way I met a traveller from England on his way to the Taj. We shared great conversation until finally reaching our destination. What a sight! I was totally mesmerised by the size, detail and architectural genius it portrayed. I had researched its history and seen many pictures but viewing it in person felt surreal. My new friend and I conversed all day whilst chilling out viewing the Taj from a distance. The changes of light in the sky were reflected by the monument and it was the most awesome sight to be just chilling in front of, especially after the long walk.

This trip was then the greatest experience of my life. The English traveller helped me to focus more on living in the present. "The present is a gift", he said, "And that's why it's called the 'present'". He said not to focus on the past or future but to live in the moment, explaining that people worry too much about life and never get a chance to actually live it. Practicing this led me to meet my future wife not long after.

My travel experience was an adventure and experience that money couldn't buy. I got out of it so much more than I could've imagined. It was life changing. I realised you just have to go out and live it rather than worry about it. Consequently in my lifetime I plan to visit the other Wonders of the World one by one to see what kind of new experiences they will present.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of Cover-More Insurance.