Updated: Sep 9
Ever since I can remember, I have felt that the world was an expansive place. I have always been curious about other countries, people, culture, cuisine and languages. Helen Keller stated appropriately “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”. That quote has resonated with me throughout my life. If I wasn’t having some sort of adventure in my life, I felt stagnant.
I traveled five of the seven continents with my family while I was married. So many amazing adventures over the years! I cherish these memories immensely as they shaped my relationship with my children. I also traveled for work, either attending or speaking at conferences. Rarely was I able to make time to travel with friends. Looking back at my life, I realized that I, like many of us, vacation with our families and friends. We travel for work or to attend weddings, funerals, or reunions. But how often do we vacation for the sake of personal fulfillment or our own unique sense of adventure? And why is this “travel for myself” important?
Travel for your own personal adventures is very different from traveling with others or for a specific occasion. When others are involved, compromise is clearly necessary and understandable. Though necessary, the compromise can lead to a disconnect within ourselves if we are not careful. Prior to my divorce, I never had the opportunity to travel alone and frankly the idea scared the crap out of me. Scared or not, I knew I needed to face those fears.
Because I was on a quest to find myself, I started traveling alone after my divorce. I started by visiting friends in other states because that seemed the easiest way to ease into my personal “Kalventures” (my personal adventures). With each trip, I learned a little more about who I was on my own, without my family. When my family wasn’t with me, I wasn’t someone’s wife or mother, I was me. Kalpana. After each trip, I saw myself differently. I even felt noticeably different after each trip. I became more clear on what I really liked and didn’t like. For example, I always thought I was a morning person. As it turns out, I’m actually a night owl. When left to my own devices, my natural tendencies became obvious.
Eventually I started to feel more comfortable traveling on my own and investigated different things that interested me. I realized that it’s easy to get sucked into the needs, wants, and desires of others. Love for family, in particular, makes it challenging to know your own needs and desires.
After I was comfortable visiting friends across the United States, I decided I wanted to go further afield. Because I wasn’t quite ready to trek across the world all alone, I planned a trip with my nineteen year old son and later some trips with my brother. Once I felt ready, I travelled to Egypt on my own.
I invite you to follow along with me on my “Kalventures!” I am excited to share my perspectives with you on the places I have traveled as well as the changes those places have made in me.
In the words of the well-learned and well-traveled philosopher St. Augustine, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”.
Dr. Kalpana Sundar is a Physician, entrepreneur and speaker with a passion to disrupt beauty standards and empower women. She is the co-founder of Kalvera Skin Therapy, a startup that tracks skin metrics using technology and uses med-tech procedures to heal your skin. Kalvera Skin Therapy opened its flagship location in Jacksonville Beach, FL in 2020, and is growing rapidly.
Dr. Kalpana is also the author of the forthcoming book Beauty Unbound.