You would definitely have heard of FOMO i.e. Fear Of Missing Out. Thinking from travel point of view, it’s that feeling that makes you go out because of the literal fear of missing out an experience, or a place, or an event. When I am feeling particularly dramatic though, I tend to use some filmy titles like Kal Ho Na Ho (tommorrow may not be there) or Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (life will not come again or more famously YOLO – You Only Live Once).
I think the pandemic was very successful in taming whatever minimal travel-related FOMO YOLO urges I used to have. With the travel restrictions, testing mandates and qurantine regulations, it sometimes gets too much to take, so we have still not been comfortable to fly unless it’s absolutely necessary, like meeting loved ones. We recently got our German driving licences so we enjoy renting a car and driving to places nearby or taking the advantage of the excellent public transport network. Sometimes we decide to pick up our bikes and ride to nearby places. All this means we are seeing more stuff nearby and much less of Europe as we had originally planned.
Honestly speaking we don’t mind it. We did not really come here with a list of places that we HAVE TO visit. Yes there are places we want to see, but somehow there is no urgency. Then there is the fact that there is just too much of this world that we haven’t explored, so we’d rather go anywhere and everywhere. Thirdly, there’s a lot to be thankful for and with many years of long-distance relationship behind us, a quiet weekend of doing homely chores or just indulging in some backyard sun-bathing or walking to the forest nearby doesn’t sound so bad after all.
Now that I don’t have the FOMO YOLO feelings, there is a new acronym to trouble me. I call it SVAS or Should Visit Another Season. It doesn’t sound as hip as it’s older cooler cousins, but please hear me out. Or let me know if you can come up with a better one. Surely, I can’t be the only one going through this. Or am I?
I discussed this with my husband too, but he really couldn’t relate to anything I was blabbering!
SVAS is something that I had very rarely felt in India too. For example, in my opinion, visiting the Western Ghats in south-west India in any season other than monsoons doesn’t do full justice to the beauty that this place is. Visting Rajasthan in summers can be a hot and sweaty disaster, but in winters it’s magically royal. I am not advocating for visiting places just in high season, because one has to consider the crowds too. I think visiting places in off-season makes a lot of sense most of the times, but sometimes coming back again in another season, just shows that place in a whole different light.
Another example here is Schloss Neuschwanstein! On Instagram, I have seen so many photos of this beautiful fairytale castle in Bavaria and it looks picture perfect in all seasons. That is probably the reason why I haven’t been able to make up my mind about when to visit. But this year I am heading there for sure! It may not be very nearby but I guess visiting every season is also doable and would be worth it! I have also experienced that here in Germany, SVAS basically hits me with more intensity, because the visible differences among the various seasonal sceneries are much more dramatic.
Since this concept is a bit difficult for me to explain with words, and since a picture is worth a thousand words, let me share a few.
These pictures are from the forest nearby, so it is quite convenient to adhere to the calling of SVAS and visit every other week or even every other day, not just another season. But then there are other places…..
Last summer I went to Schrecksee, which is an Alpine lake in the Algäu region in South Germany. On the left, you see a screenshot I took (Expectation) and on the right is the picture I clicked when we did the 20 km hike to Schrecksee in the first week of June (Reality). The beauty of the peeking turquoise of this semi-melted mostly-frozen lake still haunts me. It really was one of the most pristine scenery I have ever witnessed. It was also the most difficult hike that I had ever undertaken which made it more special, but I was so glad I did it, as explained briefly here. I can go on and on about the beauty of Schrecksee but for that I need a dedicated post. In this one, I just want to show that in spite of seeing the scenery on the right, the strong sense of SVAS (Should Visit Another Season) lures me back again to witness the prettiness that the left one offers.
This episode also taught us that June is not equal to summers in the Alps! While the lower villages were breathtakingly beautiful and lush green, the lakes and higher mountains were still pretty white. The seemingly easy hike became quite dangerous at places because of lots and lots of snow. It was fun, but at some places it was quite scary.
And so we have decided to give in to SVAS and have promised that we would hike to Schrecksee again this year (I literally left a piece of my heart in Algäu so I have to keep going back again and again and again). This year we are thinking we should go when it is late enough for all the snow to melt but early enough for no fresh snow, so September/October it is. 🙂
I have come to realise that I really enjoy seasonal tracking. Here are a few things I have shared on Instagram.
The most recent SVAS hit just happened this weekend when we hiked to a castle nearby (Starkenburg-Heppenheim) . Needless to say, we shall visit another season (for some grapes)!