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TEJA: THE ORIGIN STORY
I have always travelled. Certainly my mind always has, from every echo and scribed page it has built a map of entire worlds. I have been to many places for many reasons: as a tourist, as a business visitor, as a student, and as kin. The country that I feel most familiar with, next to the one of my birth, is 6000 miles away. It was something I took for granted, and the realisation that I was rarely homesick never really sank in during those early years.
Up until I began working, I had always written. Growing up, I was much better known to my peers for literature than for science. But as I also felt a passion and responsibility for the environment, I made my choice. As an environmental professional, there is a very specific, disciplined way that you write, and as time went by, I rarely wrote for beauty again.
I ended up with these two loose ends, not because I particularly chose to, but as is the case with life, some doors are delayed and others open with barely a touch. For me, I ended up getting things backward: in many ways, I did maturity before I ever did youth.
Ibn Battuta, the great medieval traveller, observed that travelling does something to you. It gives you a home in a thousand places, but leaves you a stranger in your own land.
It crept upon me over the years, and one day I began realising the truth of the second part.
Faced with homelessness, it became necessary to find a thousand homes.
For that, it was not enough to travel for a reason. Travel needed to be its own reason.