So Narendra Modi completes a year as Prime Minister and there is more talk about his foreign visits than his performance. So I decided to see Mr Modi through a traveller's lens and decoded his travel habits and style. Actually there are quite a few things I like about Modi, the traveller. We enthusiastic travelers could actually pick these.
1) Clicking Selfies
Many might see clicking selfies ( read too many selfies) as a sign of being a narcissist or it being a mental disorder. Maybe for a Prime Minister to click selfies, it indeed is a disorder! But step back and see Modi as an 'aam' traveller clicking selfies. I think it's awesome. The takeaway: Click selfies with locals and important people you meet when holidaying. Ok I might not meet the Chinese Premier ever, but I am definitely clicking selfies with all the fellow travel bloggers on my next trip.
|Prime Minister Narendra Modi clicking a selfie with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang|
2) Offbeat. The Real Offbeat.
If it's not offbeat, its not cool. Aren't real 'travelers' differentiated from 'tourists' lot of times on the basis of destinations they visit. Read any popular travel blog and it will suggest you to travel to offbeat places and not the hackneyed ones or those that don't feature in 'top 10 popular international destinations' list of travel companies. Modi, the traveller is doing just that! Archery in Mongolia, isn't that exotic? How many Indians you know who have visited Mongolia?
|Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Mongolia|
3) Frequency Matters!
You are not a real traveller if you take only four holidays a year (Summers, Winters and maybe two weekend breaks). A real traveler desire to travel is insatiable. He is been criticized by opposition, media and and those who love to hate on social media for his frequent foreign trips. Pardon me, I am not the best person to comment on foreign policy, diplomatic relations and politics, so I don't know how bad it is for a politician or a Prime Minister to be away from his country for so many days. But looking at his frequency of foreign travel, I am inspired! He doesn't get jet-lagged? Tired? You know all of us should travel more.
|Jetlagged? No!- Prime Minister Narendra Modi at JFK Airport, New York|
4) Do it the 'Local' Way.
Staying in your plush hotel suite, eating at fine-dining restaurants, attending conference at the convention centre and doing usual touristy sightseeing is what most business travelers do abroad. But look at Mr Modi, he doesn't miss a chance to mingle with the locals and get clicked with them, even indulge in a bit of mischief! That's cute. Even if it's a boring business conference that I am attending in a concrete city next time, I will ensure I go to places where locals go and mingle with them.
Modi might just be doing it for 'foreign media' but who's stopping us from doing it for the real experience?
|Prime Minister Narendra Modi savoring tea cakes sitting in the traditional 'seize' style|
5) Don't leave your Style Behind.
Modi's fashion style has been discussed and dissected. Modi kurtas, his monogrammed suit that was auctioned and dress sense has filled pages and pages of newspapers and magazines. And when traveling, he has often surprised many by landing at the airport impeccably dressed. Yes he has been a fashion victim at times, but he doesn't settle for something boring when he travels abroad. Even Obama said that he wants to wear 'Modi Kurta'!
|This is My Style- Modi Kurta and Jacket|