People frequently (all the time) ask me the meaning of Nut On The Road.
What does it mean? What type of Nut it actually refers to? Do you know it implies something dirty? How did you come up with it? And the list goes on….
It’s difficult to explain the same thing again and again to different people. This article is an effort to stop those questions and divert more traffic to this site.
Why ‘Nut on the Road’?
It was the summer of 2015. I was in my early 20s, on a short solo trip to Cardiff, Wales. On my second day there, after visiting the local castle and surrounding parks, I returned to my hostel for some ‘free internet.’ (posting stories on Snapchat was important for me back then, and Instagram didn’t have that feature yet). So, I returned to my hostel and sat on the couch in the reception area. I connected my phone to the wifi, but the network was really, really poor. It was taking ages to load a site, so I gave up. A beautiful young girl was sitting opposite me, reading a magazine. I had nothing much to do, so I thought of starting a conversation with her.
I picked this excellent advice from somewhere, which is, if you are in a new city and want to start a conversation with a stranger, begin with the question – ‘Are you a local?’ It works all the time.
So, we started talking, and it turned out that she wasn’t a local. She (I forgot her name) was a student from Australia, visiting the country to spend some quality time with her grandmother.
We started discussing our backgrounds, the city, the hostel, etc. I noticed she held a small paper chit in her hand, and I asked her about it. It was something she had found in one of the drawers of the side table next to the couch. She loved the message written on it and thought of keeping it.
Out of curiosity, I opened the drawer. It was filled with messages left by previous guests of the hostel. Some messages were long; some were short, and in different languages and fonts. I picked a random paper from the pile. This one was tiny. Folded in three. I wondered what message it held. The chit had only one thing written on it.
Just one hashtag. not even a sentence. Somehow I started relating to it. I started wondering who could have left a message like this. Maybe someone travelling alone, clueless about where life will take him/her next, just a wanderer, living each day as it comes and letting fate take control. At that moment, I felt like I was that person. But not in a good way. I associated the ‘Nut’ with a foolish, crazy person. It stayed with me for a long, long time, and every time I did something stupid or crazy during my travel, I called myself a nut. Slowly, I realized that those stupid things I have now turned into memories. I don’t remember the Cardiff castle’s history, how many rooms it has, or how many gardens it is surrounded by. All I remember are the crazy things that happened to me in the city – Like being followed by a sketchy older man, losing my return journey train ticket, getting a job interview call while on top of a hill.
When I was deciding a name for my blog, I had “Nut on the road” in my mind but was skeptical about using it as I knew no one would understand. The ‘No Nut November’ thing from the west made it even harder for me to use it. ‘Nut’ also means something ‘dirty’ in one of the Indian languages. 😀 But I couldn’t relate to any of the other options I had. For a very long time, I was a ‘Nut on the road’ in my mind, then why change it now, right? You like it, don’t like it, it’s got a horrible meaning in some languages. It’s ok. It is what it is, and it is who I am.
Anyway, at least now, you know the story behind ‘Nut on the road.’
My journey from Mumbai to Toronto