The Journey is the DESTINATION – Belgium AGM memories by Tr. Aviral Jain of LMRT 255!

“Don’t listen to what they say, go see”

 

The curiosity and the murmurs about the magnanimity of international tabling events had always intrigued me. Being very lucky to have a profession that takes me to all parts of the world, Round Table added to the pleasure of traveling and working. RTI literally gave me readymade friends all over the globe. Just the idea of this convenience and privilege is in itself unique and comforting.

Earlier the long work days used to end with a dinner with a business associate followed by alone time in the hotel room. Now I am always looking forward to finishing my work and connecting with the table in the vicinity. The process of reaching out and informing them about my visit is enjoyable as well as one gets to witness the warmth and excitement immediately.

Since I have been a part of this beautiful movement I have experienced tabling in Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Dubai, Singapore, Belgium, Seychelles, Luxemburg and interacted with tablers from Sweden, Finland, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Denmark, South Africa, Norway, Italy, Tunisia and Morocco. The global perspective increases your horizon of thinking and knowledge. Be it the political differences or the RT association differences, international interactions are always a great learning experience.

After attending the Round Table India AGM I always wanted to experience an international AGM and Belgian AGM happened to fit in perfectly with my vacation plan. So along with my wife I started the Europe tour enjoying the hospitality and love of tablers in all the countries. The start was from Luxemburg where the IRO Philippe insisted on picking us up from the airport and takes us for dinner. For me this was the biggest gesture of goodwill.

Amidst the beauty of Europe and comfort of Round Table brothers company we finally reached Turnhout in Belgium from where our pre-tour for the AGM was supposed to start. The energy of the fellow tablers and the high spirit instantly made us forget our tiredness and lack of sleep. Thus began a long day of jungle walk, city tour and finally chilled beers at a local brewery. During this whole time we had the company of guys from Belgium and other international guests. It was a melting pot of culture united by a common mission. By noon everyone became the closest of friends and it seemed that we had known each since a long time. The remaining AGM was a lot of partying and interacting with the members of the Round Table Belgium association. IRO Robbert was an extraordinary host taking care of us and constantly asking if we needed anything. It was home away from home.

Finally at the gala dinner I had a unique experience of pride, passion and brotherhood. I was the only one from India and was told that no one from India atleast in the last 6-7 years has been a part of the Belgian AGM. That moment I was representing India and my association. It was an emotional and a proud moment to wear the Indian Roundel on my pocket.

After a long night of wine and dancing we all finally bid our good byes and retired to bed. The thought that stuck with me was that traveling makes you experience a lot but tabling makes the journey a lot more fun.

 

“Take only memories, leave only footprints.”