When did you travel last?
Seizing moments near the Sea
“ To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give.
To roam the roads of lands remote.
To travel is to live “
– Hans Christian Anderson
We live in a world where every second person claims to be interested in ‘traveling’, a major fraction of people in my Facebook friend list are writing statuses and quotes about how they are homesick for a place they have never been to, and others are instagramming pictures of fascinating locations from across the globe. Yet, how many of us are really ‘traveling’ in the real sense of the word?
Living different colours of life
We may be visiting places, boarding planes, staying in the best hotels or simply ‘checking-in’ on our Facebook pages even before stepping into those exquisite cafes and restaurants but how much of a place are we really ‘taking in’ ? We are mostly acting as tourists; checking out must visit places from our itinerary and claiming ourselves to be travellers.
Trekking up the snow-clad mountains
Travelling is about roaming free without inhibitions, going to a place not necessarily for the destination but for the journey.It is about inhaling a place, smelling it, listening to it, feeling it, and living it, just as Hans Christian Anderson puts it.
Every person is a fascinating story.
For me, being a tourist is a constrained and restricted form of being a traveller. Tourism seems to carry a very organized connotation with it. And isn’t travel all about getting out of that very organized routine?
Architecture that enthralls
Travelling involves interacting with the natives and locals of a place and living their kind of lifestyle, until you become one of them. Tourism is coming with one’s suitcases and living one’s own usual lifestyle in a different place, involving little or no interaction with the locals.
Wade in the waters
To travel, one doesn’t necessarily need to go far. It is said that a traveller goes around the world but forgets to visit his own backyard. So, maybe, it is best to start with one’s own backyard, one’s own vicinity. Travelling, more than anything else, is about exploration – not just the world but also the self.
Moments when you feel like you could touch the sky
Just as Truman Capote says of Holly Golightly, in the novella turned movie adaptation of ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s, played by the graceful Audrey Hepburn, “Every day she’d walk a little further: a mile, and come home. Two miles, and come home. One day she just kept on.” Travelling is about going that mile further or not coming back at all, as you will, and not as you are expected to do.
Being caressed by the arms of a tree
It won’t be wrong to say that travelling is a more non- conformist way of being.
Travelling involves setting yourself loose and stepping out of your comfort zone. The planned itinerary of a tourist may give you an allotted time for paragliding, river rafting or star-gazing but may not give you the privilege to actually enjoy it.
Bathing in the morning Sun
Of course, one can’t help being a tourist when it is for official purposes, but it’s important to be a traveller, every once in a while, for the health and growth of your soul. To spend a holiday being a tourist instead of a traveller is, in my opinion, no holiday at all.
The special speckle of sunshine
Much like being a traveller and being a tourist, Holidaying and being on a holiday are different too. The so called ‘holidaying’ that we often find people boasting of, require another holiday after the ‘planned holiday’ to actually relax because all that ‘holiday’ comprised of, was a hectic schedule of ticking off places from your ‘must visit/ must to- do’ list. So, holidaying just becomes getting away from one ‘to-do’ list to another. On the contrary, ‘being on a holiday’ is just about being yourself , being away from the usual humdrum of a monotonous life, and relaxing and rejuvenating in its true sense. Being on a holiday would leave you with a renewed zeal, holidaying, on the other hand, would just leave you tired.
A walk in the wilderness
It is not wrong to be a tourist but it is wrong to be one under the veil of being a traveller. It is not wrong to be holidaying but it is wrong to be doing so under to veil of being on a holiday. There is a clear distinction between these four and it is time, we acknowledge it and maybe, take out more time to be a traveller, more time for a holiday.