Defining a holiday, has for long been a point of discussion amongst us. It seems to me that as people get more affluent, the holidays are getting defined as a time to escape and chill. Chill- more or less means being in a zone of the ultimate comfort [as per ones budget]. Comfort means having to do the minimum, and existing, if possible in a comatose haze. The youngsters of course, call for sporadic spells of aggressive partying which will again end a state of passive nothingness. Holiday highlights usually tend to rest in ‘branded’ visuals and diligent “victualisation”….food and wines being a serious priority, making all of this an exalted experience and the ultimate definition of a vacation rather than a singular experience.
How many of us take holidays today for the pure sake of adventure? For being out in the elements, for taking risks into the unknown, for the pure joy of toughing and roughing it out! My experience over the past years tells me that most of us have lost the zeal… we have become slaves to our ease. As I set out to plan these journeys, I search for companions both young and mid- aged, and find but a precious few. When I speak of being with nature, sleeping under the stars, eating local simple fare, putting my body to task to search for natural miracles which are out of easy reach, people think I am brave but foolish. My experience also tells me that after a long day adventuring, sleeping in a tent with a hot water bottle gives me a far better sleep than any luxury hotel bed, but it has to be experienced to be realised. I just read a blog which said-
Sunny days wouldn’t be special if it wasn’t for rain
Joy wouldn’t feel so good if it wasn’t for pain
and I realise that the intense joy one feels being alone and tired, walking the wilderness, the smells- the taste- the sounds, far surpasses any experience humans can create.
As life becomes more and more automated, as cities become concrete jungles, the disconnect increases. Virtual is now the new real. Speed and competition are the new mantras, taking over from calm and ease. We compromise nature, we decimate species, we mutilate the forests, because they are a just a video for us, unreal… distant ! Where do we create the time to co exist with them ??When will we break out of our comfort cocoons to meet this wondrous wild expanse head on and say this is my definition of a day well spent. When will I say ,“this is the gift I give myself to re- discover myself, to re-define my existence, to make my body meet my soul, because these raw surrounds help me to meet me.”