Travel as a lifestyle
Travelling the world. That’s number one on my bucket list. While for many people, the first three words of this post would be at the top of their lists too, there is a difference. Many people these days just want to travel to the ‘popular’ countries, USA, Spain, France, Italy, England and Germany are just some of the few names that come to mind when people(and bimbos) excitedly claim ‘OMG I SO WANNA TRAVEL THE WORLD!’.
While I too have desires to explore the many different football stadiums(especially The Emirates) and Stonehenge, take pictures beneath the Eiffel Tower with a loved one, ride a gondola along the winding river-roads of Venice, take a walk down Hollywood Boulevard, watch some bull-fighting in Catalonia and drink some beer during Oktoberfest, my list does not end there, and neither should yours.
There is a difference between a tourist and a traveler. The idea of a tourist seems to be an extrapolation of the concept of the ‘American Dream’. In our more current context, the ‘American Dream’ seems like a highly superficial notion, where our success is determined purely on whether one has a beautiful two-storey house with a wonderfully manicured lawn that would be the envy of the neighbors in the estate, with one, maybe two children who are well-behaved and whose father sends them to school in a Prius while the Mother bakes at home. The idea of the term ‘tourist’ being an extrapolation of this very notion gives rise to the idea of a tourist being superficial in their ‘travels’ or simple touring of their host country.
A traveler on the other hand, is defined as someone who travels a lot. She or he, is seen as nomadic(well almost). One would perceive a traveler to be more receptive to the country’s culture and ideas, and this person would be more willing to experience everything a country has to offer, rather than just playing it safe like a tourist would. And it is in these two categories where we can place people under.
Why do we travel? For pleasure? To broaden our perspectives and experiences? Or to soak in everything this beautiful planet has to offer us?
In my 19 year journey in this planet, since my inception in 1995, I’ve been to Thailand, Malaysia, China, India, New Zealand, Australia and South Korea. While that may seem like a large number to many, most of my trips were with whatever school I belonged to during the trip. My secondary school brought me to a couple of places, and so did my college, and for these opportunities, I am highly grateful. One regret I will always have would be the fact that I’ve never been able to submerge myself into the host country’s culture, due to the limitations placed on school trips where safety was key priority. With my family, it was either a trip to numerous temples or to the beautiful beaches in SouthEast Asia. So while I did physically submerge in the crystal clear waters of Thailand, I still could not metaphorically submerge.
And it is here that I implore you, and I implore my future self, to not just travel for travel’s sake and simply be a tourist, but to travel to learn and embrace everything this wonderful planet, and (mostly) wonderful people have to offer. Learn more about the cultures and what makes each country different from the next. What makes each culture tick. Instead of losing yourself in the beautifully sculpted worlds of GTA V and Far Cry 4, lose yourself in the real world, where everything has been sculpted by a large variety of factors we’ve only begun to understand, across eons, before your lineage even came into existence.
And don’t just stop with the popular countries. Lose yourself in a myriad of places. One thing our planet gives us is variety. Sweat your balls off in the Amazon Rainforest, get frostbite(yea I’m just kidding) half-way up the Himalayan mountain range, dive into the depths of the Great Barrier Reef, take a ride into the beautiful African savannahs, eat the weirdest food in China, drink vodka in a bar sculpted out of ice in Russia, look up at the Sphinx’s broken nose and fall asleep in some log cabin in Canada.
This planet is our home after all and it would be a shame not to experience everything it has to offer before we die. Why waste it staying at home forever and ever? Get a job, save up, grab people close to you(or if you’re a lone wolf its cool too) and travel this planet.
Its been a dream of mine to get lost on Earth. And hopefully, I can grab a loved one, or my closest friends and get lost with them(obviously after I have earned enough money). Life’s a journey, both literally and metaphorically. Why not amalgamate the two?