How to be a Traveller and not a Tourist?
Dear everybody who loves to Travel,
We can see that there is a bit of confusion between a tourist and a traveller. So, here is a message to you that might help. We should start by saying, travelling is a brutality; and if you are not willing to loose the site of the shore to sail in the mysterious waters, do not call yourself a traveller.
In today’s world, where traveling is almost predictable with lighting fast internet service at your fingertips, we travelers, set out without itineraries and fixed plans and bookings. The only thing that drives us? Our gut feeling. As soon as we leave sight of the familiar and buckle our backpack, we shut the materialistic world outside. We are in a different mindset. Everything we see is different. The way we perceive the world is different. Even the smallest, meaningless things, evolve to be an unforgettable memory. We give each moment a fair enough window to flourish into an everlasting adventure and all our actions are driven by a piece of our soul that is wild and free. While a tourist will critically analyze every situation before coming on a decision, we would just follow a vague path just because our heart told us to.
We go trekking in mountains where connectivity is nil, and when the sky gets dark and everybody cozies up in their sleeping bags, we crazy heads lay on the wet grass, outlining constellations that look like our lovers. After we get down, we rush to the beach and while salt makes the wound sting, in the high tides of the ocean, our hearts find solace. We stand on the shore, watching the long stretches of skies and seas, the blues above, transcending into blacks, and when the waves bring us a shell, we pick it up, dust off the sand and watch it trickling down our fingers, and then we turn our hands towards the sun, to watch it sparkle and turn silver. When we go to visit an ancient architectural marvel that couldn’t stand the wrath of time, we don’t take out our cameras the first site of that beautiful ruined arch. We rush to touch the walls and feel the texture with our eyes closed because we are the ones who believe that goosebumps are best read in binary.
Also Read: When I had no Money in Spiti.
Don’t be the guy that doesn’t want to spontaneously jump in a river from a bridge because “dude my phone.”
There is a reason I love to travel. And the reason is not ticking off places on the map but adding meaning to them. To feel free, while chasing the sun on nameless waters. To dwell in a local culture or a new language. To not be scared of getting lost but feeling liberated in leaving a part of me behind and that is how I found myself, truly, found myself. I have boarded trains not knowing where they would take me, I have stayed with local houses of small Tibetan families, I have taken part in festivals I didn’t know the name of and stayed in villages for weeks. None of them were planned and all of them hold a special place in my heart and in my diary.
Be a Traveller and not a Tourist.
Do not try to cover all the places at once. Travel slow and let your mind absorb your surroundings. Seek experiences and not places. The fun triple folds when you are not bound by an itinerary. Stay for a couple of days instead on one. Make local friends and attend local weddings. Be your own guide. Dodge the cities and go live in the villages. And, while you are doing all of that, do not, I repeat, DO NOT forget your social responsibility towards the society. If you have the power to go to travel places, you also have the power to make a difference. However small it may be. Contact a local NGO or just help a family with something they are struggling with, be a responsible traveller else you are just a damn tourist who litters at every land they step on.
So, Go. Leave. Get Lost Somewhere. Find Yourself There.
Getting lost and finding themselves is something most of the people don’t allow themselves to do, and when they get old and miserable looking for moments to define themselves, their mind hits a blank space, struggling to get hold of blurry clouds that outline a content life.
Also Read: How to Travel cheap anywhere in India.