Travel – the word sparks a yearning that has become a cliché in today’s world. Just go to any social media site and you will see your feed overflowing with pictures of people travelling to exotic locations and living a cool life that you can only imagine. All this makes you feel dissatisfied with the life you’re leading. You feel stuck in a mundane routine oscillating between your workplace and home. And before long, you start to obsess over a life that only exists in camera lenses and photo shopped images.
Photography is an art and editing images is a part of it. But it is wrong and to a certain extent harmful too to forget that most of the images available on the internet are edited to enhance their beauty. To weave your life around a superficial idea of beauty will give you nothing but disappointment. The point I’m trying to make here is that destination can be a comma, semi-colon, or a full stop in the sentence of travelling but it’s never the complete sentence. The experiences that you have to go through to see a particular attraction in a particular destination give meaning to travelling. For instance, that interesting conversation you had with a complete stranger on a bus to somewhere, or that kind stranger who helped you find your way when you were lost and your GPS wasn’t working, or being invited by locals to be a part of the festivities, and so on are the experiences that will have a lasting influence on you and not that snow covered mountain peak.
In this era of image enhancement, we often drift from one place to other chasing superficial travel goals. We do not realize that this is doing more harm than good. It leads us to giving more importance to the destination than the journey. The destinations are often weighed down by extreme romanticization resulting in the disappointment of the people who visit them later on only to find that the destination is nothing like the image. This is an issue that the tech savvy generation of today has to tackle.
While it’s okay to rely on social media for travel related information, it is certainly not okay to blindly follow it. It might sound weird coming from a person whose job is to write travel blogs but time and again I have stressed on the importance of the presence of the mind and heart in a place more than the eyes. If you enjoy your journey to the destination, it matters little whether you see Eiffel Tower or Indian Ocean at the end of your journey, because your heart has now learned to appreciate the “-ing” more than the “-ed”.
The words “tourism” and “travel” are very often interchangeably used but they do not mean the same thing. Tourism stresses on the destination while travel stresses on the way to the destination. And it is up to you to make your journey worth the destination; to not shy away from unexpected situations and strange experiences. It is of utmost importance for the development of character to appreciate the journey before finally making it to the final destination. Like most millennials, if you are also of the opinion that travel is life I hope that you find joy in your journey before you finally reach your desired destination.