What We Forget While Traveling

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Travelling is not only arriving. It’s leaving too; leaving the comfort of your home and the familiar surroundings to embark on a journey to the unknown depths of the world. Lately, travelling has gained immense popularity but there seems to be too much importance placed on Instagram worthy pictures. I do agree that clicking pictures is important to keep some memories in tangible form but overdose of anything is bad. Just focusing on clicking pictures rather than experiencing a place in its raw beauty is not travelling. In fact, it defeats the whole purpose of travelling because moments are supposed to be lived and not just captured in a photograph or Instagram story.

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Sometimes we forget to live in the moment. We often forget to look with our eyes while continuously trying to capture everything in an electronic device. We let the winds pass through our hair without realizing because we’re too absorbed in looking through the lens trying to get perfect angles while missing out on the nature’s touch on us. Don’t get me wrong here. Yes, cameras are a wonderful invention. They are absolutely amazing. I have nothing against the art of photography and have great respect for photographers. What I’m trying to say is that let’s not miss out on our experiences. Let there be moments when you are completely in touch with nature and your immediate surroundings without trying to capture them in your handheld device.

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The fear that we’ve made ourselves prisoners of technology so much so that a freeing activity like traveling has also become caged in our DSLRs and smart phone cameras bothers me. I’ve made an attempt to express this in the following words:

rot rot rotting
rotting inside boxes
boxes outliving us

I live in a box
I eat packages meals
from a box
I travel in a box
I look at this world
through a box
this world looks at me
through a box

this world is a box
perhaps I am a box too

I’m scared of the thought that traveling has become a trend. It’s supposed to be an experience and not a trend created by the social media hype and over-romanticization of the “art of travelling”. Like all experiences, travel experiences cab be both good as well as bad. It may or may not be life changing. And there’s no guarantee that you will find yourself. So please do not fall for the trap that if you travel solo to a new place, you will come back an enlightened being. Because that is just an overstatement. Finding or creating yourself is a lifelong process and while travel might play a small part in that, it is not fair to put the entire burden of finding yourself on traveling and let things happen to you on your journey. It simply makes you an escapist and nothing else. I implore everyone (including myself) let’s not forget ourselves while applying perfect filters on our photographs to make them social media friendly. Let’s not forget who we are behind the masks we put on for social media because we were not made for social media, social media was made for us.

camera-1769414_1280Travel for the love of traveling and not for the false rewards that social media promises you will get at the end of your journey. Always remember, travel does not have to serve a purpose, it’s a purpose in itself; a purpose undertaken without any greed for rewards but solely for the sake of it.

 

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