The sense in Traveling
I spent my childhood traveling in a variety of places which led me to a lack of sense of belonging anywhere in the world. I’ve seen plenty of vacationers along the way, who by their way of expressing themselves and their behavior it could easily be understood that they traveled for a mere vacation. They weren’t accustomed to travel more than a few weeks per year.
Vacationers are people who look for something different from what they’re used to do for a few days , such as those who go for a few days to town, or to the countryside, or to the beach… they usually follow other vacationers either thinking that the other tourists are smarter than them or just to put up with the Jones.
I think that it’s not fun at all to go along with what the travel agency suggests (even though it’s good for the economy of whatever country it is; without tourism some countries will fall into crisis). In my opinion if someone wants to go in a holiday somewhere, even for a few days, it must be in a place that is very very different from his own, otherwise why bothering?
I remember that we used to have a month vacation every year when I was a child. Well we spent it at home. It was a very very different place from our daily life. The Holiday is for the one who has enough of what he is doing, If someone loves his job why taking a vacation, which is not always instructive by the way ?
Traveling is not a holiday. To Travel is a life, even a job. Such as truck drivers or reporters for example. To travel we need knowledge, experience, courage, will and audacity. Those who spend their lives on the roads, need to know how to find an accommodation when it’s a maniac holiday, they need to know what to do when they run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, they need the knowledge of how to cross a border without too much fuss, they need to have tips on how to get a hotel room paying half the price, it’s to notice when the car behind you is in a hurry, and by courtesy you let him pass… It’s not about visiting a foreign place and to make a lot pictures and bringing souvenirs home. I know what it is to travel. There aren’t always good memories, some dreadful moments remain printed in the mind.
There was a time, a very long time ago, we rented a car from a rental company, but this car was defective and we needed to change it in the nearest location which was over a mountain. So we took the road, we didn’t know how the road was at first, but getting closer to the mountain top, the road changed completely.
And there, was where the story took place. It was a winter morning, we were driving up the mountain when we noticed that the car wasn’t following the wheel. There was a high ravine on our left and the mountain wall on our right, as the car was defective and the road was snowy and icy, the car was sliding between the right; where the mountain wall was, and the left; where the ravine was, and then to the right and back to the left all over and over again. We could have fallen and died that day, if it wasn’t for my dad’s experience. There was no one else on the road with that weather except us. And that’s not all, we didn’t have winter tires as the car was rented, we had all season tires! When we crossed over we arrived in Salt Lake City, we were so relieved that we went to Mcdonald’s.
There were countries that left me with lots of dreadful memories (and that wasn’t so long ago), that I wish to forget. Going in a holiday and traveling are two very different things. I’ve seen travelers along the way, there was once an Italian and an Argentinian woman traveling together from Brazil to Argentina by bus, arriving at the boarder, every passenger had to step down with their luggages to be checked. But there was a lot of “confusion” among the customs, they didn’t seem to know what they were doing. Well that Italian found the situation very amusing, he didn’t stop laughing and smiling at the way the customs were working. The lack of pictures he took, the number of stamps in his passport, the small quantity of luggage he had, his behavior meant that he was an experienced traveler.
Putting the finances to the side, it is important to travel for the sake of knowledge and for the love of what God has created. It will never be the same being in Chichen Itza and seeing it on TV. You’ll never see the long forestal road from Cancun which leads there, the small local shops, the small villages. It’s not the same being at the Iguatzu Falls, hearing the tremendous sound of the water, being wet by the steam and seeing it on TV. The experience leaves a mark, a memory while seeing what others show you leaves a memory of what has been seen, period.
To travel is not meant to find its true self, unless you’re in a spiritual journey to whatever holy place, it is meant to see the world, the world is so wide, so diverse, that it will be unjust to ignore all of it for the mere love of a home. Home is not the same for everyone, for some it might have a claustrophobic sense, or a place of trouble with the neighbors, or a place of quiet and peace. I know the value of home, it is a peaceful, joyful, loving place where wonderful moments take place, but for someone like me, home becomes a boredom after some time. Where are the new people, cultures, languages, towns, mountains, lacs, forests, birds, trucks, roads, etc….? We can find anything online nowadays, but it’s very very different from living it .
No way I’m going to tell you folks to go traveling abroad just because the others did so, it has to be from your own will. But I can tell you to take a vacation overseas, because it’s good for you and for the economy of the country you’ll be visiting. You’ll learn many things if you do.
Don’t prepare your journey, don’t get a package from your travel agency, make your own ticket online, book your first hotel and that’s it. Leave the rest when you get there, take a map and chose your own route, your own towns, what you really want to see, don’t follow what other tourists follow. Make your own trip a memorable one. Eat the local food, you might love their cuisine and do it at home when you get back. Make local friends which might enhance your holiday.
See the world because you live only once.