All those who wander… Four travel quotes proved wrong: Are all travel quotes always right? Why do we travel? Why would one want to travel? Why would one want to face the stress of chasing the cheapest ticket fee for the most photographed destination in the World? Or any other destination? Or even the less popular one?
Why spend hours and days planning an itinerary (and sometimes also a Plan-B itinerary), gathering information about the weather forecast, as well as the weather history during the past 150 years in a remote location that is barely covered by satellites.
What would be the point of booking, cancelling, re-booking, postponing, anticipating, changing, modifying and going back to the first room booked through not one but at least five online booking platforms? All these while continuously promising yourself: All right, this is the last one I book, this is the one, this is it… Sure, till the next banner pops up!
Why would anyone in his right mind spend precious hours of sleep playing Russian roulette on Skyscanner..? Virtually hanging around with people suffering from the same severe condition, questioning yourself and your partners in crime: Shall I buy it? Only to hear a choir of approval you already knew you were going to hear: Buy, buy, buy!
Click, done! Another e-ticket. And it’s madness all over again. What to pack? Do I need a visa? When does the online check-in open? Shall I go carry on only? What if it rains all the time? Who cares?
Why would one go over the ordeal of rolling, packing, unpacking, unrolling, rolling back, packing back t-shirts and pants in compression cubes for a three-day trip? Or even a three-month one? Why putting up with swollen legs from air travel, headaches and confusion from jet lag, upset stomachs from unfamiliar cuisine and doubtful water? Water you religiously drink from sealed bottles but… hey, I washed my teeth and holy cow… stupid me! Why massive dose of immunization, vaccines, antibiotics and doc certificates?
Why missing? Whether it’s your family and friends, but also your house, your pets, the coziness of whatever you call home. Smells, sights, noises, routines. Why missing even trains, planes and coincidences? Why do we put ourselves under such stress? Because what comes out of it is AWESOME, it’s fucking awesome!
Is it because Not all those who wander are lost?
I do not think so, really. I lost myself many times while traveling, and not only geographically lost. I lost my faith, my ideas. I lost attention and courage, I lost myself more than once. Nobody tells you, but travel is like a needle in a compass, it may quiver a bit at the beginning, but it will always point to the right direction.
You will find you own north when you travel. Just give it time…
Getting lost is healthy. Both geographically and not.
Piece of advice: Get lost!
Is it, maybe, because A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving?
Then I am a lousy traveler. Because, let’s face it, some trips are wonderful. I love being on the road, on the heap of a horse, on my car, on a night train reading a great book or even sitting next to my husband, driving on a mountain road (who cares about my vertigo); but I, for one, as well as many well-seasoned travelers I know, would just kill for arriving earlier.
When you cannot afford first class (no matter what they tell you, most people can’t) it would be great to avoid endless hours on a plane with minimum leg room, forced to share reduced toilet facilities with more than a hundred strangers, stress during take off, constant chewing gum, sore hears when landing, juggling with your coffee cup during turbulence… I can totally foresee an intent on arriving here. Trust me.
Piece of advice: Sometimes making it to destination is not only healthy, but also shows a good dose of mental health, wander a bit, plan a bit more!
What about The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes?
I beg to differ, some landscapes are amazingly beautiful! Just think of the red sands of the Sahara desert at dawn, or the white sands of the Caribbean… to set a few examples. However, I would add that, having new eyes is important, having open eyes is crucial.
The real voyage of discovery begins when you seek inside yourself, when you realize who you are.
When you understand what you are able to accomplish in difficult or unknown situations, when you get lost, when you lose a passport, miss a plane, get robbed, feel sick, are alone, feel lonely: Eyes open to see how you react, how you behave, who you are for real.
And then you can be proud. You will find yourself solving situations in languages you never heard of. You will see fears vanish in the twinkle of an eye because you will prove right, strong and capable. And if not, you’ll learn how to prove right, strong and capable next time.
Piece of advice: Open your eyes, sometimes the best sight is you!
Might it be because Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts?
You wish..! I’ve seen, heard, as well as felt ashamed in front of all kinds of comments denoting prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, at home as well as abroad and among other travelers. Travel is fatal to prejudice when you let it be so. Travel is fatal to bigotry when you go out and get out of your comfort zone, when you do it for real, when you get dirty and breathe the same air as locals do*. Travel means getting out of your five-star resort full of equals and mixing up with the different. Go get on a city bus, on a train, go walk around a market and buy some fruit for lunch. Forget malls, big Macs, and air-conditioned shuttles.
Breath the place, be the place. Forget selfies, photograph landscapes.
Piece of advice: Get out of your comfort zone, if you don’t it will be like not traveling at all. Once back home you’ll still be the same and bigotry will still be there.
Do you think travel quotes are always right? Can they be wrong sometimes?
I have my favorite one, not because I like coming back (I hate it), but because coming back means change. And change means being alive!
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
― Terry Pratchett,
And you? Which is yours?
The travel quotes used while thinking and writing this post are so common, so read and so spread I almost feel ashamed… still, they’re beautiful:
“Not all those who wander are lost.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring.
“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” ― Lao Tzu.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ― Marcel Proust.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” ― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It.