Tourist or Traveler?
Tourist or Traveler. Which one are you?
There are two kinds of people.
The first lot believe in traveling to destinations across the globe and staying at some of the top hotels there. They are clear that they want to experience the best that is on offer, from luxurious beds, designer upholstery, fine dining and the best of wines. There are many people who really appreciate and enjoy this kind of a holiday. In this case, the hotel and the luxury attached to it, is the memory they take back. Yes, of course, they still do a little sight seeing, visiting some of the tourist destinations at the location. But they hurry back, to ensure that they fully enjoy the luxury at the hotel, which they’ve paid for.
Then there are those who believe that they are traveling to experience the destination. Here the hotel is not important, the location is. They don’t mind staying anywhere, for they believe that they only need a bed to crash for the night, before they head out the next morning to explore more and more of the holiday destination. They soak in the ambience. They experience the place, not just visit it. They live as locals. They take back amazing memories of their holiday, though they may not remember a thing about the hotel they stayed at.
The first lot are tourists who expect the destination to adapt to their needs. The latter are travelers, who know that it is they who need to adapt to their destination.
Life is quite like this.
We have all started at the same place and will all end at the same destination. The journey in between is what we call our life.
Most of us choose to build fortresses of familiarity around us. We toe the line. We play safe. We tread carefully over well used paths, which have been defined by society as ‘normal’ and ‘expected’.
We live happily in our comfort zones, sticking to our routines & our jobs, playing our part in a scripted existence, getting a shallow high from gloating, with a false sense of pride, over our material achievements and possessions.
We blend in. We never stick our necks out. We live in fear of rejection. We live in fear of failure. We live with a constant need to be reassured that we’re doing the right thing.
Most of our lives, our reactions to the problems we face are so intense, that we cannot see beyond them. It is what consumes us. It drives us. And defines us.
But take a while to look back at your life. Things that were immensely important to you when you were younger, will seem frivolous today. Matters of life and death in those days, fade away into insignificance when you see how far you’ve come and how you got there.
And that is when you will realize that you can live in the foolhardy belief that you control your destiny, but what’s meant to happen… will.
That’s when you stop being a tourist and become a traveler.
That’s when you realize the frivolity of the ‘norm’.
That a job is just a means to an end. It is a means for you to live your life. It is not your life.
That all the designations, wealth, possessions and admiration count for nothing in the larger scheme of things.
That to be successful, you don’t need to have material achievements or possessions. You need peace of mind.
That the happiest person is one who believes in living each day as it comes. Happily accepting and enjoying whatever comes their way. By choosing to do so.
After all, life is only a series of incidents. It is your reaction to these, which defines whether an incident was good or bad for you.
You can choose to spend your life within the walls you have built for yourself. Or you can breach that wall and embrace this miracle called life, stepping out of the familiar, enjoying the uncertainty and exhilaration of conquering new summits.
Some day you will be old and wrinkled. What would you reflect on then? The fact that you worked at the same place, doing the same insignificant job for a majority of your life? Or that you lived a life full of rich experiences, which still bring a twinkle to your eyes?
Remember that you were born alone. You will die alone too. All you can hope for is to live life to the fullest, realizing your true potential, and leaving this world with no regrets.
Tourist? Traveler? Which one are you?