Do you like to travel? Yes, you probably do. Although some of us are not daring to do it that is becoming more and more of a rhetorical question.
Traveling is supported by mainstream media, social media, airlines, tour agencies, friends and so on. They are all creating that imaginary lifestyle that we tend to read in the magazines. A mainstream message for a mainstream crowd.
But it wasn’t always like that. Years before the invention of the airplane in 1903 by the Wright Brothers, things were different. And even then they were no commercial flights for the masses. So what did the people do? Didn’t they wanted to travel for the weekend far away. Why shouldn’t they?
Perhaps that was the real game changer shifting from travel “to give” to “travel to get”.
None of us have lived in both those realms. Yet, we can imagine how the history shaped migration through the years. And that was far more interesting than a weekends escape from reality. Moreover from obligations and frames set by somebody else. Where in the times without media and lifestyle were obscure, people did traveled for other reasons.
It was dangerous, you could be killed and you may never see your family again. Imagine the quests of Marco Polo to find the Silk Road. This courageous attempt led to more and more discovery and exploration. And we can see that he wanted something, but he gave along the way too. He didn’t purchase a safe economic flight to China, he instead sacrificed his life and went for an adventure. Then creating a mutual bond between the west and the east for the first time of history.
You probably have heard that story before. Well how that help me you might ask? It is very simple. Inspire to travel and learn, give and explore. Rather than just going out for the weekend. That is called sightseeing, it is almost like traveling, but in a commoditized form. It is shallow and purposeless leading to more consumerism and hedonism.
And I know you can argue that we don’t have time to travel or money or whatever is there stopping you. But we have choice, to go seek pleasure or explore other culture. There are infinite moves and documentaries nowadays that can show us what is it like there, where we want to go. This is hacking geography and rules that have framed people for centuries. We don’t have those boarders now, yet we waste them for egoistic goals instead.
They are all sorts of travel nowadays, the facts are that with every year the world is becoming more of a safer place.
We can choose our destination, our companions, the vehicle, the time and the activities. We have that freedom that most of us waste. We let some tour agencies decide what we would like, because we were generalized like the group before us. They offer us that what sells. It is a business, a very profitable one indeed.
So what are we left with? The reason I write this post is to bring awareness to a problem I see. It is the simple fact we have that much choices, but the stupidity of neglecting them. I have recently read this book called Vagabonding, by Rolf Potts and I would recommend it to anyone willing to switch gears and embrace the true uncertainty of travelling.
I do have a lot of personal stories and experience in different countries, which I would like to share too. My preferences are for a meaningful mid-term travelling, speaking about a single place. The way I view it, I need at least 4 months to get to know a single place, perhaps even more. But that is the bare minimum to connect with the culture by talking with locals and doing your desirable activities.
PS: Customize your travel.