Traveling is a way of life, as many travelers would tell you. It’s not just about choosing a destination, booking the flight / train tickets and planning touristy things to do before you begin. One of the best ways to enjoy a new place is to embrace it in leisure: it’s what I call slow travel.
Why I love to travel:
I get to be part of the local culture, explore public spaces, try to understand the customs and traditions that people believe in and follow, be neutral to rituals or experiences that I might not understand, and get a peek into lifestyles that are completely different than mine.
I take in the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of the places I am visiting. It’s a way of experiencing intense sensual stimuli and treating yourself to beauty, wonder and the extraordinary, which you are bound to miss when you study, work and commute within your city everyday. Dedicated travel time allows you to get out of an uninspiring routine and charges you up!
Travel also involves dealing with the everyday, the mundane and tiring aspects of getting from place A to B. I simply catch up with my reading and music “lists” and curate my photos, check emails, read a book, and talk to people at airports, bus stands or railway stations. Slow travel by default doesn’t involve the concept of “time waste” or “boredom” or “nothing to do”.
What makes traveling a meaningful experience are the people you meet. If you listen with all your being, everyone’s life experiences in inspirational. Each of us has overcome odds, we struggle to reach our goals, we have problems getting along with family or trouble at work, and we think we are alone. When you travel and meet people and listen to their life experiences, you realize you are not really alone in your struggle. You really aren’t! Everyone is dealing with their share of burdens and yours will appear lighter if you gain some perspective.
For me, traveling is an immersive cultural experience and a means to shape and re-shape my worldviews and perspectives. I am not the same person I was a month ago. Traveling to a new place has changed something within me, altered some of my beliefs and expanded my values. Traveling gave me a chance to step out of my limited self and be part of a wider circle.
Traveling is a way of life.
“Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere.” ― Isabelle Eberhardt, The Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt.