I recently came across a post on Instagram. With a picturesque background, the caption prompted, Where do you travel? Are you a tourists or part of the land? And I thought to myself, do you really need to cross borders, nations and cultures to experience the real essence of traveling? Can you not be in one place and still do the same? Through presence and awareness, by consciously taking in your surroundings. This may be difficult for the constantly swarming city dwellers like me who have housed their entire lifestyle around these elements. These environments – parks, sidewalks, skywalks, roads– become so common and repetitive that we forget to really take in and experience those surroundings.
Beauty does lie everywhere but it only takes a calm and still mind to observe it and embrace it. There is a different sense of joy that engulfs you when you start appreciating your surroundings, no matter what they are, tranquil hill tops or bustling city streets..
It is a constant race from point A to point B and what comes in between those two points is just the dull and boring part which we cannot simply shake off. It is what has to be endured, to reach the other point. But what is the point of that?
Obviously, when you are just going to rush to your friends house for getting some work done or collecting something when you have no other object in mind it really would not be wise to roam idly.
That brings me to the real point, how often do we just wander around, not the early morning sprint but simply take a peaceful stroll along the same route we often rush through mindlessly.
It is pointless, but that is the point.
Why do we become so focused with doing things that only have a tangible benefit or a return value which can be seen and shown? You do that often and you lose your natural state, which is just breathing, calmly and peacefully, clearing up your mind, being naturally thoughtless, and absorbing the real beauty that lies in front of you.
Once practiced, you realize that these things that form our environment not only keep us alive but they inspire rejuvenate and breathe new life into us.
But these things, that form a part of our immediate surroundings are forever present, so over time start to ignore them. Only when we become a tourist who is a part of the land can we really take notice, embrace them and look after them as they look after us.
Because if you are just a part of it, you will soon take it all for granted, knowing that it will always be there and that you will always be there to see them. The novelty gradually fades away and to the mind, the same sights and scenes, become a routine. (How to not get stuck in that routine?)
Each day is
then a journey, even if it is
the same one
The same alley, those concrete roads, the previously colorful park, all starts to fade without you noticing it, and as days pass and years lead into the future, it all starts to decay. All of this takes place in front of you, and you will never see it because, by that time you are drowned in your own life, your own routine and you are tired of the sameness, the repetitive patterns, which take away your ability to think, understand and see the beauty that lies around you.
And along with these beautiful things you begin to age like the abandoned alleys, lose your beauty like the endlessly trodden roads, and disintegrate like the rusting metal of the swings and the slides in the once lively park.
You stop living because you stop appreciating things, you stop being grateful for what you have, maybe that’s why you decay- because you stop valuing life and its myriad forms. You never notice the beautiful things it holds, until you choose to become a traveler in your own land.
You tread each step with the curiosity of a voyager, searching for new lands and experiences, you take each turn and explore each path with the passion of a traveler, you find joy in each encounter, excitement in every fall, courage in each obstacle, but you continue with that undying love and courage to face and embrace what lies ahead, that is how you live, that is how you travel, how you become a part of your own land, how you learn to admire and accept the place what it is and its people for who they are.
That is how you live like a traveler. Each day is then a journey, even if it is the same one you are on for the past 20 years, each day is an experience, memorable and unforgettable, but only if you choose to make it.
So will you be a traveler of life or only live it like every other?
This post was inspired by another post I shared on my Instagram profile page:
I feel the same Omkar. Traveling is all about experiences you share and how you observe things and capture them in your story book to cherish later. The essence of traveling lies in its very core only. Our perspective defines that how we approach our travels and that’s what matters the most. Nice post! 😊
Thanks Saumy. Exactly! It is about how we approach and how we capture it. Let’s ensure that more such experiences and travels light our path and enrich our lives and those of others we come across!