Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Unraveling Traveling


Ever since I can remember there has been a desire to travel. 

Only now that statement is no longer that simple. Travel has revealed itself to be a multi faceted devil. Have holidayed, have delved into places, have even explored but off late I dont think I have travelled. 

As I sit on the verge of the annual holiday looming close, I sit down to classify the kinds of travels that I have been on and what each does for me. 


Holiday Travel - Vacationing

I am so stressed dude I need a vacation. I smile whenever I hear this line. For me travelling is not stress reliving its hard work by itself. what with navigation, route planning, new food tasting, walking for ages, its a different kind of tired. How was it a stress buster. I didnt get it, till I was made to discover the idea of a beached whale vacation. 

In my very very limited scope of thinking, its not fair to have this clubbed under travelling - but masses rule. 

Typical Holiday vacations are about:

This word is the license to sleep in, eat a brunch, read a book, eat again, sit, drink, smoke, repeat the same post lunch, and then carry on till late in the night. Change into something elegant for the evening, head for a nice meal, drink more, party a bit and crash late night
   Resort Choices
Choosing the place to stay is usually a crucial part of the planning. One could go to a whole new nation, drive to the resort and not step out till its time to catch the flight. Focus - resort activities, mingling with the people that you have travelled with, at best speaking to the resort staff, sitting by yourself and admiring the sunset is the best adventure and drinking a bottle of the best wine
Other than a hole in the pocket, there are some pictures made, usual facebook updates of plated meals, some sea food that has been unfortunate to make it to your plate and a well posed picture album that may include pictures of you aping the statues of the resort. 


The Traveller Tourist

Maps, Lonely Planet, List of must dos, recommendations from trip advisor, handy history tips, maybe an occasional word of the local language learnt too.

The agenda is to DO DO and DO. Far from being a stress buster, this travel map is all about balancing the stress between the various options available. 

Typical indicators that you are holidaying with one of these would be
There isnt a minute to waste. One lands at the airport and arms themselves with all the brochures available. Reading about all the choices and creating an itineary that balances all the walks, tours, points, museums, palaces, is almost impossible given that there are only 3 days for this one place, 3 for the next and then 3 for the third nation before one heads home. 
   Hotel & Itinerary
A hotel can be anything simple and clean, the focus is to be more out of the room than in. Centerally located, close to a bus/train station is a boon. Quick breakfast and the run is on. Start with the walking tour of the palace, quick lunch of a sandwhich at the city square - check it out, off for the view point look, sunset from the castle tower, post sunset drinks at the gallows of the kings cellar, dine at the famous local diner get a feel of the texture and whew.... exhausted get to the room, hit the pillow and start afresh on day 2
   Take Aways-
checks on the check list. ticks on the bucket list. ticket stubs from the louvre, aching feet and full memory cards. exhaustion from the trip to look at the trip and a lingering feeling that I shall come back one day soon. this time with more time..

The Travelling Traveler

I romanticise this category - I confess upfront 

This for me is the traveller who explores, rolls up his sleeves and starts the process of scratching below the surface. The visitor who comes with or without an agenda, with or without a camera, no brochures, ticking off the Taj Mahal as a added bonus, someone who knows more about why a monument was built and is in no hurry to actually visit it

Typical indicators that you are holidaying with one of these would be
   Being and Doing
Delving into the place is a mixture of being at a central place and doing a lot of things to make it come to life. To add a dash of greater honesty to it, there is sincere effort made to do things like the others from the place. Surveying the new place from the glass panels of a hotel room and window of the chauffer driven car does not qualify
   home and house
Staying is about finding a pad, a couch surfers couch an air bnb, a messy room in the crowded room, the chaos is welcome, the interactions an added advantage
   Take Aways-
Growth, understanding, an expansion of the self. an ability to give up preconceived notions, awareness of your own limitations, knowledge of things that you cant live without, relationships evaluations- making new ones and knowing which ones got cast off. Memories that keep you warm by the fireplace. 

The ability to take the time out to realize that even though you are miles away from home, there is sameness in diversity everywhere you look

There is a special kind of a traveler. 

All the above seem like slices of heaven in comparison ;0