We now live in the age of travel. Travel is no longer a luxury or a privilege for the rich and famous. It seems to be every first world persons right and expectancy to expand their horizons and see the planet Earth. Flaws, triumphs and all.
This world is so diverse (at least that is what the media pumps it into us) that there are so many wonders and horrors to see. In the stereotype of what ‘Generation Travel’ looks like, an average person’s existence reads something like this.
After high school, you travel. On the cheap, with a backpack and not much else. Probably somewhere exotic in Aisa or Europe.
Then you get your undergraduate degree. You may do an exchange in some Scandinavian or South American country to open up your ever developing intellectual essay writing mind.
Then you travel some more. Still with the backpack, dodgy hostels, and dirt cheap food. Probably somewhere in Aisa.
Then you find a stable corporate job, or have your own startup on the internet.
You live abroad. In some cosmopolitan city that your company has transferred you to or that your internet based company allows you to run on your laptop.
Then you get your graduate degree.
You travel some more. Now your bank account allows it to be hotels and cabs all the way.
Then you return to the cubicle corporate world. You are married with children now. You put in a good twenty five years with your company or change career paths fast and furiously never sure of your true calling and not wanting to be tied down, with intermitted travel business trips, solo self discovery trips and cheesy family holidays in between.
Then you retire
And low and behold you travel some more.
Hopefully with a bit more of financial stability and predictability at the hands of a retirement and investment fund. Heck you may even have a yacht accompanying you this time.
Travel is now so integrated and ingrained in our lifestyle that we don’t even blink an eye at it. In fact we become so jaded with travel that we don’t even get excited about it. It’s just something that everyone does like brushing their teeth or going to the toilet.
But it shouldn’t be this way. It should remain the wondrous, mysterious stimulus that it is. It should be the treated as an extravagance. A country should be presented as a complete mysterious wonderland, something to be marvelled at, all whilst never knowing what is waiting for your around the corner. Trying to not Google what you are going to do on your travels and read reviews seems almost impossible in 2016!
We should resort to the bygone era, where travel was something you saved and looked forward to. Something done out of necessity and not privilege. Something done as a reward, not just because. Where people only had the word of your family and friends to go by, not the disgruntled rants of unhappy patrons online.
Where people only had a select few physical photos to prove they were there. Someone’s head was always chopped off, the monument you meant to capture came out crooked and it took days to get them developed. You had no blurry internet photos to show what the hotel room really looks like, and no damn Facebook albums filled to the brink with hundreds of vapid selfies and perfectly contrived touristy photos.
Remember travel is a luxury, not a right. It makes you realise the world is similar but also vastly different. It should be something savoured and enjoyed, not gorged on.
Life is all about moderation. Travel is no exception.