In some of my posts on Tumblr, I shared about my deep passion for travelling since I was a kid. My mom always said I had “a moving leg” because I can never stay at one place. It only grew even harder, into a level of addiction after I moved to Europe. In some other posts on Tumblr, I talked about how strangely difficult it was for me to be back to my old self at one place after living months in another place.
Have you wondered why nowadays people enjoy travelling so much? I mean, my parents never told me they used to travel a lot back in their time. It may be different from your parents; but mine have never been out of my home country even once.
Only during recent years, people start travelling more with the purpose to escape, to seek for exoticism, uniqueness and authenticity. I have read two books lately researching about these terms: Tourist Attraction: From objective to narrative of Johan R. Edelheim and Cultural Tourism of many authors but edited by Greg Richards. People have the urge to search for something unordinary from their everyday life; even though those unordinary to one might be ordinary to another one living in that destination. Edelheim (2015) said it was part of finding your identity in this modern social life. Some of us do not even enjoy being addressed as tourists. Some of us want to be seen as being artistic, being a photographer or a traveller. And a traveller is perceived different from a tourist. I honestly admit I can belong the group of people refusing to be seen as a tourist. I like to believe I travel for better cause than staying in fancy hotels, enjoying only the good touristic parts the destination shows out. This acknowledgement started when, I do not remember, but I remember how. I think I caught this one statement from someone somewhere that being a traveller means exploring to the local side, to the parts not shown regularly to the world. And I am sure I am not the only one having this thought; and surprisingly I learnt during the last two weeks that it had actually become a tourism trend. People want to consume culture. People wish to be seen different. I, myself, like to be seen as adventurous.
There is also an invisible “modern” force, pushing us to act differently while travelling.
I surely cannot speak for you; but on behalf of myself, I know I always change back to someone else being in the country I actually live permanently. I am more stable and not possessing this free mindset. Months ago, I accepted the fact. I assumed people possessed different selves around different people, being in different places. My way of living is trying to embrace the differences; because the only mistake one might make is assuming everyone is the same as you are.
My life is facing many changes again; and despite many of my previous online posts on being lost, unsure of what the next step is; this time, I am actually lost in realising who I am. I ensure you, it can be one of the worst feeling. I told my friends and myself I needed to go away; since following my passion – travelling, may be the only way helping my searching. However, the strangest thing is today, I suddenly question which self of me is the truest: the one during travelling or the one after travelling. Maybe, after all, my addiction is born from the pleasure of not dealing with difficult problems. “Travelling to a new destination allows me to start a whole new blank page, without people knowing about my past”: one reason I stated explaining why I love what I love. Maybe, it is just an excuse to escape. And maybe, you are using one as I am.
But, Edelheim (2015) also wrote: “backpacking is way of finding identity”. Excuse or no excuse, to me, setting out a finding path is better than doing nothing.