I saw a video posted online the other day that made me cringe like never before. It depicted a group of young “travellers” heading off to explore a new destination… this time it was the Philippines. Whilst displaying lots of rather inspiring clips and images of scantily clad teenagers strolling along white sand beaches and snorkelling in crystal clear water there was an EXTREMELY annoying voice over in an American accent telling me over and over again how travel is for change, without travel you can never discover yourself, without travel you can never grow as a person… blah blah fucking blah.
I agree that travel is an eye-opening experience. When you walk through the streets of African or Indian cities, for example, and see the poor starving with a putrid smell of death and decay, or when you discover places that are of that untouched beauty that you can struggle to comprehend, then I would say that is pretty eye-opening. I wouldn’t however say that I suddenly became a whole new me… that’s just pushing it really.
Maybe I’m just not as willing to admit that I’ve found myself; maybe I hadn’t lost myself in the first place; or maybe I’m just a realist. I know for a fact that prancing along a beach in my thong bikini (I don’t actually own one – this is a reference to the video again!) and going out each night, getting trolleyed and waking up in bed with a guy or girl you vaguely recognise from the bar the night before, wouldn’t make me find whatever bit of myself I had lost or or maybe something that I never had in the first place – unless that thing was an STI maybe. Hahaha, I’m sorry, I got a bit vulgar there for a second.
Since starting my little blogging experiment with Gone On A Wander, I have explored other peoples blogs, some good, some bad, some useful, some pointless (kind of like mine…) and the odd few are utterly ridiculous! What I like to call “new-age traveller gibberish”.
Granted, life is beautiful and the world has lots of gifts to give, but the way some people talk about their experiences, it’s as though they have died and been reincarnated as an all-knowing, all-loving drip. Yes travel can change the way you think, yes travel can make you appreciate things in different ways, but travel should not be used as excuse to inflate your ego and just because you went to a party on a beach in Asia, drank a psychedelic mushroom shake and had sex in the sea, does NOT mean you have unravelled the complexities of life and can change the world. No, sorry, that’s just not going to fly unfortunately.
OK, satirical nonsense over with for today.
The adventure continues. The festive season here in New Zealand has been in full flow, with Christmas and New Year being the talk of the week. I spent Christmas Day sipping rum cocktails and eating jerk chicken with a strange twist on the Christmas theme as we arranged the red, gold and green balloons and celebrated a Jamaican Christmas. The drinks flowed and the BBQ sizzled as the New Zealand sun beat down. I think I’m getting a little bit too used to these summer Christmases, the next Christmas back in the UK is going to be a shock to the system!