A Travellerspoint blog

Receptiveness is a choice

I’m tired. I’m fine, but I’m tired. Tired of the constant invasion of my comfort zone, and tired of being on the move. I’m tired of throwing my toilet paper in the trash instead of the toilet, and tired of brushing my teeth with drinking water. I’m tired of being coated in layers of bug spray, sunscreen, sweat, and dirt. I’m tired of wearing the same 10 items. I’m tired of not speaking the language or knowing where anything is. I’m tired of stupid techno music. I’m tired of obnoxious drunken travelers. I’m tired of sharing rooms with half a dozen strangers. I’m tired of having someone else transport me from point A to point B. I still love what I’m doing, but I’m definitely hitting my first wall.

I read a couple articles on travel the other day that contained some observations that I really appreciated.

“Pretentious people are inherently less curious.”

I think I noticed this long before I started traveling, actually. Some people walk from here to there and that’s that. They don’t see the plants growing through the fence and wonder what they are, or the people they pass and wonder where they are going, or the street signs and what they might be directing you to. Some of the most obnoxious people I’ve ever known never EVER ask anything about anyone else. They don’t care. They’re not curious who you are or why you’re here or what drives you. And really, the primary conclusion I can draw from this is that their life must be so BORING. To never explore with a curious mind, to never stumble upon random discoveries and adventures. What a dreadful existence.

The other thing I loved was this. It’s from a post titled “Don’t Ask Me How My Trip Was”:

“Travel is not many things people make it out to be. It is not an automatic cure for ignorance; receptiveness is a choice. It is not the quintessential element for a meaningful life; if that was the case much of the population would be condemned to a worthless life. Nevertheless, travel is unique in that one is forced to experience more, learn more, and make more connections in a short time than in any other facet of life. In effect, nine months feels like a lifetime and it is not easy coming home to a place where little more than the colour of the bathroom has changed.”

I think it speaks for itself, but it really echoes a lot of the things I’ve been thinking about lately. People talk about travel like it’s a magic pill, or like it’s some mandatory activity for wholeness, but realistically it’s completely unattainable for so many people the world over. It just feels so important to see it for what it is, to appreciate that you happened to be born into a circumstance that allowed you to pursue it. To accept that it absolutely can help you to grow and learn and improve as a human, but that the simple act of getting on a plane doesn’t guarantee this. And to be honest with yourself about what you can learn as an outsider and what you can’t.

Posted by NinjaLlama 22:46 Archived in Laos Tagged deep_thoughts

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