“There is a fundamental difference between a tourist and a traveler. One of my favorite travel writers, my friend Rolf Potts, said, “Tourists leave home to escape the world, while travelers leave home to experience it.” Many people who think they are travelers really are no such thing – they might travel the world but they experience very little. The beauty of real travel is that everything is new, nothing is familiar – the people, the landscapes, the language, the culture, the food – the way of life as a whole. And true travelers embrace it all, taking off their personal blinders of habit, experience, bias, perspective and expectations to fully embrace this different new world they joyously find themselves in.”
So Shelley Seale writes in her post entitled “A Traveler in India” from the awesome Weight of Silence blog that I discovered today. I could not agree more. Some of you may have read my very first post in this blog about how when I was planning my first trip to India I endured a lot of what I call FearTalk from many people. FearTalk about India, about what might happen to me — FearTalk because most people, I believe, live their lives in fear. I listened politely but in my mind my hands were up to my ears and I kept repeating my mantra of “la la la la la la la la…..” I ignored their noise and booked my flights anyway.
I am currently planning my third trip to India for the end of this year and into 2008, for a mere three weeks. I am finding this trip harder to plan than my first two and I was not sure exactly why until I read the above quote — because I want to EXPERIENCE so much and I won’t have enough time. This woman of a certain age realizes that I have less years ahead of me than I have behind me, and I look at India as an endless buffet laid out before me where I won’t be satisfied until I gorge myself completely. I want to experience every morsel, the sweet and the sour, the delicious, and even what needs to be spit out immediately. I have two more trips to different parts of India percolating in the back of my mind to be taken within the next five years or so. I know in my bones that a time will come when I will have to take six months off to travel India. Six months will be a good start. My gal pal in India, sirensongs, says, “Why do people go to India to find themselves? India is where you go to lose yourself.” Why, indeed?
I have a friend who now calls me Lindia…I love the way my name combined with India rolls so easily off the tongue.