Travel is not just about marvelling at the sights, things, people, and places one sees while travelling. The meaning of a real traveller, we think is one who enjoys every facet of the travel, learns from each experience, and brings back all the spectrums of the learning to improve life as a whole. Travellers are also referred to as wayfarers, wanderers, voyagers, drifters, and such names – and they are happy to give up other things to live this life. A real traveller has ‘restless’ legs and feet, is unable to stand still and remain in one place.
Real travellers come from all lifestyles, different places, varying landscapes – just anywhere – but they all end up at the same destination – the road to some place. Real travellers do not travel for luxury – rather they travel to satisfy their wanderlust, making sacrifices and saving as much as they can, just so that they can remain on the road. They are a quirky lot – choosing a bunk bed, or a hammock to sleep rather than the comforts of a luxurious bed. The real travellers have learnt the true meaning of living – and they do it well even without comforts – they are comfortable even in situations and places other people may deem as uncomfortable. They are happy with less – and live better when they have lesser things weighing them down.
The real traveller is one who feels happiest and most alive when they are on the go – living almost nomadic lives, with only a backpack as their possession. They feel exhilarated when they visit a brand new place each day, and feel elated when they surrender themselves to the beauty of nature and the somewhat overawing power of the various aspects of the world. They are fascinated and enthralled by every sight and sound, every culture and every cuisine – they act as squeegees soaking up everything they experience in a new place. They surrender to and immerse themselves in the beauty and newness of every place – filling their hearts and souls with all the wondrousness. Smiles and music for a real traveller are the only true language, and they believe that people can connect and ‘converse’ through any of these mediums.
The meaning of a real traveller can only be experienced – not expressed in words. They are people who know how to ignore the tiny inconveniences, set aside annoyances and misfortunes, and refuse to let anything ruin their precious travelling time. They seem to have mastered the art of acceptance – heaping suffering on themselves because of problems is considered a fatal mistake and they remember to deal with whatever comes their way. Even if they travel alone, they face their fears, overcome hindrances, and apprehensions, do away with biases and other limitations such that they can smile and move on. Their sunny smiles prove to the ‘silver lining’ even when everything seems bleak – their upbeat temperament ensures that all days seem bright, happy, and alive.
Real travellers follow their heart – they go wherever the path leads, and are happy to see the sunrise in one place, and the performance of the setting sun, in another. They have the time to lay back and watch the sun-kissed mountains and the star spangled dark sky – never feeling alone because everything around them is ‘with’ them, and therefore is a companion. Their hearts belong to the road and they constantly find ways to take the next trip – and just the thought of travel lifts their mood and makes them smile. Their mind seems to wander off in different directions – ‘travelling’ to various places at one time. Their ‘lust’ for roaming seems insatiable – always hungering for more, wishing they were some place else.
The real traveller does not move around – but each trip helps them grow and evolve – every experience changes them for the better. For them, each trip is a new way of living, a way to find clarity in the mind-numbing frenzy of everyday life. They prefer to watch the world ‘fly’ or ‘zoom’ past as they peer out the windows of the modes of their travel. Travel makes them discover and rediscover themselves, over and over again – and yet wanting to go on.
They believe that when they are wizened, grey, and toothless – their many laugh wrinkles will proudly narrate their tales of their wanderlust. Their grandchildren and great grandchildren will sit by them listening to their stories drenched with sunlight and soaked in the silver light of the moon. The real travellers would then enthusiastically narrate their adventures, relive their travel, recount their fears, dispense lessons on how to overcome – and overall let others in on the rich life they would have lived. They would hope that their stories of adventure and thrill, would inspire their listeners to undertake their journeys, and make their own stories, to pass on to posterity.
For the real traveller, their journeys would be the only truths – like beacons and lights illuminating the remainder of their lives, and the lives of those around. For them, the road will always be home.
Are you a real traveller? Do you aspire to be one?