The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. - French writer Marcel Proust
Travelling is an art. So, are all tourists flocking to my home hill station artful? May be not! A tourist reaches out to a place to see it, a traveller develops a new way of seeing things. This new way of seeing things entails self-discovery. A discovery that brings with it a certain ecstasy. This blissful ecstasy would turn one into a story-teller, and isn't that what everyone wants to be? Journeys and travels as understood commonly are not to reach out to places for some cheap thrill. Neither are they escape from our choking lifestyles. It's that we diverged from our natural way of life - travelling and exploring - that our lifestyles started choking back on us. The more you wander the more you are filled with amazement of how less you know, a learning. Learning that would set in a humility. Humility that would create stories, messages for others.
The very process of learning develops not only perspectives of mind, but more significantly allows you to open your heart to make way for a blissful being. "Anand",as the knowing ones would call it! A wanderlust takes birth that simmer inside to make one wander more and afar. The lust that would hanker for that ever-blissful state. Travel brought you closest to it, didn't they, simply by interactions you have with your surroundings, the nature, the existence. And as if one could not contain the ecstasy, stories were to come flowing out spell-binding the receivers.
Travelling to far off places, to remote villages, to suspense filled forests and to unwelcoming weather conditions in the high mountain ranges is an adrenalin pumping thought. It was not an easy job for travellers, explorers and trekkers a few decades back. One was risking his life when he set a foot over unknown territories. Only the bravest and most courageous the "mad" ones would risk their comfort. Harsh weather conditions, difficult terrains, wild animals, health issues, the challenges are many. Technology, just like with every other act in our lifestyle would come and soften up the task.
Over past 2 decades our lives have been overtaken by technological advances of science. Everything in our life, well almost, has seen technical assistance come to fore and remove huge amount of friction that existed. But, how has technology merged with our travelling? Let's see.
Technology has silently and correctly seeped into our travels, right from the inspiration to the experience and last but not the least, storytelling. A host of progressive websites, booking platforms, mobile apps and use of social media have brought the opportunity to connect with travellers from world over for a well-informed and enriching travel experience. Social media, a child of Internet and technology makes for "listening" to other travellers stories. Trusted word-of-mouth recommendations, guidebooks, breakthroughs in digitalisation have given travellers vast liberty and choices. After all, binding one's experiences and memories to places and communities is what travel all about and that is something technology does well - connect things.
Advanced wireless connectivity media and gadgets also have helped one to get information on weather conditions and geolocation. Camera technology has assisted in high quality journey recordings. Recordings that would become your story-telling. It is not only limited to the most eloquent ones now but anyone can turn himself into one. Explorers and men of learning will continue to travel around the world to experience new things, and advances in technology are there to inspire this, not restrict.
Life is full of challenges. Challenge to learn, challenge to adapt, challenge to grow and it is only after you gear yourself for a challenge will you be ready to get moulded as life wants you to. Your prize for doing that - joy that knows no boundaries. The self-discovery that one carries along as he travels teaches him to tackle the challenges of life joyfully, not to win something at the end but just to enjoy the process itself. As Laozi says, "A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." Let that be the moto - Travel and learn. Technology is just to be used to cut off the strings that bind you from fears of getting lost or falling into unwarranted roadblocks - that is all. It should never become just another string to hold you back! So dear friend, hold on tight to that simmering wanderlust, the phenomenon that will develop "eyes". Eyes to develop sense for dropping off your mind and allowing your heart to sing and dance - dance to the tunes of this very existence. To merge a fragment with the whole. For there lies the joy. Happy travelling!!