If there is one thing that I am learning with every new outing, it’s the art of slowing down.
And seriously, it is a learned skill. It is an acquired behavior with a taste of its own.
Most of the #wanderlust generation today comes from cities. Cities were built around industrialisation and mechanisation of goods and services. Since we spend most of our life doing a job, sometimes, we also fall into ‘assembly line’ pattern in our lives. We wake up at a fixed time, have the same breakfast, catch the same train, drive to the same location, park at the same spot, greet the exact same people every day and so on. The only way to have your ‘own time’ is to speed up things so that you can spare some moments with your own self at the end of the day.
This is especially rampant in India, or any other developing country where people have to spend a lot of time at or around work to earn a basic living. Essentially we become hoarders or misers of this ‘me time’ which is so rare in everyday lives, over many years.
Whatever little time we get for ourselves we find so many things to do, that we get confused, tired, worked up in that free time too. We carry this behaviour of ‘doing more in less time’ when we travel.
Since we have paid our hard earned money for this few days of vacation, we want to cramp in as much possible. Just like at work. Do more, achieve more, show off more.
I think this is what separates a developing nation from a developed one. Developed nation citizen don’t feel the need to ‘ hoard’ their free time. They are going to have plenty of it, and they know it.
Hence we see, Indians rushing from one spot to the other, shoot and run tours which offer the most sights, in the shortest time and cheapest cost.
On the other hand, there are folks from developed countries who stay at one place for weeks and months together to soak in and absorb into the lifestyle of the place before moving on to another destination.
I was one of those people who could not understand this senseless waste of time. Why stay at one place for weeks when you could cover so many more ‘sights’?
The answer, I am discovering now, is the art of doing ‘nothing’.
There is an unmatched peace and satisfaction in avoiding the rush. The constant hustle to do the best, see the most, save the most, show off the most, etc needs to go away from our lives.
It’s completely alright to go to a new place and not see the most popular tourist spot if you don’t feel like. It’s completely normal to not follow the herd. It is totally worth the time and money spent if you feel relaxed and relieved, even at the cost of staying locked in your room, seeing the clouds pass, sitting by the window.
This is what I am learning when travelling these days. To slow down and forget the hustle. Stop the rat race for a while.
So, how can you also try the art of doing ‘nothing’?
here are some pointers:
- Try to accommodate few extra days for the same destination. After you are done with the regular sightseeing, use those extra days for just unwinding without a plan.
- It is completely normal and guilt free to not rush from one spot to the other at a new place.
- It is not a waste of time and money if you just wish to sit back and enjoy reading a book by the river, something that you could have done easily in your own country. The idea of travel is to add life to your years. Living stress free will also add years to your life. Win-win situation I say.
- It is cool to do what you love to do, instead of doing what you ‘should’ be doing at your new destination.
So, that was my two cents. hope you have a super chill weekend…!.