TheCalmDev (Dev J Haldar)

ravings, rantings and ramblings

Traveller not a Tourist

See the world as a traveller and not as a tourist.

Recently came across this saying. Liked it. Understood it in essence, struggled to apply in the real world.

A tourist is like a bird in a garden – hopping, chirping, flirty and quick. They do things that are based on popularity and commerce. Tourists are prone to peer pressure. It is more of ticking essentials off an invisible list. And from what I have seen, tourists are more interested in getting themselves clicked than knowing what stands in the background of the photograph. They are usually found with a camera dangling from their necks. I have been asked by Japanese tourists to click them in front of some important monument and once they have thanked me enough, they quickly make their way back to their bus and vroom off. I know tourists. They are like ‘Pay per View TV’.

Travellers, on the other hand, are a breed who enjoy the place for its past and present. For them, it is the experience that makes the place or journey so much more special. They would wander off to places and destinations that do not feature on tourists’ maps or brochures. Travellers travel because they want to travel. They have no peer pressure. No pictures to put up on Facebook to make a social statement to friends or foes. Travellers have the best stories to tell. I know travellers. I know of one who has travelled far and wide across the globe and not taken photographs. Knowingly. Travellers remember what they wish to remember. 

See the world as traveller and not as a tourist.

I have been trying to put this adage to context. How can I apply this in the professional world? Or should I not? I was tempted to do so. Travellers are a lot more heart and soul than tourists. In the professional world, should I be the traveller or the tourist? Am I a traveller or a tourist?

The answer lay in my professional conduct and conflicts. I was a traveller earlier. Now I am tourist. In all honesty, I am trying to be a tourist. Being a traveller has its perils and heartaches as well. I am the sorts who gets involved in the nitty-gritty of professional goings-on. I get bruised for it as well. Passion and the zeal to learn have taught me not to feel the pain, but to bear the bruise with pride. As I moved along, grew in life and in profession and worked in many outfits, I saw my bruises growing. I felt the pain rise. I have had to constantly remind myself that organisational structure is person-centric. There are personal whims and fancies and biases that lend the organisation its culture. And one must learn to either play along and save skin, or get bruised and battered. Worse, if asked to sit back in the pavilion.

I remind myself, that I must be a tourist. Do the needful, snap pictures of the oft-seen and take the first bus out. No bruises and the shirt cuff stays clean. A tourist is mindful of the commerce aspect of things. One gets what one pays for. Give what you get in exchange. 

I am writing this as my heart rambles. I am aware of the wrestle over the years. I was a different person then. I am a different person now. I liked who I was then. I like the way I have turned out now. I was simpler then. I am wiser now.


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