Saturday, 27 October 2007

The Value of a Good Getaway

My dad believes that travel is bad for us.

Yes, he really does. And we’re not just talking about the money spent.

A person of routine, including eating the same dishes from the same stall every time he has to buy his lunch or dinner from outside, waking up and sleeping at the same hour (as far as possible) every day, engaging in the same activities in the week (his taichi sessions every wed evening), keeping a meticulous record of his expenditures and daily happenings without fail every evening, buying the same brand of toiletries, biscuits and for a while, even cars (he used to only buy Hondas!)..

And so he hates having the routine broken up by going to a new place and with it, having to eat new things, to see new things and to wake and sleep at a different hour. As I was bugging him today to bring mum traveling cos I know she had been waiting for him for many years to retire so that they can go sightseeing together, he quipped:

“aiyah, what for? whenever we go traveling, we always end up overspending, overeating and everything is in excess. our life is disrupted and when i come back, I always feel that the money wasn’t well spent. Just walking around, seeing things and eating, for what? Can do the same thing in Singapore what”

I suppose he has his point. If that’s all travel is to someone, watching National Geographic and Discovery Channels would certainly be enough and definitely much more comfortable and infinitely safer. Which then set me thinking..

Why do I travel?

Why don’t I just stick to watching Channel 16 (Discovery Travel and Living, in case you don’t know), which incidentally is one of my favourite SCV channels?

but the problem with this channel is, instead of satiating my lust for travel, it tends to evoke it even more! Seeing on screen the sights, sounds and “adventures” of the travel hosts, I wish myself to experience the same, usually as soon as possible, before “things start to change”.. as I always tell my friends.. Quick! See Potala before they shut it cos it’s made of wood and it is going to collapse soon with all that human traffic brought in by the new Qinghai-Tibet railway!! Or.. Lhasa is changing! soon there won't be anyone left prostrating! Or I always share with them that I read from the papers how the amazing rare painted storks that i had seen in the Keoladeo National Park n Rajasthan are no longer visiting the park because their annual migratory flight patterns have been disrupted by global warming or by the droughts that now plague the state (see article).. or how lucky i am to have seen romantic Pichola Lake in Udaipur before it dried up after three continuous years of no monsoon rains visiting the area...

and that is of cos based on my assumption that people care about seeing these things at all! And the fact is, I probably take traveling a tad bit too seriously as compared to many others, who really just want to get away and relax and for whom the company is more important than the actual destination..

and that is certainly entirely valid and good enough reason to travel too…

Oh well, to each his/her own. Guess the best thing is for us to all keep an open mind and encourage each other to do what we want.. :)

onwards to the next destination in Dec! whee!!

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