I once read that to become someone you have to start calling yourself that, in other words, not labeling myself as a ‘wannabe’ or ‘aspiring’ so-and-so. Which is why I refer to myself as a traveller and never a tourist, despite the fact that I often do “touristy” things. (Note: I say “touristy” with a condescending tone.)
I am trying to wean off the need to check off my list of the must-dos and must-sees at different places I visited, but then again travelling is about the self, and if what it takes is having to see your run-of-the-mill, packed-to-the-brim UNESCO World Heritage Site sometimes, then well, I will forgive myself on being sporadically touristy.
And this I must cultivate, before I embark on my Round The World (RTW) trip. (Again, note: I say this with surety.)
I just read an article about Gunther Holtorf, hailed the modern-day Marco Polo for his extensive travels in a car around the world, having been to nearly 200 countries (that’s practically 80% of all the countries in the world, for those of you who slept in Geography class) over more than two decades.
I was awed, and about to set him up as my personal hero (among other hardcore travellers out there), when I realized that he started his RTW trip only when he was 50-something, an age where the talented, accomplished and relatively wealthy can easily retire and live in peace and comfort for the rest of their lives. And I suppose he did this at a time when he is financially secure, he is already long married (kudos to his wife whom he took on his travels!) with a son, and has sloughed enough in a high-powered top corporate job to both earn enough money and know that that’s not the way to live until the official retirement age rolls around.
I don’t want to wait until I’m 50.