Adventure travel and the industry that brews around it tells you to seek fun and thrill in certain spaces and through certain methods. Perhaps, the real adventure is chasing the thrill itself and not falling into the trap of consumerism, to find places you can resonate with, in the process of self-exploration.
Adventures of a decadent society
Part 1: What do you live for?
Honestly I can relate! I do not feel fear.. I don’t fear dying - if anything i fear not living! ~Steph, Adventure Blogger, Free diver
I often pondered on the idea of getting out on the streets with a video camera and asking people why do they live and capturing their reactions. I never really cared about the answer because the entire population doesn’t. We do not yearn for meaning anymore for we are convinced there is none. We conceived the silence of the universe and the associated darkness. In vain did we try to create humour out of it, for the humour of silence is the one that reflects back on us, cruelly at times.
Without answers, and more importantly, without questions, we are machines akin to those from the TV series Westworld, a futuristic world comprising robots who are human replicas without memory. And one day, memories burst forth. Our reactions are controlled and so are our desires. We are boiled down to simple algorithms (this is how Youtube guesses the perfect songs of our choice), stripped off of everything that cannot be commodified and for the rest there is Mastercard!
When you pretend you have all the answers to everything you asked for, you slowly start forgetting the questions. But what about the wounds which inspired all those questions? For wounds never heal simply by pretending they aren't there. And trust me, we are all wounded souls. Those wounds and their healing are the very reasons we live for.
Part 2: Consumerism, adventures and a traveler
Capitalism had us thinking going to the mountains means booking a top-notch hotel whose rank is decided by all the views it provides. That a view of the sunrise from your 5-star window is all that you could ask for! Holidays and trips have been reduced to mere ´getaways´, society-validated escape routes, much like tamed animals left to roam around, but within the radius of the leash. A pictorial series of such getaways looks less like a holiday than an excuse to overindulge in glutonic consumerism. But here are a few words from a fellow traveler of this very world.
Adventure travel is all about going to those places & experiencing those things which would otherwise be totally inaccessible. Sure there are scary moments, but it's totally worth it for the view & adrenaline - it's those 'WOW' moments I live for!
says Callum James, a vigorous adventure traveler. Anya speaks along similar lines
I travel because I love to experience things that starkly contrast with what I’m used to- being able to respect and experience other cultures is something I value deeply. I think it makes the world a kinder place.
Yes! I couldn't agree more. Traveling needs to inspire observation. Observing lives of people situated far and farther away from us, yet binding all of us together. This is how we start a dialogue with human suffering and the inevitable, irreparable silence that echoes back all that we do to it.
I love the way being in the true outdoors makes me feel so insignificant, yet strong. It clears my head, makes me remember my problems are small, and reminds me that I am capable of more than I think I am. I think doing an unguided trek in Mongolia is the most memorable trip- it’s literally just you and nature. I only saw one other person for the whole week I was out there. I’ve never felt so isolated and it was incredible! Though I wish I packed warmer clothing... I nearly froze!
Talking to Anya made me realize the truth behind the abstraction of loving one's own self. It is not much more than loving solitude, preferring your own company than the hustle and bustle of people’s demands, dialogues and wasted words. Adventure traveling takes us ahead in this road to self-love.
Part 3: Learning of the Road & the Road of Learning
Why would you travel? What do you look for in all those unknown faces? Or rather, who do you look for? Humans have always demystified all those things which awestruck them at one point in time. From fire to aeroplanes, from the big bang to the impending doom, we have an insatiable urge to wonder and simultaneously dissect the same. It is this inexhaustible chain of wonder and elucidation on which humanity has thrived. Along this road, we have met beauty, horror, fury, death, love and life. Today, we have forgotten this archaic school of thought, education and reproduction of the learning processes. Very few like Giuseppe Bucca dare to walk this ancient road of knowing life. And trust me, you would be amazed by his words, let alone being in them:
I remember walking at night in one beach in Sri lanka. And all suddenly realised I was surrounded by baby turtles just born. I was in love.
Bucca once saw a thresher whale in its natural ecosystem, what he calls ́its cleaning station.´ A thresher whale, the rarest of all aquatic species visible on the surface, was witnessed by Bucca, getting cleaned by smaller fish who plucked the parasites off it. Watching and wondering at such strange phenomena of nature forces you to preserve them, for that is the source of all your amazement, even if you afford to forget survival. Unlike most of the world, Callum cares to remember his roots.
The biggest trend in travel right now is traveling responsibly. It is an important factor to consider is our impact on the places we travel to, in terms of sustainability & single use items. 1.Trying to be economical with use of fuel when driving. 2. Considering the packaging food/drink/nutrition comes in - i.e. limited throw away plastic. 3. Impact of human footprint on certain landscapes.
It does not require a mathematician to conclude 2 and 2 make 4. Catering to the very nature we thrive in is unfortunately, a ´rising trend´ now, which really should have been a norm.
Part 4: To Memories and being human
In an interview, the author Jerry Pinto told me, ¨Everything in our world is about memory. Memory makes us human.¨ We are fused in, with and for memories. We make love, war and peace basing of contestation of memories. Memories build resistance, experience, solidarity, laughter, trauma and pain. It is the most unique quality that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. And this is what adventures do, even if we can afford to forget the essentials of life. Life would have been far different for Trisha and her family had they not set on the motorcycle trip.
The motorcycle trip with my boys is filled with 10,000 unforgettable miles of thrills, fun, and a few close calls too. But sailing down the east coast with my youngest son, losing our prop shaft and therefore getting stuck in a tropical storm while fixing it-now that's a memory!¨ ¨Although I did not meet my husband on a trip, my oldest son met his wife on our motorcycle trip. They've been inseparable ever since, and now live in Washington.
War, suspicion, xenophobia, active hate culture have distorted our worldview and presented us with one big churning of fabricated events, twisted facts and untrustworthy humans. Travelers breathe differently though. When you start looking at the world through no other prism but yours, you start evolving. Trisha articulates perfectly.
People are pretty much good no matter where they are. At the end of the day we all want the same thing. To be happy, healthy, have someone to love, have something mentally stimulating to keep us busy, and to be treated with respect.
Traveling moulds you to the ancient ways of nature, for we are too much subtracted from our origins. We are running for our lives thinking we are running to it. Traveling forges rebellion for very soon you realize the way of life this system propagates does not really reach us anywhere except circular thoughts of jobs, success, life and death. In the end, what really matters is memories. And remember, nature remembers everything!
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