Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Map for Saturday

A good number of us wants to travel the world. And so we save money, plan 2-3 trips in a year and focus all our energies into making it the most amazing experience ever. But then there are those who take it up several notches up and resigns from their jobs just to travel the world.

At first, that life seems fantastic! You don't have to worry about work, you get to go to all the wonderful places in the world, meet people and in the process hope to find yourself.

Honestly, I'm all for the eat pray love idea, but after watching A Map for Saturday, I was opened to the world of extreme backpackers. They are those who resign from work, goes out into the world ALONE, stays at hostels, and goes on discovering the world for more than a year... or more. To them, days are irrelevant. Every day is a Saturday, the start of the weekend, the day for doing all that you've planned to all week long.

At first the movie excited me. I mean, hey, they get to travel the world! But after a while, I grew restless. And for some reason, I started to pity them. I know what they're doing is a choice. It's not for everyone and yes, it's definitely not for me. But since the film has been published for all the world to see, I'd like to give my two cents worth on it.

I have nothing against traveling alone but I believe traveling is one of those things that should be shared. As always, it's  not about the place you go to, it's always about the experience you had there. And it's such an amazing feeling to be able to share that happiness with someone else, particularly someone dear to you.

The film made me feel sad. They went around the world, met a lot of other backpackers but in the end, when time came for them to go home, they were left with more longing than when they started. They go back to their old lives knowing they have changed, but things are still the same. It's only them who changed. Everything else is the same, it's like they never even left. It's a sad feeling, being alone with all that pent up emotions you got from your travels. It's sad to not be able to share it with someone else because they won't understand unless they were with you.
Also, it may be the Asian thing, but it's never customary for us to drop all we've worked for and just spend it on our travels. We don't do that. Not because we CANNOT but more of because we CHOOSE not to. We are attached to our families, friends, work and know that leaving everything behind to travel can be seen as a selfish act. I mean, you set out into the world, leaving your family, work and all others behind without regard as to how things will change for them with you gone.
Hong Kong
And that thing about finding yourself? That makes me even more sad. I wonder how miserable their lives are. I mean, you must be so discontent with your life that you try to fill that gap by setting off into the world. It's a sad thing because you're not so attached to things from your hometown anymore. It's like what you have back home is disposable. There is nothing that's important enough to make you stay-- or at least, to make you want to come back sooner.
I, too enjoy traveling, but I always want to travel with family or friends. And I always want to go home. Because even if it is fun, it is not something I want to do on a long term basis. It is just a break from the daily routine; a diversion; something to be excited about. But it is not something that you would give up your whole life for.

Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia

Traveling via the trans-siberian train

Again, this is just my two cents worth, my reaction from watching the film. I don't intend to offend anyone with my opinion. At the end of the day, to each his own-- which for me means 2-3 countries in a year for 5-15 days MAXIMUM.
In fact, I'm off to another adventure-- not to find myself but to add another dimension to who I already am-- hoping that when I get back (and I will get back), I'll be happier and more appreciative of the kind of life I am currently living :)

Stay put for my next posts from my next adventure!

p.s. I do recommend that you watch the film (that's the link above). It's a well made documentary and really gives you insight into that kind of life. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it too :)

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