About travelling

I happened to read a blog post about travelling by an old good friend of mine. She left an incredibly tough question in the end of the page; ‘What does travelling mean to you?’

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When I lived close to Paris, I really loved all the metro and train trips – got some time to think, travel in mind.

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Ways of travelling – tuktuk in Bangkok, Thailand

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Ways of travelling – a flight to a foreign land
Fra Airport, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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Tradition of travelling – by camels in the desert
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Travelling is a word, meaning usually ‘to move from one place to another’, as in my previous pictures. But there is so much more to it, it’s both a physical and mental life-changing experience.

At the moment, travelling is work for me, in a literal way. Long distances became my office and far lands home. When you are far from home physically and culturally, you really need to feel inside you and search your peace, your history, culture and values. Only by knowing first what I am made of, I can start learning from others.

Deeper inside we are not so different. Cultures, religions, traditions and history have made us act differently. But we all have same feelings, we need love, we want to understand the world, we get angry when something doesn’t work as we are taught, we forgive when things are settled in a respectful and constructive manner.

Travelling means meeting the world and through acceptance learning to live the world. At first travelling was mainly physical for me, but as it became mental and spiritual, it became home.

Metro communication

When alone in a metro (or in any other similar place from bus to airplane), people change their behaviour from everyday communicating.

These mobile times, the most common act is probably to chat with one’s very own smartphone. This way we avoid all the possible interacting with strangers.

The behaviour differs also between the cultures a bit, but even more because of multiple other factors, such as the size of the city. The bigger the city is, the more people seem to prefer to talk with their phones, read a book, sleep or pretend to do so, or work on any possible thing to distance them from any interaction.

There might good explanations for that, for example it is true that in metropolies we pass by so many people, it impossible to have contact with everybody. Also, one needs a moment for him/herself at times, even in our minds surrounded by all that mass of human beings.

Prejudies and judgement effect strongly sometimes on top of all other. When one senses another, possibly unknown culture from the person getting closer, it is typical to try to look that one is not available for the stranger. Ignorance can be the case but also media is very good in manipulating everyone’s behaviour towards little racist acts.

On the other hand, working on something during a trip does not always automatically mean that we don’t want to interact with the person next to us or that we are scared of them. Someone takes the trip as an extra time to work, someone wants to relax with their music and someone might be just very excited to work on something at the moment… as I am now – writing about this subject with my phone.

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A metro stop written with different alphabets
Paris, France

When there’s communicating that differs from the main behaviour in certain situations, appears a shock.

Once in one of these metro lines of Paris, an older, clearly homeless man came to sit next to me. Baring sights surrounded me. But my own reaction was different, I had a smile on my face because I received a very friendly ‘Bonjour’ from this man. I said ‘bonjour’ back. Already at this point, I could feel the eyes around staring at this unusual situation.

All the way to my destination stop, we talked. Mainly he was telling about his life as a musician. There was a moment that he got moved by a memory, and allowed few drops fall from his big dark eyes. I have to say it has been one of the most beautiful moments I have experienced in any metro. It would have never happened if instead of him I would have focused on my electronic device.

Let’s do what we need to, but stop the pointless Facebook scrolling. Look around… yes there is the life!

PS. Now I turn this device off and focus on the beautiful persons around me.