Sunday, May 12, 2013


Sitting in the cafe around the corner from my place, I don't even see it. But these German tourists stop and examine the whole place. 

Being in this town, with the throngs of tourists such as myself rummaging around, I've been thinking about what that means, to be a tourist.

I guess on the most basic level it involves you dragging yourself somewhere you don't live and experiencing 'stuff' (monuments, trees or what have you). Maybe learning the history and context of the 'stuff'. Why and how it got there... etc.

But what does it mean to say, 'I did -insert historical place here-' It makes me think of someone ticking things off of a list and that, in a way, it's like an unspoken competition to 'do things'.

Is it fair to say there is a difference between a traveler and a tourist? Or is that just creating more of a us versus them dichotomy? Well I'm going to say there is a difference and shades of gray and all that.

When I travel the thing that always comes to my mind is that quote, 'traveling isn't about going to new place but seeing with different eyes'. or something like that.

It's about going somewhere and being open to trying to understand what and why and not judge.

But I think it's also a process of getting to know and learn about yourself and of appreciation and being present. And I can't tell you how many times I've felt like trying to get that just right photo is really separating you from being there, always looking for that perfect photo so you can remember that moment forever shot. Why not just be present? Just take a moment and look around, take a deep breath, smell the air, feel the heat or cold or whatever... and be there for that moment and remember it forever that way.

Being in your head for 2 weeks on a motorcycle trip, Zen and the Art and trying to figure everything out. The connections and making sense out of it all, intellectualizing and understanding it all. Where does feeling and sense fit in?

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