I will posse a simple hypothetical question to all those fancy (or not) travellers out there!
What if you walk into a travel agent and they make you an offer … you cannot refuse!
What if …you get to choose your dream destination for a fortnight!
What if… you fly there first class (even a Gulfstream may be an option)!
What if … you choose literary whatever you wish related to drinking, eating, entertainment, sports etc!
What if… the travel agent throws some…pocket money to spend there in any fancy or life endangering sport you wish to execute!
What if…there is somebody granting you any of the weirdest wishes that might zip through your mind!
And what it … all of the above were for free! Yes! Free! You get to pay zero pounds, euros or dollars!
There would be though, just a single precondition. Just one! Just a single one! A small one!
… that forever, as long as you live on this planet, you will never, ever get to mutter a single word about this trip to anybody except from your wife, kids and possibly mother and father. None! Zero! Null!
How does this sound?
Great ? Fantastic? Superb? As if you won the Lottery….?
But take a minute and think about it. What does this really mean?
It means that when the others will be bubbling about a 4,45 star hotel they stayed in Bali, you won’t be able to talk to them about the 8-star hotel you…indulged in!
It means that when they will gagging their guts out to describe the business class upgrade they had in a London to New York flight, you won’t be able to tell them about the bespoke and personal service you had in the Gulfstream or in a A380 First Class.
When they will be taking pride of the great Greek taverna with fresh fish, wine and a fresh salad they enjoyed in a Greek unspoilt island, you won’t be able to tell them about the … 7-course dinner you enjoyed in a 3-star Michelin restaurant. Mind you, a fresh fish from the Aegean cooked in the oven slowly for 1 hour along with a fresh lettuce salad with olive oil, lemon, bit of paprika and oregano and a chilled white wine may be far better than those arty-farty French minimal or fusion dishes.
When they will find difficulty in stopping to describe their heart stopping bungee –jumping experience, in no way will you be able to tell them about the two-hour diving experience you took among tens of Great Whites somewhere off the cost of South Africa or among a herd of whales close to Antarctica.
When they will be talking about their personal hair drier and tea and coffee room amenities you won’t be able to tell them about the 5-bellboy team ready to serve you! (although personally I would still despise of such an option).
So, now that you have read this …would you still be going forward with this offer? Would you accept?
The truth of the matter is that some people do travel and pick destinations, hotels and experiences for the sole (ok maybe I am exaggerating) purpose of making an impression – a statement in friends’ gatherings – for the sole purpose to show off! And you see this when they talk about it. Sometimes it feels like a … destination contest – who travelled the furthest – who drank the most – who stayed in the fanciest hotel – who had the most people serving him or her! They take pride of those… aspects of the trip as if it takes special skills to execute any of the above. Nothing about the actual destination. Nothing about the street food. Nothing about the average people. Nothing about a small neighbourhood off the main city centre. Nothing about the local atmosphere. Nothing about the traditional music. Nothing about the political situation.
The truth of the matter is that, deep down, all of us, if we dig into our soul and brain, we might see some fractions of this “mindset” scattered in our brain cells.
So next time we pick a destination let us look inside us with honesty and see if we truly travel for us or … for the glamour and glitter that destinations evoke. Travel is not intended in increasing our self-esteem or ego! If you think about it, it should be about the opposite. Travel should be about meeting foreign cultures and realising our local neighbourhood is not Delphi – the centre of the earth!