Be a traveler, not a tourist

Direction to take on the path.

No doubt you’ve already done the hardest thing: recognize that you need a change. Otherwise, it would be impossible for you to hold this book in your hands. Because of the systemic crisis in which we find ourselves, self-knowledge and spiritual development are becoming fashionable. It should be noted that this journey inwards can be made in two different ways: as one more tourist -as the vast majority does- or as a true traveler.

The differences are very clear: tourists are afraid and somewhat lazy. So they seek comfort and safety. Travelers, on the other hand, are brave and have initiative. Hence they want adventure and freedom. Tourists do tourism. They like to follow a preset tour. They follow a closed schedule, fully planned. They know at all times which places they will visit. And they don’t stray too far from the guide.

Travellers, on the other hand, create their own route and follow their own path. They have their own map and compass. By improvising and flowing on the path, they end up getting lost in places they didn’t even know existed too many times, which makes their journey much more authentic and exciting. This is why tourists never know where they have been, while travelers never know where they are going. The big difference is that tourists return home just as they left, while travelers return transformed.

Exactly the same happens with the journey of self-knowledge. Spiritual tourists want everything easy and chewed. They stay grounded in theory. They never leave their intellectual comfort zone. Mainly because they are not willing to question their beliefs, de-identify themselves from the ego or feel the repressed pain that nests inside. In other words, they don’t want to get into the mud, because they don’t like getting their hands dirty. They may look inward, but they barely stay on the surface.

Spiritual travelers, on the other hand, are motivated to go deep into the burrow. They appreciate the support of a guide, but are not afraid to do it alone. They are committed to getting into the mud to start putting light into their darkest shadows. And open to confronting their ignorance, removing very deep pillars from their psyche. If pain appears, they welcome it and embrace it with affection, because they know that it is part of their healing and transformation process. And you, how are you traveling inland, as a tourist or as a traveler?

Extract from the book «Las Casualidades no existen» written by Borja Vilaseca.

I wanted to share here in my blog this piece of the book because the thoughts about it made me stop reading to really comprehend what it say.

I agree with the definition given about tourist and traveler, since it’s something I see at day to day work. There are people who feel safer by starting the tour checking every step of the way to meet their preset schedules and itineraries. However, there are others that prefer to tell what they expect from the tour so that, along with my experience, they can get the best of it. But there are also those who let them be blindly guided and dare to live the tour with no restrictions or expectations.

Of these three, type one is the most common, followed by the second, therefore is very rare that someone comes to the tour with no expectations, open to the experience as a child who wants to explore new places, customs, monuments, stories and curiosities… Certainly, the first and second type tend to be a source of frustration and disenchantment, since the stipulations are rarely fully fulfilled and their expectations don’t ultimately match reality. On the other hand, the third type flows with experience, judges nothing and live everything that happens openly, with no complaints or anger.

There are as many ways to travel and live the experience of travelling as people on this planet. Everyone has the right to live their lives the way they consider, because nobody know us better than ourselves. There’s no right or wrong in all of this.

As far as I am concerned, I have to say that I tend to be very spontaneous when it comes to travel. It pleases me to prepare the minimum in advance, in order to allowing the moment by moment to surprise me. In my suitcase there are low expectations, a high desire to explore and learn new things, and a good dose of letting life take me wherever it wants…

As for the other journey, the one that goes inward, to self-knowledge, is a journey that the human being has been and will continue to be called to undertake at some point throughout life. Usually the invitation comes by the hand of the thought “who am I?” or “what am I here for?” which can arise spontaneously or in the midst of an earthquake that shakes our life to the depths of our being…

Whether the journey is, outwards around the world or inwards, we must not forget to stop to observe if we are walking the path that marks our compass, or we want to follow the one whispered by our inner voice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *