Editor Debs talks about why she doesn’t see thrills and spills as a sign that she’s had a great holiday.
I had a rather heated debate with the husband last night. Actually, I was the one getting all worked up and he was just looking at me amusedly. So, what led to my mini outburst and what has this episode got to do with a travel & lifestyle website?
Well, it started with him asking me a question I’ve never liked answering. Halfway through my Maggi goreng at Mister Prata, he asked me, “Have you done anything exciting in your life? Like climb a mountain? Or, take part in an extreme race?” I put my cutlery down and glared at him.
“No, ” came my answer.
“REALLY?!? And you don’t have the desire to do something like that?” he continued digging.
“Why?! I’ve climbed a mountain and felt nothing but resentment throughout the whole process, and when I finished it, I didn’t feel super proud that I’ve done it!”
“Like not even when you reached the top?”
“Your life must be so boring, ” he added. Clearly, he had no idea his life was almost coming to an end.
I gave an audible sigh as I proceeded to sharpen my claws. “Look. I’m just the sort of person who doesn’t believe I need to participate in heart-stopping adventures to prove that my life is interesting or that I’ve done something meaningful with it. I refuse to feel bad or lousy about myself just because I don’t measure my worth by the number of sky-diving trips I’ve attempted or the number of mountains I’ve conquered. These things DON’T excite me and I don’t think my life is any less colourful from not doing any of them.”
Of course, our
argument conversation went on for about another 15 minutes but the conclusion was – as with many of our debates – we agreed to disagree. Nonetheless, I have the luxury of writing for a website read by 50, 000 people every month so I’ve decided to elaborate on my stance a little more.
Enrichment versus Experience
Many people will tell you that their experiences abroad have enriched their lives. Whether it’s kayaking through a mangrove swamp or climbing a mountain under the most inhospitable conditions, travel gives them the opportunity to get closer to the many wonders they may not see at home. It’s humbling, it’s eye-opening, I’m sure!
But the enriching of one’s life and soul can come in other forms – not just through travelling. Sure, going out into the world lets you interact with people of different cultures, it lets you better appreciate other ways of lives … etc. etc. etc. However, I would caution against going down the route of becoming a “collector”. Are you “collecting” simply to prove you are more cultured/more adventurous/richer/better/smarter? If so, you really have not been enriched by your travels. Rather, I’d say you have become only poorer and shallower from it.
Travelling is a privilege
I think one of the things many people failed to get when they travel is that travelling is a PRIVILEGE. You are able to explore the world (or a part of it) because you either have the money to do so OR the time to go away. You are lucky enough to be able to drop whatever Life demands of you, get that one-way ticket and leave everything and everyone behind.
Some may say, “It’s a matter of priority. If you want freedom and want to live life to the fullest, you’ll make it happen!” While the freedom to leave and see the world is a desire rooted in many of our hearts, the reason why not everyone is upping to become a travel Instagrammer is simply because there are these things called “commitments”.
So, the next time you are overseas and looking at a breathtaking view, take a deep breath and know that a majority of us can’t be there because of money, time, and commitments – not the sexiest of reasons but still good ones, nonetheless.
What about my life?
For me – and as with many others – I believe no one wants to live an empty life. The husband gets his sense of achievement from the insane races he signs up for, I get mine from knowing that I’m constantly working towards a debt-free life and an easy retirement. Some friends’ idea of a holiday is to go to a place they’ve never been before, I just want to relax, soak up the peace, and luxuriate in a beautiful hotel room.
As I explained to my husband, my life may never be filled with extreme highs and lows, but my sense of achievement and sense of self comes from the amount of work and effort I put in to ensure my life is as smooth-sailing as it can possibly be.
And, there’s nothing wrong with that, right?