“There are people who travel because they want to push themselves to physical limits, people who walk across deserts or cycle across the Antarctic – like Ranulph Fiennes, who just does it because it’s there. And then there are people like me, who are just genuinely curious about the world.” ~ Michael Palin
I am not an intrepid adventurer or an explorer of unmapped places. I don’t feel the need to be the first person to see a place. And I don’t have a need to distance myself from the ‘tourist’ label as some who like to consider themselves ‘travellers’ instead, as though it were a different thing, are wont to do.
It makes total sense to me that what I am curious about and want to see and experience and learn about, others will want to see and experience and learn about too! This doesn’t diminish my joy in visiting a place.
Of course, there are times when the crowds are unpleasant and detract from the experience, making it harder to appreciate a place’s attractions and culture, or to find genuine interactions with the people who live there.
But knowing I am not the first to thrill at the sight of the sun setting amongst the Torii gates of Fushimi Inari-taisha, or to be drawn to the detail of Portuguese azulejos (tiles) adorning buildings inside and out, or to giggle at the sheer freshness of scallops eaten fresh from the sea on an Iceland boat excursion, doesn’t make these things any less wonderful; not at all!
What about you? Are you a Ranulph Fiennes or a Michael Palin?
The Eden Project is one of Cornwall’s newer attractions, created in an abandoned china clay pit into a botanical wonderland. I loved this odd sculpture, part of a series exploring how industrial mechanisation has changed the face of agriculture.
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