This piece below has been written by P, who doesn’t want anything beyond his initial and oh, gender revealed since I used the word ‘his’. Feel free to comment on his first post on solosingaporean.
Everyone wants to talk about travelling.
Traveling has seen a remarkable resurgence in the past few years. I think people are not so much as in love with moving and seeing but in love with the idea of it. It sounds pretentious does it not? “Oh I’m thinking of trekking in the Andes for a month.” Even better yet: “I’m thinking of spending six months in an ashram in India.” Really? When it really comes down to it, these people are more in love with saying the aforementioned things than doing them. This is not to say that EVERYONE is like that. But its just a recent trend I’ve been observing. It becomes a somewhat glamourized way of saying “I’m doing nothing for the holidays except lying on the couch watching movies.” Hence, the word “travel” in and of itself has become a certain lifestyle choice. By saying I like travelling, I’m saying that I am part of a group of people who are elite in a sense that they become an aspirational goal. In other words, I buy into a certain culture, whatever that may be.
The social media have fanned the flames of travelling, so much so that choosing to stay home has become the abnormality. Ever had an acquaintance who you randomly come across greeting you with “Oh have you been anywhere recently?” If it has happened once, it has happened a million times. Like I mentioned earlier, the social media (Facebook, Instagram and the likes) have increased the prominence of this culture we are increasingly buying into. Why are people obsessed with posting their photos of them vacationing in Hawaii, on Facebook? Is it to show their pride in being part of this culture? Maybe. Even so, we sitting at home, feel jealous- and rightfully so. I mean, c’mon man, do you really need to rub your vacation pictures in my face? It just highlights that you’ve been doing something and me, zilch.
Nevertheless, travelling broadens the mind, expands the human imagination and forces us to contemplate the human condition. Everyone should travel when they have the opportunity. It’s just this new form of ‘glamour travel’ that annoys me. And I know for a fact that I’m not alone in feeling this way.