In many ways being alive is like being a life long tourist. When you’re a tourist you are travelling through territory that you may never have travelled through before. Even if you have been there, because you don’t ‘live’ there and aren’t intimately familiar with the terrain it’s easy for you to get lost and confused, especially if you’re under pressure. Life is exactly like that.
Every day we wake up, we are slightly different than the day before. We are older definitely (whether we like it or not) and while ageing might be like travelling on the slowest train in the world – it is most definitely travelling. One day we wake up and find ourselves in a completely different ‘country’ with a completely different culture/set of rules. Our bodies which once functioned one way are now different (for better or worse), our minds were also once a certain way. Maybe our minds are more seasoned now – like travellers – but this ‘seasoning’ isn’t always a good thing, some seasoning can involve pickling in vinegar and have a bitter and unpleasant outcome.
The thing about being an actual tourist in this modern age is that most places you travel to will seem vaguely familiar. You’ll have looked them up, read a little about them and seen the pictures – but even so, we all know that when you arrive it’s still never exactly as you expected. The guide book might be out of date and the restaurants and shops it recommends are now closed or turned into pet shops. The smells and colours, and even the air in the place you are visiting will make it slightly different – slightly foreign.
Now this could be a good thing and you might love it and decide you want to live there – or it could be awful and you might hate it and leave on the next train. Most likely it will be neither of these extremes but instead it will be fine. You’ll think it’s reasonably interesting and you might even like it a little but overall you’ll decide it’s a nice place to visit – but you wouldn’t want to live there.
However, you don’t have this choice with your life. You do already live there.
And familiar or unfamiliar as it may seem, it makes no difference – wherever you go – there you are.