Being alive is a lot like being a tourist
As tourists we often travel through territory that is completely new to us. In much the same way, every day when we wake up we are slightly different than we were the day before. We’re older (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.
Some days we wake up and find ourselves in a completely different ‘country’ with a completely different culture/set of rules. Our bodies are different (for better or worse), our minds are also different. 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.
Reality trumps research
Being an actual tourist in this modern age means that most places will seem vaguely familiar. You’ll have looked them up, read a little about them and seen lots of pictures. Nevertheless, we all know that when we arrive it’s still never exactly as we 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The guide book might be out of date and the restaurants and shops it recommends are now closed, or turned into pet shops.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.
As an actual tourist you might love this strange place and decide you want to live there. Or you might hate it and leave on the next train. However, you don’t have this choice with your life. You do already live there.
Which makes it worthwhile finding out who you uniquely are as you travel through life.
Because, wherever you go, there you are.
“True loss is for him whose days have been spent in utter ignorance of his self.”(1)