Are you a traveller or a tourist?

Del & Russell at Taj Mahal for emailI’m thinking of my recent trip to India and my experience of travelling in non-tourist areas.  All the while on some level I was also yearning to find the kinds of facilities and services that are generally supplied just for tourists!  Interesting!  So I decided to transfer this onto my thoughts about life.  Am I – or you – a traveller or a tourist of life?

I feel I am a traveller who has faced both the highs and lows of being in strange, unknown places and needing to find my way through eg. the lows – divorce, bereavements, depressions, night terrors, eating disorder, physical accidents, illness and a lot of physical pain; and the highs – getting to connect with spirit, finding ways to heal myself, developing my own healing abilities, finding loving relationships, enjoying sensuality, expanding my mind, experiencing other cultures, being highly creative, having a loving husband …  and so on.  BUT – and it’s a big BUT – I’ve also wanted to be a tourist – to go through my life with the protection and support of others who have been there before and know the ropes.  I’ve wanted comfort and no pain – just pleasure.  I’ve wanted someone else to look after me, fund me, take responsibility.  Is this a fair assessment of the tourist?  Here’s what OT came up with (the you is a general you):

Old Delhi for email

“You are both a traveller and a tourist.  You can never know what’s around the corner but you can look to others who are more experienced than you to give you signs and help you out when, as a traveller, you feel you’ve lost your way. 

A traveller does need a map and needs to have some kind of plan.  A tourist needed to do some research before they decided which tour to go on.  In many ways there’s no difference. 

It’s a question of perspective, seeing the situation from a particular angle.  There’s nothing noble about ‘suffering’ as a traveller.  Some like the excitement of finding their way alone.  Some like the security of having it all planned out by someone else.  You choose the style that suits.

 In life itself the journey contains both – the tourist within the traveller finds the resources he/she needs to satisfy their curiosity and their physical needs.  The traveller in the tourist takes time to step outside the objective viewing of the culture they are in and allows themselves to feel their way into identifying with that they see, smell, touch, hear, and so on.  In this way they learn as the traveller does, but perhaps less viscerally and with less cultural impact.

All experience is of great value and is never wasted.  All experience takes you forward in your learning and understanding.”

Some thoughts from India…

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A hot Del!

I (Delcia) am in my third week of visiting India.  Unfortunately I have been ill quite a lot since being here. However this has given me time to rest and reflect. Here are just a few thoughts I would like to share. The ‘channelled’ piece in italics is both me and OT (Ortundra).

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The Taj Mahal

To be ‘out of your comfort zone’ is to experience just how varied divinity is. The divine connection in this land is more obvious, yet full of paradoxes, and this demands you to step way outside the social and political norms that dictate your own life.  There is no safety net here. People survive – or they don’t. You have here in this land the greatest of contrasts – the divinity and the corruption, the colour and the darkness, the chaos and the co-operation. Through the basics of survival – water, food, and some kind of shelter – you come to know how little you need for your physical life. Through these basics you have seen humanity. You have seen cruelty and neglect. You have seen tenderness and close kinship. You see it all here in its starkness, not hidden away.

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And here are some inspiring quotes from Mahatma Gandhi, which I saw when visiting his museum and ashram in the city of Amedabad in the state of Gujurat , NW India:

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”.

“Be the change you want to see in the world”

These digital paintings were done on my iPad