May 6, 2011
The World and Its Travellers
The Empty Travellers
These travellers are never prepared.
Not physically, not mentally and not even materially.
Reaching their destination, they realize the lack of preparation. They rush to buy winter clothing or irritate all their companions with borrowing and later going through the rest of the days tapping resources from others. In fact, these people are not travellers at all. They go or leave empty, and return with less; losing some friends or overspending their financial resources purchasing things that may not be necessary.
If only they had spent some time planning.
The Physical Travellers
These travellers have prepared themselves physically and have ensured their material needs are well taken care of.
In fact, most times they will go overboard. They will have extra sweaters, long johns, and not to mention, the faithful MAGGI noodles and mom’s rending as the restaurants in the hotels will serve all kinds of food that they are familiar with.
Unfortunately, they probably had forgotten to bring along three most important things; their BRAINS, HEARTS, and SOULS. They never read or to try to find out about places they are about to venture into, beyond the climate and the food.
They are the ones who love taking many pictures (with themselves as the main subject). This is to them a very important ritual as they see the need to prove that they were there. Not that it is all that wrong; a few pictures of you and your loved ones cuddling together make for great memories. But, the problem is that they never appreciate the real beauty of the place just by simply looking and feeling deeply for the moment.
Honestly, these people are also not travellers. They are at best tourists. Physically transported to another place but mentally, emotionally and spiritually, they never left their place of origin. Their attendance is valid, but their learning and contribution are null and void. They too return as lesser persons (with extra MAGGI noodles and stale rendang). Not to mention, the unused extra sweaters and clothing.
Poor fellas. Proving their attendance to all their friends and families with the many pictures as erect as the Eiffel Tower looming behind them, not knowing they were never really there in the first place.
A real traveller is a person who is physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared.
They read to find out about the places they are about to experience (not just visit). For they know that to suck the marrow of travel is not just seeing but participating.
They are not burdened with too many material needs in their luggage as they want to be free. Free to contribute and participate. They are adequately prepared in material needs but very prepared in all other ways. Their minds are not bagged down with the climate, as they are busy looking into the more important things in life.
They do not delegate the thinking to the tour guides, they may even contribute! They take pictures, but not just famous sites. They focus on the unexpected and simple everyday life. Taking notes of minute details of flowers, children, old couples holding hands or the old man tending to his garden. The travellers know that popular sights do not make a country; it is the everyday lives that make a difference.
Most of all, even if they lose their pictures, they know that the pictures taken with their eyes, nose, ears, sense of taste, touch, heart, mind, soul are more permanent than what modern technologies can offer in terms of films and pictures. Real experiences will follow them till death and thereafter.
They are travellers. They went with a full tank and came back with a bigger tank that cries for more. Their tanks are forever enlarging. Theirs are not just attendance but learning. Theirs are not just attendance but also participation and contribution. They each went as a book and came back as a library. They went as a seed and came back as a tree.
By Anas Zubedy
The Quran & I
We travel this world to prepare for the ultimate destination thereafter.
A destination forever after.
Which kind of traveller are we?
Are you prepared to meet Allah the Almighty?