Saturday, 13 October 2012

Tourists or Locals

We have spent the day showing some visitors around our beautiful region. We have visited a winery, the chocolate factory, the olive oil and soap factory and the silk farm. It is very different being a tourist and being a local. I remember when we used to be tourists in the town we now live in and would do the rounds of all the attractions. We would make the most of each day and try to see and experience as much as possible before having to return home. Now, we try to space out our visits to places that we have been to often and sometimes just sit back while our visitors taste, smell, look and feel what the places have to offer. 

I wonder if we can become a bit too 'local' in life? Do we start to lose the wonder and the awe of the world and the people around us? I know, for myself, how easy it is to allow a week or maybe even a month to pass by without trying something new or experiencing something that awakens my senses. In some ways, we lose the hunger and the thirst for life. As a leader, it can also become easier to lead people to these experiences and just sit back and observe.

One of the great benefits of travel is that we are lead into a place of wonder and excitement. Without the familiarity and the comforts of home, we are forced to see things in different ways, listen to foreign languages, taste exotic foods and smell unusual aromas. We come back from these adventures as changed people. Our world has been widened and deepened. 

I guess there needs to be a balance. Being a tourist can be expensive, exhausting and unsettling. If we were constantly travelling and exploring perhaps we too could become complacent. Maybe it is important to have people come and stay so that we can be reminded of the wonder and the pleasure that can be found in our own back gardens. I think there is maybe some merit in having a monthly 'tourist' day, when we pretend to be tourists in our own home town and rediscover the gems around us. But, even better, maybe we should learn to look for the wonder and awe in our every day life in each and every moment.

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