samedi 15 janvier 2011

Backpackers "VS" Travellers

Hi everyone,

As some of you may already know, Yann and I will from now travel separately, even though it is expected that we will visit some places together from time to time. We realized we had different expectations from this trip, and decided it was better that way... I will continue posting here while I invite you to follow him on his blog :

I will spend the next couple of weeks in Rajasthan with Olivia who is joining me tomorrow, and will therefore will not be able to update the blog during this time. To keep you waiting, here is a post that I have written between Mongolia and China and has not been published until now:

In the bus we took between Oulan-Oude (Russia) and Ulanbataar (Mongolia), we met an American (born Mexican) citizen in his fifties named Eduardo. He was on his way from London to Saigon, and would call himself a traveler more than a bagpacker. He kept repeating that he is not a very good tourist as he does not feel the need to visit so much, but just to go from one place to another which I found quite interesting. My understanding of this is that travelling is more about the people you meet and the feelings you have than about what you see. Eduardo, on this one, I fully agree with you and would also define myself more as a traveler from now on. Furthermore, he added that he would not tell to anyone back home (Houston, Texas) where he went and what he had done during his journeys around the world. That I found at first pretty disturbing. I therefore asked him why he would not want to tell anyone about the thousands of extraordinary adventures he had. And he said:”because I feel it would be arrogant to do so”. We unfortunately never really had the time or the opportunity to finish that conversation, but it kept me thinking about it and why I was travelling.

I guess I understand what Eduardo meant. He is a humble man and does not want to show off too much on how lucky he is to be able to see so much and to learn so much from his trips. He is probably right when he says that. It is obviously not my first motive in traveling around the world, but it would be dishonest to say that I am not proud of the fact that I could go to so many places and visit so many countries that most of the people will only see on TV and in magazines. From that perspective, I concur to what Eduardo was arguing. On the other hand, I must say that it would be impossible for me not to share all of this with the people I like, and even with people I do not know. When we decided to leave on this trip 10 months ago, we wanted to find a project, a main idea which would lead us during this trip. One of the first ideas which came up was to associate ourselves to a school in order to promote a kind of international culture and show to younger people what such kind of trips can bring from a knowledge perspective, but we also wanted to show them that it is accessible to everyone if one wants to go abroad.

There is not one trip I have done over the last 5 years that was not a great experience. All of them allowed me to open my mind (and that was needed!), to understand different culture and, to meet so many interesting people. These trips have helped me define myself and the adult I have become. I wish that everyone could be given the same opportunity. However, I unfortunately believe that not everyone has the chance to grow in an environment which encourages going abroad. This is the reason why I want so much to communicate about this trip; because I strongly believe that sharing our experience as travelers could motivate people maybe not to do the same thing, but at least to go abroad to take time to discover and understand different cultures.

Even though the main goals of our association are now more business oriented, a part of it remains the promotion of this spirit, and do hope that it will be of any use to anyone in order to create future generations of travelers.

Eduardo, thank you for this… I hope we can finish this conversation one day in Houston or in a train somewhere!!

See you in 2 weeks everyone (and soon with a brand new website !)


1 commentaires:

Unknown a dit…

Hi Benoit,
Your uncle Xavier writing.
I really liked how you described Eduardo way of travelling. I really feel the same when I've the occasion to travel. Going from one place to another using "local" transportation and trying to meet people from the country or travelers like me.
The usual feeling is that it is a shame not to visit monuments or go to those famous places. We should not care, and just feel the things we live and keep them for ourselves. I would not say it is arrogant to share with others when back home, I think this is so difficult to explain the unexplainable (do we say that?)and those feelings with others that the better to shut up. Have Fun


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