Armchair Travel – turning tables

Hello Fellow Travelers,

This week I’ve been writing about Armchair Travel, if you haven’t kept up with the posts, it would be a good idea to read them before you move on. In my introduction to the series I briefly stated the sheer unnecessity of armchair travel in its voluntary form.
Yes, I know there’s no formal distinction but I’ll lay it out for you the way I classify it – Any person with the ability, resources, and health to travel, who chooses not to, classifies as a voluntary armchair traveler. Conversely, any person who lacks the ability, resources, and/or health becomes an involuntary armchair traveler. (no. having a demanding job, doesn’t count as an excuse.)

In yesterday’s post I entertained the possibility of armchair travel as an alternate form of travel on a lazy day. As exciting as the prospect sounds, on a personal level, I would be bored within hours of reading without actually making contact with the world as it changes around me. Sure books have the ability to transport you from one dimension to the next, and not to forget, strengthen your imagination, but is that all you really want to do? Live vicariously off the perspective of another?

If that’s the only way for you, then there’s really no point to the question, but if that isn’t. You my friend then become a voluntary armchair traveler, who perhaps lacks the time, motivation, and thirst to travel. A job can wait, travel can’t. If you got it the other way round, you’re a little misguided, as are all of us, on unfamiliar turf.

Today I talk about Turning Tables, because that’s kind of what’s happening inside me. On the one hand, the traveler inside me is seriously wounded by yesterday’s post because it defeats the whole purpose of travel, and on the other hand, the reader in me was doing back flips every time I wrote something in favour of reading. After a rather haughty introduction by the traveler, the reader took charge yesterday and now they’re both oddly giving me the silent treatment.

As much as I advocated for armchair travel being a worry free experience, it’s also a little bland, and no this has got nothing to do with the levels of imagination. Because essentially that’s all that it is, a figment of one’s imagination, devoid of the beauties that travel itself stands for. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again now, Travel is not about the act of going places, it’s about changing. (we have an entire series to this credit – Travel is, where we’ve explored what travel means to us.) Sure we could indulge in a little armchair travel every now and then, it’s good in a way to know a little about a place before you go and explore it on your own account.

Armchair travel is not the best thing that’s ever happened to us, and it can never match up to the actual experience of travel. But what it can do, is keep you prepared for all the things you could expect, and perhaps let you fill your own colours in a painted outline.

It is a promise, which will be fulfilled only by visiting the destination. With that I end this with no resolution on this reader v/s traveler battle, though it does seem like the tables are turning, and the week may end on a completely different note altogether.

Watch this space for my next post,

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