Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Tourist is dead

by the Colca Specialist

I found an article from Doyle Buehler in Technorati which I considered very interesting. Enjoy it!

The Tourist is Dead

Author: Doyle Buehler

Experience is what people are needing in the new world of travel. Not the knowledge of experience to travel, but rather the experience of travel. An escape of course is what we are looking for. The intellectual and emotional experience that our travels and actions can explore. Experience of an escape is the new mode of travel. What does it mean to really escape? What does it mean to get lost along the way, to find out who you are, by experiencing yourself and your surroundings as you journey next door or around the world?

For a lot of people, travel is simply about being at Point A or Point B - and not about the experience along the way. Book a flight to Mexico or Bali and go to the beach or go to the ancient runes, take a picture and then return to show-off the photo. For the rest of us, and for those who truly understand the significance of travel as an experience, it is not about the destination, but the journey along the way.

Travel should be about how you experience life; or for the aspirational, how you want to experience life. While we have a good idea of where we are going, the real excitement of life comes from everything that we do along the way. The memories that we collect, the people that we learn from and meet, the understanding of the world, the cultural disparities that we comprehend, and the connected-ness of the emotional memories that we create from it all. This is the experience of travel. The senses are awakened. The mind is alerted. The emotions connected. The journey is intertwined.

Experience is about understanding the world, and allowing it to shape our journey and our emotions. As the summer winds down in the northern hemisphere, the summer then begins to take shape in the other half of the world. What greater pleasure could be had than being able to live through this, like changes of the season, all with a simple flight or a simple expedition. A change of the seasons is a change of the reasons. The world is round for a reason: it allows us to experience everything that we possibly can, and always, somehow, find our way back home, wherever that may be.

The new manifesto of the adventurer is the journey of the traveler that we all want to become. The traveller evolves to create and build an experience; an emotional experience along the path that they chose; their needs and wants evolve, and can make us all think differently as we embrace the culture of it all. As Bruce Kirkby outlines in his romantic piece on travel, "Such soul-opening moments are ephemeral and unpredictable, often alighting on us like a butterfly when we are otherwise engrossed".

Travel can now be taken to the next level of emotional contentment and satisfaction. No longer is travel a simple destination, but rather an entire experience focused around the needs and desires of the individual and their intrinsic need for self actualization in their travel choices. It is about the specific niche needs of the customer, and how they realize their travel desires through the experience of it all. Experiential travels are truly about tapping into the psyche of each individual, yet en masse based on our conjoining and intersecting desires.

We no longer need to be confined to being just a tourist, but rather a traveler. No, not in the sense of being a gypsy of old, but one who is creating an emotional experience along the way. The new traveler, the one who desires more, is one who comprehends and articulates what is important in the journey, what they want to experience, what they want to achieve on the road, and what emotional desires they will build on. We need to be open to understanding the cultural impacts and the cultural amplifications that we can experience like nothing before on our new journey. Immersing oneself into the experience, the emotions, the culture is what makes travel unique and special. This is the new journey for all of us to take, as we experience life.

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