Paths less traveled

Let's say, you like to travel and you picked Italy as next travel destination.

Following is a note of how it typically goes for most travellers.

You find Italy a good travel destination. You want to visit it. You add it to your bucket list.

Or your favourite influencer posted pictures standing in front of the Pantheon. You add it to your bucket list.

Or you watched Gladiator, you discovered Colosseum, Rome and Italy. You want to explore the place.

Or you played Assassin's Creed, you liked Ezio Auditore, you discovered Florence. You discover Italy.

Or you find Venice unique and add it to your checklist because why not.

The inspiration of why you want to visit a place, sometimes dictates on how you visit it and what you get out of it.

Most people, when it comes to actually visiting a country do it under tight circumstances just to write it off the bucket list. They forget the original inspiration and why they were moved in the first place. In many cases, there is no real and authentic inspiration other than to just visit the place because every "well travelled" person has done it.

How it usually goes is you go to the Google and find top tourist places in the country, plan an itinerary around that and off you go. You repeat the story of thousands of tourists who went to Italy. Do the exact same routine and still try to stay fascinated.

Sometimes, it's disappointing because the sites you want to visit were overhyped or are so occluded by hundreds of tourists that you can't even "see" it. You still fake the fascination and carry on. You checkmark Italy from the bucket list and next time when someone talks about Rome you don't have a FOMO. You feel great and adventurous having visited the places which every other traveller on the earth has already done.

I would like to travel too but travel for the sake of it makes little sense to me.

Recently, I got an inspiration to visit Italy.

Here is a small account of how it works for me. It struck me while I was driving in Lahore and discovered a song called "Love in Portofino" (thanks to Spotify). I told my wife, "We will go to Portofino on a rented car and we will listen to this song while driving around in the streets of Portofino." She googled a bit and we found that it's a small fishing village in Italy.

Someday we will do it. That's the kind of stories I want to live. Paths less travelled. Many people might have been to Portofino but not with this story. Stories so unique that you pat on your back for having created them. So unique that when you tell these stories, the aesthetes admire them. The ordinaries keep asking if you took that picture against the Pisa tower.

It's one of the reasons, I never read the Alchemist.

Art is abundant and scarce at the same time. Abundant that it is everywhere. It manifests for the keen wherever they want it. It's scarce because it's so unique and personal that it can't be cloned.

We need more aesthetes. People who appreciate beauty not because everyone else is appreciating that. But because they see something special out of ordinary. Art makes life magical and full of wonder.

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