What You Bring to Your Travel
Rainbows' existence depends on the conical photoreceptors in your eyes. To animals without this, the rainbow does not exist. But, you and I, can bring so much to our travel. The much includes our previous travels, our own unique experiences, our world view, our culture, our education, and just the things that make us who we are. So you just don't look at the rainbow, you recreate it.
This is really the theme of a more meaningful travel. Everybody looks at the same thing but what you see depends on what you bring to the place.
As an example, I did my homework on Ephesus when we planned to travel to Turkey and so, we saw the home of Mary, the mother of Jesus, St. Paul preaching in the Roman theatre, St. John the Apostle with Mary walking the streets and supporting the early Christian communities.
At the main street of Ephesus, I imagined Cleopatra walking in the main street passing by the magnificent houses of the rich. I saw Romans and ancient Greeks trudging among what was their city at different times converging at certain moments in the public bath after their slaves have warmed the seats. Moreover, there were English imperialists building railways to access the great marbles and scuttling off with them back to England.
My husband and I are history majors so we have a substantial knowledge of the history that took place here. But if you're not, get a guide. A very knowledgeable guide can stretch your imagination. Once in Luxor, the guide got us reading some of the hieroglyphics and recognizing many of them before we left the place. If we have not prepared, we would just have seen a jumble of old ruins, broken stones and shuffling tourists.
Another experience was in South Africa. How much more South Africa meant to us when we steeped ourselves in in the process. As we roam Capetown, we did it with the Boers as we read their tale in Michener's, The Covenant. We read a vibrant tale of people living what is now history.
Planning our trip to Penang, I just finished Amitav Ghosh with interesting characters set in the sub-continent and I look forward to see traces of what Malaya was then. We even booked ourselves in the Eastern and Oriental Hotel established in 1885 by the Sarkies Brothers. Maybe, our memory can go back to the time when Rudyard Kipling stayed there.
There are so many perspectives to a place, a person, a picture, an art, and history that we use to give more meaning to what we enjoy best in our travel. Your travel is only limited by your imagination. Let your imagination soar to varying heights.