Let’s imagine a scenario. The entire infrastructure that the society is built upon falls to ashes. There is no economy, no jobs, and no familiar people. It’s just you wandering around in a world with very little of organization, with very little of schedule. No alarm clocks to wake you up and no maps to tell you the directions. You have to travel alone.
It would be difficult, wouldn’t it?
Now imagine the same situation without any compulsion. Only this time you have a choice. No job, no alarm clocks, no familiar people or places but only if you chose it You can explore new places and discover new stories. . You have a choice to either stay in the same job or break the mundane continuity of your life. You have a choice to travel.
Now what will you chose?
Inception of the Travel Culture
A Survey by Expedia, an American travel company presented us with some alarming information about the current travel culture of India. It seems like the working class is isolated from the culture of choice. In the wake of the capitalist boom the working class struggles to take a break. The insecurity behind their congested schedule is quietly visible. The Indian working class is deprived not just of vacation but of an excitement to experience adventure. See, culture is directly proportionate to the community’s need of it but what if the community doesn’t understand that experience. And how will the community understand that experience when it doesn’t have enough time?
Vacations are at times Boring but Travel isn’t.
Vacations have a restricted environment. You have a package. You know what places you will see, which hotel you will book, which markets you will visit and which flight you will take. Travelling on the other hand has an impromptu nature. You travel because you want to explore not just because you need a change of scenery. When you travel you meet new people, find new experiences and always end up altering your personality. Travel transforms you, vacation just relaxes you.
Vacations are like a snooze button.
Vacationers at times are control freaks. If they want to spend 24 minutes in the Kovalam beach, they cannot spend 2 extra minutes because it affects their plan to visit the next temple and get back to their jobs and commitments asap. While travelers, leave their commitments behind to experience something new. They only occasionally remind themselves of a life post their expedition. But their journey is all about the present. Its about Now. What am I experiencing? What is the language these guys are speaking? Why do these people think the way they do? How is this place culturally different from my hometown?
Where Hostels Come in?
Hostels are the latest propagators of travel. They present the deprived class to an experience, a vacation will never provide. They constantly aim at making space for this deprived class to explore a unique authentic travel experience. Comfort is secondary for a hostel but a community is the most essential offering they provide. With engaging activities, exploitative walks and a hub for travelers to assemble at, hostels around India are doing a great job to transform the deprived vacations to celebrating travel!
So, What now?
The Indian working class needs to switch of their hectic lives and travel. The greatest travelers were the greatest explorers. Al-Biruni, Ibn-Batuta, Francois Bernier, Marco polo, they all traveled with great struggle. They created a culture around the world of travel. Imagine Al-Biruni taking an IT job and never travelling to any other region than his office, his home, a 3 day vacation maybe? Travel is essential for a society. The fact that we are deprived of even taking a vacation makes the situation more alarming.
It means that our insecurity has made it difficult for us to take on an adventure. But we must.
Eventually, it’s about the choice you had to make in the beginning. You chose your job or plan an exit. Don’t just go on a vacation; Experience Travel.
So when the entire infrastructure falls to ashes, you will be prepared; to travel.