It’s About the Destination, Not the Journey
It’s about the journey, not the destination.
This is one of the lines uttered famously by eyelash fluttering ladies and old men with lined faces and weathered hats. It sounds nice. It takes on a fabulously philosophical meaning when applied to life. But when taken literally it is absolutely wrong.
The reality of travelling is that it’s all about the destination. Because the journey sucks.
Take off those rose colored glasses for a moment and tell me, do you honestly enjoy travelling? I mean the “ing” part of travelling – the hot buses, delayed flights and cramped train compartments that smell like the bathroom on the other side of the wall.
It’s ok, though, because the destination outweighs the journey. That means you choose the cheapest means of getting to a great travel spot. The allure of climbing new mountains, eating new foods and struggling to communicate in new languages pushes you into and onto tiny boats, rickety carts and planes piloted by what may be epileptic children. You red eye it in without (too much) complaint in order to stretch your bucks further while you’re in Belize. You sleep in gray bus stations with your backpack for a pillow (that inevitably has your toothbrush positioned to poke you in the head all night). You share seats with oversize bags, oversize people and the occasional chicken all in the name of “getting there.” “There” is the operative word. “Getting” is in its way.
Maybe getting there is half the fun for you. Maybe you are one of those lucky few who nap peacefully in your business class world of wonder. Maybe you are part of the smiling family that graces the covers of trans-American train brochures. Maybe the buses you ride are temperature controlled and let you choose your own movie. If so, well done. You are in the travelling elite. You are among the lucky few that associate plane rides with champagne instead of screaming babies. We would all love to join your ranks when our bank accounts allow.
But for now many of us are stranded in the purgatory of budget airlines and windy bus routes that take five hours to cover ten miles. Still we count ourselves lucky to be travellers.
The journey may be an obstacle, but the destination makes it worthwhile.
What is your craziest journey story?