Travellers from other nations give us an opportunity to treat them, our guests, with honour and kindness. Athithi Devo Bhavo is after all a famous expression of the Indian attitude to outsiders.
As we celebrate World Tourism day on September 27, we recall Ibn Battuta, one of the greatest travellers as he writes, “Travel leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” Travel enhances one’s personality and improves the capacity to understand others and adjust to varied cultures. Whereas tourism impacts social, cultural and economic values worldwide.
Travel makes you humble, when you see what a tiny spot you occupy in the world. Your mind becomes broad, generous and wholesome. Travel opens you to change and growth. As Andre Gide once said, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” On one’s death bed, usually people are much more disappointed by what they did not do than what they did. Travel is the only thing you can do that will surely make you richer. When you lose sight of your home and country, you then begin to understand it better and love it more. What about the accidents, the mishaps you may ask? Stop worrying about the potholes in the road, enjoy the trip, embrace the unfamiliar scenery and even revel in the fact that everything is a surprise and nothing can be taken for granted. There is no excuse for life to be monotonous or boring. You have an opportunity to travel and make it exciting and adventurous.
With the advent of digital media you can measure your travels not just by miles but by the friends you make and keep. So plan your travels now. Travel light, travel with an open mind, travel to experience change and transformation within yourself.
Dr Rekha Shetty is the author of Everyday Happiness Mantras