In a world of travel bloggers, travel entrepreneurs and perennial travellers, a non-traveller with a ‘routine’ life is an amused bystander, a spectator and ‘like’er of their posts. I love to read their blogs about living life nomadic style, having the entire world to call their home and no fixed address (their digital address is probably the one constant thing in their lives). It is a great read, a window to what lies ‘out-there’, but am just a fan, a supporter and that’s that.
So now that we have cleared out where I stand, would like to share a moment of epiphany that I had just yesterday, triggering the urge to write-it-out.
Out of curiosity to learn more and to better my style of blogging, was wandering the depths of the Indian travel bloggers and hit a chord with a post that listed out the ‘Top Indian travel bloggers 2016″. It is an extensive list (seems like only I think so) with 61 top travel bloggers who write about their never-ending travel tales. The one who wrote the post has done a commendable job getting that many people to answer questions and has done justice to all the listed bloggers. I was more in awe of the sheer number of women listed. Happy reader! Scrolling down, I reach inevitably to the comments section. It should be noted that I generally don’t read them if I don’t have a strong draw to a post. But this one made me curious, so went on reading. Grave mistake! I should have lived within the bubble. I popped it and there’s no coming back.
What I read in those comments took me by total surprise and the magic spell was broken. It was a wordy rant of all the other bloggers who hadn’t been listed – asking what the criteria were and why they dint make the cut. Bloggers who were featured but were listed in between – they wanted to know if there was an order to the numbering, if not that should have been mentioned at the start of the post. Bloggers who demanded as to why their name and their blog’s wasn’t on the list – for they too had travelled ‘many’ countries. Basically everybody was imposing an idea of their own. Of course there were many who were grateful to be listed (but this post isn’t about the good ones).
It was my impression that these eclectic travellers, the “Digital Nomads” were a class apart – an earthy bunch, who by their tenacity and resilience had built a sustaining lifestyle that afforded them and their travels. I was inspired by their will to take life one day at a time, quite literally. Their stories were vibrant and effused vitality that cascaded to the readers.
Their following on social media and readership was akin to that of the movie industry. There’s a part in each of us who love to be a someone in the movie industry or at the least would be glad for an association. For me, these travellers are like that but with a twist. For all the travelling they have done, the places they have seen, the people they have interacted with and heard stories from, the foods that they have tasted, the hardships they must have had choosing to tread an unconventional path – I really believed they must have been humbled by the whole experience. Am sure, many many are, but it has made me think and question all those notions I had built in my head.
How many of them are doing this for bragging rights?
Are these people any different from the constant ‘look-at-me’ posers on FB and insta?
What if they had no one to tell their stories too, if social media cease to exist – Would they still do all these travels and adventures, as they do now?
Are they all truly enjoying the journey, the quest or are they looking at them as different paragraphs of their blog post?
Are they living in the moment or making mental notes to recall the story?
Are they contributing to those many small societies and ecosystem that they live in? If so, how?
Are they the new-age rebel-without-a-cause?
The questions are popping up like wild mushrooms. Answers anyone?
PS: Photo credits to SalaamGateway and Pinterest.