Reveries on the Road – Part II

How can someone spend a day in one of the most beautiful places in the world just scrolling through their iPhone?  Is not the pull of adventure and vast wilderness enough to lift one from such tedious curiosities?  Is not a mountainous 360° view more breathtaking than that bowl of pho your Facebook friend had for lunch?  I would surely hope so.IMG_20150223_190553

I have previously mentioned my time spent in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland and of all its glorious surroundings, but there was one instance in the valley that made me question things, namely a few of the people we met there.

In our hostel room there were three young men who never left.  Well perhaps they did but whenever we would leave, come back, drop something off, or pick something up… they were always there.  What’s worse is that they were lying on their bunks, all with iPhones in hand, not talking.  I found it strange at the time, but looking back it seems rather ludicrous now.

I felt as though they were wasting the day, maybe simply unaware or unappreciative of what an amazing place they were in.  I found myself slightly judgmental and thoroughly perplexed.  There was nothing I would rather do than spend my limited time in such a foreign land exploring the mess out of it.  What can you see or learn from a place if you remain stationary long-term, and indoors no less?

On the train ride out of Lauterbrunnen, our sedentary hostel-mates crossed my mind again.  Maybe it was true that they had been out all day (or night) and needed a few rest days, or that they just happened to be back in the room every time we were, or they just didn’t like it in the valley.  Who knows?

I wondered if that was all they prefer to do at home too.  It may be part of our 20-something culture to be stuck in social media and internet feeds but, when traveling, that seems like something to avoid with fervor.

But then I got to thinking what should make a day in the valley different than any other regular day at home?  Sure, it is beautiful but who is to say that a day in Lauterbrunnen should be valued higher than a day somewhere else, say, home for example; that it should be a greater sin to waste time in the valley than time in your hometown?

I know I have personally wasted a lot of time waiting to go to work, being tired afterwards, sleeping in too late or watching television, etc.  But to think that I could’ve been out and about, thoroughly enjoying the place I was in (even if it was just at home) is something of a regret.

I have since come to realize that a day is a day no matter where you are, and that none of them should go to waste.  Travelling has opened my eyes to the vastness and differences that make up our world; how there is an impossible amount of things to see and learn and do; but also how you can get a fairly surprising amount done in just one day.  Most importantly, it has made me realize even further just how important and valuable the people in your life are and how the time we have here with them should never be taken for granted.

It’s funny how much you can learn about life and yourself just from wandering around and thinking about things.  I certainly would not have come to such a conclusion lying around with my phone all day.

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4 responses to “Reveries on the Road – Part II

  1. Great write up! I came across many of the same people while backpacking through Europe a few years ago. I stayed in a hostel in Interlaken while visiting Murren and Lauterbrunnen, and one guy never left the hostel lobby! He was there in the morning when I left and at night when I returned. I asked him what he had done that day, and he said he had “already seen everything the day before”. Some people travel because others do, or because they think they need to at their certain age. Others travel because they have to, it’s a part of the DNA. The desire to get out and explore each day. It’s usually pretty easy to separate the two once you’ve been on the road long enough!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Haha “already seen everything.” That’s rediculous to the point of hilarity. I agree people travel for different reasons, though I hadn’t really considered that some might do it for others or because they feel they should. Sounds sort of like a “get it out if your system” type of thing which is a bummer. I think exploring and learning should always be part of the DNA. Thanks for the response!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In the old days, judgmental was not a fault. It was the use of intelligence. Similarly, discrimination was not wrong, it too was the use of intelligence. Profiling was not wrong, it was the use of intelligence.
    For example, I stick my nose in a flower to enjoy the fragrance and a bee stings me on my nose. You can be sure that I will run a profile check on the next flower I would like to smell.
    We each have our life experience and we must conclude: good or bad, safe or dangerous–if we do not use our intelligence to conclude, then we will be shortly without food, without shelter.
    The tethered generation you saw in Lauterbrunnen. Tethered to somewhere else. I think it is the new ‘cultural imperialism’. But hey, what do I know–just making conversation–I’d rather be walking in Lauterbrunnen. My two cents, 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting points and I appreciate the two cents! I think, related to the cultural imperialism you mentioned, that there is also an unfortunately large cultural disconnect. The fact that we have the ability to stay connected at all times regardless of location makes for a much slimmer chance of really connecting with moment, thus the disconnect. It’s arguably a loss of reality as well.

      Liked by 1 person

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