Hold Tight to Your Spirit of Independence
To get out of your comfort zone, to leave the warmth of hearth and home and to travel to the far
corners of the big, wide world can be slightly daunting to most people. There is a feeling of excitement, a keen quickening of the senses and an air of excitement that can barely be contained.
The keen feeling tends to last right through your journey and also tends to keep your senses in a heightened state of flux and excitement. This is usually a good sign and an enjoyable health bonus that an individual unfailingly receives from the experience of travel. It means that new neural pathways are being created in the brain in preparation for all the new experiences and mental stimulation that would need to be stored in your mind.
However, this also tends to bring on a little feeling of timidity due to changed circumstances and unfamiliar surroundings. It is this timidity that tends to open up the traveler for exploitation in many countries of the world. This is the negative side of the travel experience.
This is the aspect of travel that I shall be dealing with in this article.
As a tourism professional promoting both, International Travel
from India for Indian Nationals and tour packages to India
for overseas visitors to India, I have had ample opportunity to observe different levels of timidity in travelers from various countries around the world. I have also observed the different unhappy situations of psychological attack and brow-beating that this emotion can attract to an individual.
As humans, we may have evolved a fair way up the order of creation. However, exploitation is one animalistic tendency that we haven’t left very far behind on our evolutionary path.
You are likely to bump into really grumpy and nasty immigration officials and passport control personnel. If the man at the other end of the counter senses your nervousness and timidity a little strongly, it is likely that he will immediately go into sadism-mode and turn a simple, everyday procedure into absolute torture.
See what I mean? There were other travelers at other counters being waved through breezily by cheerful-looking officers. But you had to bump into that one, mean-looking guy. And he’s really warming up to the grilling he’s putting you through. But the fact is that he has to let you go through. You’re neither a terrorist nor a high-profile international criminal with a red-corner alert out for you. You’re just nervous. But that’s the point: you don’t need to be nervous. You just need to sit back and enjoy your holiday.
Then again, you’re on a guided tour, your bus makes a scheduled stop at some monument. You’re enjoying the guide’s commentary and the excitement of photographing one of the most impressive historical monuments in the world. Then you suddenly realize that you are being given a real hard sell by the local, hot-shot curio salesman. His persistence succeeds in getting you into one of his favorite carpet shops or some such, much against your better judgement. There you meet up with his older brother, an even more insistent and persistent individual who has already got you cut and dried and nailed to the fence, in his mind. By the time he lets you off, you soon find yourself more than a few quid lighter in pocket and lugging around a rather monstrous and unnecessary package that you have no place for, by the time you reach home.
It’s a wonderful feeling, when you are actually in the mood for shopping and you are overjoyed to pick up a prize that you have been searching for, for a long time. But I have seen more than a few travelers that ended up buying stuff they were not interested in because they were too just timid to say no.
The point that I am trying to make here is that you really don’t need to let someone push you around just because you are a visitor to their country. You are more than ten times likely to bump into obnoxious individuals and rather shady characters when you travel than if you had stayed home. It could be Hong Kong
, New York, London or New Delhi
. There is no nationality for rudeness or exploitation.
It’s you who has to make up your mind before you leave home that you are going to enjoy your holiday and that you are going to retain your freedom of choice by being calm and in control of the situation where ever you go. And that you will allow no one to come between you and an enjoyable holiday.
A simple decision is all that it takes to ensure that you enjoy your holiday, no matter where in the world you decide to travel.