THE MYTH OF THE PERFECT JOURNEY
Ideal travel and perfect trip
Ideal travel or perfect trip? What a difference ?
The ideal trip concerns the style of travel and the destination: rather paradise beach and hotel in the sun, wild camping in the countryside, trekking in the mountains … To each his dream destinations!
The perfect trip would rather be the context of the trip, the wrapping around the destination: preparation, unfolding, atmosphere, experience … A perfect trip is a “successful” trip.
What is a perfect trip?
The notion of perfection or success in the journey is not as simple as it seems. At first glance, a successful trip would be an unhindered trip, a trip that goes as planned: no lost suitcases, no delay in flights … in short, no problem!
But is the absence of a problem really synonymous with a good trip?
Not so sure: the small glitches on the roads also often create the most intense moments, the anecdotes that we like to tell (all these times when I “almost died!”). These (miss) adventures are the spice of travel … at least according to my point of view.
This is where the notion of subjectivity comes back : as if to represent an ideal journey, a perfect journey can not be dissociated from the notion of subjectivity.
Perfections and subjectivity
My perfection will therefore not be the same as that of my neighbor: my “perfect ideal trip” (in the destinations of my dreams and with the desired course) will be unique … in all respects.
It will be clean, personal, but it will also be marked by a particular context. If I ask myself the question of my dream trip today and I’m resting in a few years, it’s a safe bet that the answer will be different. But my answer could also vary from one day to another, according to my mood, the film that I will have seen the day before, the travel stories that I will be reading …
The perfect journey is rarely a rigid image, fixed for life. Like the man who evolves, projects and dreams change … Even if sometimes returning to his old dreams is refreshing: the “old dreams” do not have expiry dates!
Perfection and positivist
Is it possible to define the perfect journey other than the negative (“no problem”)?
After reflection, I think it is possible to list some areas related to travel, as we would checklist important points to make a good holiday. Here are 10 examples of areas around the trip:
- health: feeling fit, not getting sick
- communication: to be able to exchange easily on site, with locals (and travelers)
- safety: feeling safe when walking in the streets, when taking transport …
- Conviviality: warmth and kindness of people on site , ease of contact, atmosphere …
- Beauty: beauty of places, landscapes, buildings …
- Nature: being able to have “your dose” of contact with large spaces …
- Sport: to be able to let off steam, to experiment new activities …
- Culture: visiting museums, archaeological sites , heritage …
- Wellness: relaxation, relaxation, relaxation …
- Weather: do not forget, the weather often influences the experience of the traveler and the opportunity to enjoy the trip.
All these areas can have a different degree of importance for everyone, some favoring the nature side, others the cultural one … A successful trip will be a journey where areas deemed important will carry a good level of satisfaction.
A perfect trip: a question of feeling
Beyond these areas, a successful trip will often be a trip that leaves good memories. This successful trip will make the traveler want to immerse himself in his memories and smile just thinking about it.
A simple little exercise : close your eyes, empty the room … And think of a pleasant trip, good memories abroad. What are the first images that came to your mind? Are these representative of a successful trip to your eyes? Why ? What was special about this trip compared to your other travel experiences?
Personally, when I close my eyes, I see images of landscapes that moved me , privileged contacts with animals, meetings and people with whom I established relations on the roads … Small moments of happiness pure in the four corners of the globe that reflect the areas that are important to me for a good trip.
A trip may also succeed a trip that brought something to the traveler: a journey that allowed him to evolve and grow. Travel and personal development are clearly linked in the traveler’s feeling.
And my perfect trip in all this?
After strolling along the twists and turns of my thoughts, you surely wonder:
And her perfect journey to her then, what does it look like?
My perfect trip: an imperfect trip!
As I suggested in the definition of a successful trip as a “trouble-free” trip, my perfect trip does not fit that idea. Of course, at the moment, I prefer not to miss my plane, to lose my suitcases or to find myself stuck in a bus due to landslides … But (so far!) Everything always ends well: as would say the main character of Indian Palace ,
Everything ends well at the end. And if it’s not a happy ending, it’s because it’s not the end.
Carefree? Perhaps. Confident in any case.
On the road, the better it is to get lost. When one goes astray, the projects give way to surprises and it is then, but only then that the journey begins. (Nicolas Bouvier)
A question of balance
My perfect journey is thus a journey deeply and intrinsically imperfect .
To arrive at this result a little paradoxical, there is a right balance to be found when creating the trip between preparing too VS to prepare nothing , and an attitude of letting go and opening to adopt on the spot.
This harmony is not self-evident and often requires a lot of learning, the right balance being a personal notion. But I will come back to this in a future article.
The reverse of the perfect journey: the stress of the traveler
Some people (or all) are waiting for their departure on holiday with the same impatience as the children are waiting for Christmas night: whether you leave once a year or more often, travel is sacred! But some can suddenly anticipate their journey with a significant stress load , perhaps because they leave less often or they like to have more control over things …
This trip, it’s been too long since I wait for it: it’s better to be perfect!
For them, everything must be perfect, and for this purpose, everything is prepared and cleverly orchestrated: trips, housing, activities … to create a schedule worthy of a warlord! We are here at an extreme of this continuum between “too much VS do not prepare anything” .
This quest for perfection often creates pressure for high expectations (whether these expectations are hers or those of her relatives). Paradoxically, too much wanting to achieve perfection, too willing to prepare, to set too much goal … this traveler will often lose the very essence of what he was looking for in his journey : the change of scenery, discovery, renewal, the encounter…
The letting go is a concept certainly very fashionable, but not for much easier to adopt. This is the main advice I could give these travelers: leave room for the unexpected and spontaneity, meetings and coincidences .
A good traveler should not happen, assert himself, explain himself, but be quiet, listen and understand.
A trip is not made
I often hear travelers talking about travel and the countries they have “made” . To me, as one does not “make” a country , one does not “make” a trip . In the tradition of letting go on a journey:
We do not make a trip. The journey makes us and defeats us, it invents us. (David Le Breton)
From this observation, we can say that a journey is lived more than it is done: the traveler does not create it, he does not master it. In the image of his life, which he guides the course without ever mastering it, the traveler sees each trip as so many unique experiences.
So, the perfect trip does not exist in my eyes. I like that each of my travels is unique and imperfect, I like to feel free of my choices day by day and not stuck in a predetermined program, even if I miss certain “unmissable” of the visited place.
I will end with this quote from Nicolas Bouvier:
A trip goes without reasons. He does not take long to prove that he is self-sufficient. It is believed that we will make a trip, but soon it is the journey that makes you, or defeats you. (The World Use)