Tranquility of Responsible Tourism

by Kenneth Rayman on February 14, 2018


When I watch this movie, I’m reminded of a simpler time but only in thought because of the trap of nostalgic thinking. I’m reminded instead of the simpler concept of finding peace in yourself and surroundings and/or becoming open to something that awakens you. If you’ve seen this movie, you know how Tom’s character was healed internally through the inner peace he found through someone he was hired to kill.

This ending monologue reminds me of what I do with my writing and travel ideas. I follow numerous travel accounts on Instagram and they remind me of the words of Gary Vaynerchuk on the Creator Lab podcast, “It’s a highlight reel.” I see the beautiful scenery, the sandy beaches, the attractive people and I wonder what they do to make money between photos. Some don’t post a product shoutout or a “click here to learn…” link but yet the highlight reel makes it look like they’re on permanent vacation. Somethings not right and it may perpetuate the “I’ll travel, have fun, and get paid” myth if “you have enough followers.”

To me though, its different. I write on travel and want to travel because I want to educate and show the off beaten path of the tourist-y sights, tell the story of the day to day life, escape politics, and enhance and foster an understanding. But that’s not flashy, sexy, or going to gain me followers at breaknet speed; what it will do is showcase creativity, the reality of life beyond the television screen and it’s travel shows and help others to travel with a vision instead of glitz and glamour.

Traveling to Norway, Russia, and by extension the Netherlands and Finland (the latter two very short experiences yet exposing me to the culture) echoed, with me, what the monologue said at the end, “I like to think he may’ve, at last, found some small measure of peace that we all seek and few of us ever find.” I had so many people worried about politics with my trip to Russia and, both times, I felt as I’ve said many times, “at home” and at peace; those worries, of others, of politics never entered my mind or came up with the locals. In Norway, the feeling of peace was tenfold and I can not adequately describe the feeling I had there. I can tell you, but to understand you’d have to experience it.

When I think of the .001% of bad in my life and the world, I remind myself that I strangely, like Tom, found my peace in a far off land and culture that enveloped and consumed me. I’ve wrote and spoke, ad nauseam, about Galina in St. Petersburg and introduced Andrei, Anna, and Gayena in my last major post and, while they were in the service industry and made to ensure guest happiness, the interactions I had with them were not just copy and paste, rinse and repeat with the next guest. The cultures of Norway and Russia made me feel complete and I want that feeling again and for others as well. I want to further an experience that can bring inner peace and inspire people to live life and not wish and hope for that “one day when…”
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