So, we all are travelers. And we love packing our bags and setting off on new adventures. But there is something, that kind of struck us about this whole “packing our bags and setting off” business – does one even “travel to” the heart of pizza, in the by-lanes of Florence? Is it possible to “explore” the depth of Opera in Vienna? Does a “visit” to the Taj do it any justice? Or for that matter, does it do us or our packed bags any justice? It struck us that clearly, it is time to #ChangeTheVerb. It is time to explore the power of a four letter word – FEEL. Stop for a moment. And think about it. If we as a race simply replaced some of our verbs, we could indeed make this planet great again.
Here’s a list of 5 verbs that we could replace with FEEL. And the difference that might well make.
Now, what kind of an action is that? What do we do when we “visit’? We skim the surface. We don’t really care – because, I mean, it’s just a visit, it’s not like we are at home, and we have a responsibility, and we need to pick up after ourselves and leave the room clean or Mom will yell. Also, it’s for a short while, it’s a transaction, it’s a little break from our own lives. A visit is so impersonal that it is really no surprise that we get little more than pictures for social media out of it. A “visit” to the Buckingham Palace is a picture outside closed gates. A “feel” of Buckingham Palace, on the other hand – now that would be history, food, theatre, festivity, grandeur. Feeling the difference already?
Impermanence. And while the Orientalists in us love the profound wisdom of change being the only constant, there is a little something that is missing in this verb too. What are the most common mental images that we conjure up when we use the verb “to travel”? We asked this question to a selection of random people (you should too) and the answers were filled with insights for us – suitcases, long queues, delayed flights, hassled passengers… how did this happen? Are we focusing on the wrong things? Or is it simply time to #ChangeTheVerb?
3. Go to
Ah. That’s the big one. We’re “going to” Sydney, Jaipur, London. Whatever. And that’s it. Going to. Once again, it’s our language that is shaping our reality. The entire message to our bodies from our brains because of one simple verb is that we are moving from place A to place B. End of story. No anticipation of what to expect, what to enjoy, how to make place B a part of one’s being… But wait, that’s what “feel” does. And that’s why we need to change to “feel”. Because what’s the point of “going to” Sydney if you don’t get to “feel” the Aussie magic?
Now isn’t that the most official sounding verb? Images of the weary, disillusioned business traveler sitting disinterestedly at airports without ever having felt the pulse of the place she is touring to or from – that’s an almost scary but unfortunately accurate description of people who go on tours. Even of the ubiquitous “tourists”. They’ll stick to a plan, they’ll tick all boxes, they’ll take all the pictures, and head back home not having felt a thing. Let’s not do that anymore, shall we? Now that we have a choice. Why tour the Caribbean when you can “feel” the calypso!
We like it. We really do. Especially when we are being all philosophical. Life is a journey, and the journey is the destination and all that Zen stuff. But then we snap out of Buddha mode and say, “Sure, life is a river, but we’d like to immerse ourselves in the waters some time!” And that’s what “feel” offers us that “journey” doesn’t – an immersive experience, a portal to a changed, richer version of our selves.
A whole new world of possibilities has opened up to us now, and all it needed was for us to #ChangeTheVerb.
Get set to #DoYourOwnThing, #FeelYourWay to traveling like never before. See you soon at https://www.feelaplace.com