Why We Travel


MATTA. Korea. Ebru.

There was always this question lingering in my mind for quite some time now. Why do we travel? If true the idiom “Hujan emas di negara orang, hujan batu di negara sendiri, lebih baik negara sendiri”, why travel? Why spend loads of money, time and energy visiting a foreign land with no ties, no bonds with you and exert distance between you and your family, your land, your heritage? Unless you are like this guy, you’ll spend plenty of valueble stuff as per said just now.

(Guy mentioned is Fidel Hart. Not that I know him personally. Its just that he traveled the world by becoming a soldier. Who would’ve thought of that? At least I wouldn’t. And his posts are awesome. So if you like travelling or just like reading travel blogs, head to his site.)

So today I went to MATTA Fair. Held from 16th to 18th of March at PWTC, KL, its one of the country’s biggest travel fair. And this one held in KL is sure the biggest of its series of fairs across Malaysia (they do one in every state or something like that. Details, pfft!). Its not like I wanted to travel anywhere or was interested in the fair. No. Not at all. Just went there following my aunt when she said ‘hey, lets go to that fair, I wanted to get a good deal to Korea’ (and I was like oh….. another K-fever fan) early this morning. So, instead of lazying my ass at her house (or mine if I were to go straight back home just now), I thought, why not? Its not like I have anything better to do, right?

So off we went, get caught in the traffic, and immerse ourselves in the crowd. And I shit you not. It was such a crowd!

Crowd Pic #1: This is in Hall 2
Crowd Pic #2: Scandinavia, anyone?
Crowd Pic #3: Leaflet girl promoting Muslim tours

The moment we stepped into the centre, Aunt was all over the place in search of a good Korea travel deal, and I drifted apart, sight seeing the booths (and of course babes. Sorry to mention that ,  but I’m a straight guy too, hehe), taking all the leaflets and brocures handed out and shove it into the bag given at the gate after a single glance (not really reading, although its not tl;dr matter). In essence, doing nothing really. Then, the matter of question dawned unto me; Why do we travel? In search of the answer, I ‘travelled’ the sea of people, only to find myself stopping in front on a Turkey booth.

They did this exhibition of their traditional caligraphy thingy called Ebru. The artist fills a rectangular case with water mixed with sea moss and does his drawings by sprinkling and dotting down paint, pulling and pushing it with a thin awl-like lead, and then lays a sheet of paper, lets the paint settle, then just pulls the paper out of the case. Oh, how I hate words in these circumstances. Let the pics and vids explain lah, hehe

Ebru Pic #1: Start!
Ebru Pic #2: Halfway through
Ebru Pic #3: Almost there...
Ebru Pic #4: Done! Now all that's left is to leave it to dry.

(and I shit you not. It was 100% done by pulling and pushing paint on the jelly-like substance.)

This is a vid purely from youtube demonstrating what Ebru is (since I didn’t took any footage myself just now. hehe).

So, what’s some art from a foreign land got to do with matter in question?

At the end of the demonstration, a ‘ting!’ came to mind. It was like one of those Eureka moments some mad scientist usually have when they’re up against a wall to their problems.

The purpose of travel, to me, at least to me, is more fundamental than I thought it to be. The purpose of travelling far and wide is to realize what’s close and near to you; your heart, your heritage, where you hail from, and to rediscover your identity. True when Henry Miller said that, and I quote “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” Even truer (if that’s a valid word) when Lin Yutang said, and I quote, again, “No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” All those quotes of travel and 50 of these are somewhat true, yet the ones I think will ring a bell in most of us is that ‘to travel is to discover something about yourself, not others’. And why is that. it is because we humans are greedy beings, and the thing that we can’t ever get enough of is recognition, be it by yourself or by others. What travel made us do is to compare what we had and what we experience at the time being. In most of the case, how does it feel doing something at your own place and how it feels doing the same thing e.g. dining, having fun, relaxing at other places you are not familiar with. Don’t tell me you’ve never had a moment where you thought ‘oh, back home we used to do things like this and like that’ when you travel, you’re just bluffing yourself if you say you haven’t at all.

In essence, we are all travelers, only the domain we traverse trough may differ. Some go through a lot of thinking, others a lot of places, while the rest clicked their way through the sea of www’s called the internet. Some may even traverse the heart in order to search. Yes! The keyword of travelling is ‘to search’. Be it by plane, foot, books or even google. We all want to know more about ourselves, to recognize ourselves, and to do so is to see things from a different light. .

Like how Ebru enlightened an answer to my matter of inquiry.

What matters the most in our travels is to stick as a traveler, not a tourist, ’cause tourists can never remember where they’ve been’, hehe.

….End of Chit-Chat #19….

p/s: Every other content in every link is property of their respective owners. Thank yous to all of you that made the net a fun place to travel, hehe

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Why We Travel

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