Why We Should Not Compare Everything When Travelling?June 1, 2017
What is your best trip so far, what is your hottest adventure? What your absolute favorite place on this world? Such questions are very frequent to me as one who is constantly on the road to the world. To be honest, I always had an answer right now. But I realized that we should not ask ourselves these questions.
Why? Because we have something broken with every answer. With these questions, we begin to compare experiences with each other. Experiences that we should not compare with each other and actually cannot compare with each other.
Why we should not always compare everything with each other when travelling (and also in life)?
Courtesy of Pixabay
We like to compare everything
We humans tend to compare everything with each other; cameras, books, universities, cities, countries, people and even love. I’m always caught thinking “it’s almost as beautiful as in Cape Town” or “The car is much cooler than the other” or “He’s so much nicer than yesterday’s guy”.
We do this to divide the world, to bring order into chaos. We have learned to see and compare the world in comparisons. Sometimes this also makes sense, especially when it comes to objects and their functionality, or if they are actually measurable values like the height of two mountains or the price average of a country.
Of course, the characteristics and dimensions of a backpack can be measured and compared with that of others. But in the end it does not count whether the figures are the lightest and most functional on the market. In the end, it counts whether he suits you, whether he is comfortable to wear for you, whether you find him comfortable. The same is true for cameras: the one finds the operation of the camera easy, the other much too complex. In the case of many items, the personal experience is also ultimately cumulative and difficult to compare.
What about the countries? Of course, it can be said that the beaches in South Africa are much whiter than those in Costa Rica, or the blue of the glacier lakes in Canada is much more impressive than that of the mountain lakes in the Alps, and that is not quite true. For each of us perceives colours differently: for some, they are more intense than for the other, for the one it is a turquoise blue, for the other a light blue. Again, it is again a matter of subjective perception.
Every experience is different
Every journey, every adventure is an experience, and experiences always have something to do with emotions. Everyone feels different, thinks differently and perceives the world around him differently. For me it is exactly what makes the world, what makes us humans: our difference.
Just as we humans, every country is different. Countries, therefore, cannot be compared, except for, of course, in their numbers such as the area, the length of the coast or the population. But the culture of a country cannot be compared with that of another country, and the less can be compared with how we perceive it.
When travelling, we experience a lot of new things, often have to cross our borders and get to know each other better. Each journey is thus also a small self-discovery trip, which brings us closer to ourselves. Sometimes this can be a wonderful experience, but sometimes it is associated with many fears and unpleasant insights.
What is going on during a journey inside you is a whole new process every time? Because with each journey you change yourself and thus also changes your perception; your perception of what you experience, and of yourself.
Everyone is different
If you were to ask your friend who travelled together with you how he/she felt about the trip, you friend will surely tell you something quite different. Therefore, it makes even less sense to compare your own experiences with those of others.
For example, for some, it has always been a dream to go on a walking safari in the middle of Africa’s wilderness and fall asleep with the roar of the lions, and the other is the nightmare.
Just as you can compare your own experiences with each other, you cannot compare your experiences with those of others. Or better: You should not compare your experiences.
The dangerous of comparing
Because the dangerous thing about comparing is that they make more damage than helping them. By starting to compare, we automatically start to evaluate our experiences. Suddenly, the road trip through Canada was much more beautiful than that of Western USA. Does that mean that the time in West USA was bad? Actually not, but through such statements we make them badly afterwards.
That is the problem: we make experiences worse, they demote formally. We forget what we have really experienced. Forget how great a trip was, how good the country really pleased us and what we have experienced genius.
It must always be better, nicer
Our eternal comparison leads us to contrast each country, every precious and yet unique experience of another. Thus, each trip is always in competition with an already experienced and at the same time with everyone who is still waiting for us in the future.
We want more: It must be even more beautiful, even better. The next hike will bring us even more to our limits; the next beach will be even more beautiful, the next view even more breathtaking. But at some point comes the point, where it does not go any further. Where there is no even more beautiful beach, where we have no more views and no more hike.
Because at some point there is no increase, at some point we have reached the superlative – and then? What if we have already seen the most beautiful adventure already seen the most beautiful beach? What really impresses us? What and especially how do we experience our travels?
We do not live at the moment, but rather reminiscing
The answer is simple and at the same time frightening: we cannot really enjoy our experience. We no longer live in the here and now, but revel in memories. We constantly compare our experiences with those we have already done. We no longer take things as true as they really are.
Constant comparison makes us negative. We do not really travel anymore, we stop experiencing, stop living. We are no longer really satisfied and look in vain for our happiness. It is right in front of us, at every moment, every second we live.
Compare less, live more!
For me, one thing is certain: I do not want to compare, I want to live. I would like to experience moments, travels, countries, adventures and all my experiences in life as they are and not compare them with other experiences. Because these comparisons lead to nothing – on the contrary, they destroy everything.
To compare countries and travel is unfair, just as it is unfair to compare people with each other. For all these are experiences, personal experiences, which only we experience and perceive as they are: emotions, feelings, happiness and frustration. And these emotions also feel different for each one of us and cannot be compared.
From now on, I would not like to answer these questions. For me there is no more beautiful country, no great experience, because I do not want to compare any more. I want to experience, I want to live. And from now on I will take every country, every experience as it is.
If someone has an answer, then my favourite place is the world and my crassest adventure is life.
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