I am ashamed of this painting even though it is part of my collection and this is for two reasons. Firstly, it’s because I didn’t use much inspiration to paint it. I just thought of it and painted it. I am not quite sure this kind of flower exists. Secondly, I am extremely far from what you call an artist but I really love, love, love art! I must admit that though the result of this painting is something I am ashamed of, the actual process was really so soothing that it is the reason I have treasured this piece.
Every time I look at it, I always remember a quote by Greg Anderson that goes like, “Focus on the journey not the destination, joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” Very wise words from Greg that I wanna use to air out my views on why we travel to countries as opposed to what our motives are in how many counties we should travel to for the sake of keeping count.
In this day and age, travellers want to be known for so many countries they have been to but as a traveller who has done few countries many times, my question has been why one would pride in number of countries even if they just spent a night in that country.
Where am I going with this? The thing is this one time my week at work was so hectic and life of a teacher can be that way at times.I felt my mind protest that it just ground to a halt and I set off to a place I usually called my chill spot. This place is called Glamville and offers a variety of services ranging from spa to scrumptious food.
This one time I decided to do the ‘Paint and Sip’ treat from the same place. I was given a blank canvas and then remembered I had a mini obsession for black and white paintings.
Since my mind was tired, I looked at the canvas and figured what could be more refreshing than a plant.
Coming back to travel lovers, this idea of a plant could just be your passion to travel 9 countries in 9 years so you could pick the ones you fancy and go there often. That’s my desire. But what is out there about travel can dilute what the purpose for travel should really be. I do understand I have met travellers who are moving from one country to another ( let’s say a month, a country) simply because they saved up and no competition here. But there are those that probably want this for the record. How annoying.
It would be nice to appreciate the journey like the phrase used earlier that was coined by Greg. I continued with my painting and I liked how the process felt…. soothing.
It was so relaxing to do this with some soothing music in the background while sipping on some cocktail and enjoying some bites. I am not even an amateur painter, I am just not one in the first place but because of the feeling I got from the process, I focused more on the journey and how the mounting stress of that week was slowly fading away as I was finishing off my piece.
Travel should do that to us. Those that are actually diluting it to be a ‘sport’ in which they are crowned for the 99 countries they did in 9 months are ruining the fact that travel is sometimes therapy and can be seen as a way to appreciate where we go. You may sometimes not even like the country you visit but see a reason to enjoy that flight, get lost in the nature you see as you are many feet away from the ground level! Enjoy connection with the locals (of course with caution). How can you do all this when you have to do 99 countries in 9 months? (Unless of course with a whole different reason)
I must say I had company when I was coming up with this painting and these two ladies were such awesome painters like seriously I have never seen someone paint the Taj Mahal and another a very beautiful sunset like pros! If you ask me, I stuck out like a sore thumb! Clearly I was way outside their league! But guess what? I really didn’t bother about it because to me this treat was slowly diluting the stress that was piling up from work that week.
Thumbs up to that traveller that is genuinely doing it to enjoy the journey and not for trophies. It should not be a sport. Maybe if I am filthy rich my sentiments may change because I may do 99 countries in 9 months but I highly doubt I am interested in trophies. I am pretty sure the travellers that brag about numbers even include layovers lol! if your motives are different, this is not for you. I will gladly return to that place that I loved more than 5 times like I did in Zimbabwe, Southern Zambia, Tanzania, Zanzibar and South Africa just because I loved them.
I mentioned earlier that I love making black and white painting collections. I am just that way. I should have ended my painting at just this point until I heard someone suggest I add color to it if I liked.
I listened to them and it’s at this point that I disliked the painting! The moment you start comparing yourself to other travellers and their trophies, you will miss the point travel was intended for. I was once inspired so much by this British traveller I met that has been traveling almost the whole post COVID period and are still at it. They saved up and decided to do the Cape to Cairo (Africa) travel and they have spent at least a month in a country and as I speak they are heading north! This traveller was not living in luxury though they could afford to. They chose to do hostels and use road transport and crossed land borders. They were not picky with meals and ate local affordable meals. My confession is I can’t do that, but I saw the real purpose for travel through them. When I asked whether they are writing about their experience, they said it wasn’t even their thing to write! That part, I did not like! I even offered to write their story, lol! I learnt that not all travellers are out there to get a badge of honor.
I am not out here to get anyone but the real purpose of travel has changed so much because some have even been rated expert because of numbers and it is inspiring to some extent but it is not the main reason for travel. Just like Greg advised to enjoy the journey, do enjoy yourself and for the 99 countries in 9 months, if you can actually enjoy the journey at that speed, then by all means enjoy the journey and quit reducing travel to be a sport.