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Friday, October 2, 2009

Tourist-ing your way up

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If you have choice, which you probably wouldn’t in most cases, you should tourist your way up rather than down or in random order. So when next time you are looking for a place to visit for pleasure, try one which is incrementally ‘better’ than all the places you’ve seen so far. When I see ‘better’, I mean better in sense of novelty in things to see or do which are likely to bring you joy.

Idea is based on simple reason that pleasure we obtain from marginal novelty will sustain itself only if novelty sustains. Visiting a place which is drastically ‘better’ once will kill all the fun you might have had in future from visiting a place which is only marginally ‘better’. For instance, if you are coming from small village and first city you visit is New Delhi or Bombay then you will surely be ecstatic during your visit but will find visiting small towns or cities dull and uninviting for rest of your life, which are the cities you will probably end up visiting more often. On the contrary, if your first visit is to a small town, your visit will be exciting from the novelty. If your next visit is to a city, you will find something more new. When you visit New Delhi then again you may find something to please you.

This experience has been shared by many and I too have been victim of having to tourist my way down. Having enjoyed thrilling rides of Six Flags in United States, small scale rides in Indian cities don’t interest me anymore, even when I used to be overjoyed earlier. Universal Studio Hollywood killed my pleasure from Ramoji Film City Hyderabad, which, by the way, is an excellent theme park. Experience of New York itself reduced my interest in London manifold. Having seen Port Blair, no other beach pleases my parents anymore. Visit to hill stations fail to invite a family friend having been to greenery of Shimla. Baha’i and Akshardham Temples in New Delhi have muffled any excitement to see any other monument. You can easily recount many examples yourself.

And if you have choice, which you probably would in most cases, try finding a partner for your trip. My fun from travelling alone is one-tenth of travelling with any companion. Of course, there are backpackers and lone travellers who like to travel alone, so it’s personal call.