The other day I heard someone say '...because travel expands horizons'. And I desperately wanted to ask 'really?'. I would've liked to know how travelling economy class, staying in budget hotels, complaining about local food/mosquitoes/toilets and having your photo clicked in front of the Eiffel Tower contributes to widening of perspective. The previous sentence is not to suggest that if you travelled business and stayed at star hotels you'd be any wiser. But I just don't get the wisdom that one is supposed to draw from having a few more stamps on your passport.
And as Indians we seem particularly fond of showing off how many places we've been to around the world. You need to look no further than any of the social networking sites to see desis posing in front of Statue of Liberty/Sydney Opera House/second-hand Toyota car in their profile photo. The inference that one intends for others to draw is clear. Look at me, I'm widely travelled and therefore I must be better than you. Sure, it is fun going to a new place and seeing new people. But is travelling anything more than that? Especially in this day and age when we seek to replicate the same atmosphere as home wherever we go. With holiday companies offering customers masal vadai and tea in Swiss Alps and some airlines offering Jain cuisine. Why is it any better than staying at home and watching the same on telly? Some of the most interesting people I know have never left their hometowns. In fact, they don't even have a passport. And some of the most peripatetic people I know are none the wiser for it. So why are so many benefits attributed to travelling the world? What's your take on it?