The stress that I talked about yesterday is actually only a part of the stress that some people have. I had to laugh because my friend sent me an email to tell me that they even sent extra boxes of clothes by courier to their hotel before the holidays started and had them picked up in the end of the vacation. It is nice to see that someone can laugh about themselves in this way.
However it really also has a serious point: all the fun is gone if it turns into so much stress! People buy big travel guides before they visit another town or country. Nothing against travel guides but some people become slaves of that one book with all its ‘must-see’ tips and locations. You have 150 places that you have to visit, that you should not miss and which is a must for every tourist – the local population has mostly not seen half of them either!
Then you run from one spot to the other, pose under each statue and in front of each building, eagerly ticking off those sights that you have been to. You get mad at the weather if it keeps you from going everywhere, you nearly get a heart attack when you realize that the battery of your camera is discharged on the way and you are angry if you don’t manage to visit all those sights. Somebody at home might ask you ‘Have you been there?’ and you have to admit that you haven’t.
Back at home you might be disappointed anyway. Instead of being relaxed you came home fully exhausted and when you look at all the pictures you took you can say ‘See, that is me in front of the Statue of Liberty’ but you cannot remember having been there because you actually just rushed by, in thoughts already on top of the Empire State Building or at Rockefeller Center.
You know I really have to laugh about this but then I also think you cannot really enjoy any journey like this. We are really enjoying New York but I tell you, last year we have spent more than a month here and now we have been here for nearly a week here and until today we have not even been once to Central Park. But I can tell you: we enjoy our stay here so much, we know many small shops, the Indian grocery store and surely the best ice-cream in town. And everywhere we go, there is some memory of the good times we had there – fully without stress.