Friday, June 27, 2014

Awkward & Cliche Travelling

As a traveller, not only do I like to see the off-the-beaten-track stuff, but I also go to see the cliche post card places.  Eiffel Tower, Charles Bridge, London Eye, Sydney Opera House, Times Square.  Can you really say you have been to Paris if you haven't seen the Eiffel Tower?

Visiting the cliche places make me pinch myself.  I get a feeling of disbelief.  Am I actually there?

London - The Shard, The Eye and a Cab

The first 1 or 2 seconds of seeing the site is the OMG moment. Awe-struck, mouth agape, eyes are wide.  Realisation sets in that I am finally at that place, in that city.

When realisation settles in, I want to "scream and shout and let it all out".  It's like an explosion of happiness!!  I'm just so happy and just so cliche.  Everyone else around me is pretty much experiencing the same or has just finished experiencing the same.  All I can do is stare amongst the masses.  I am insignificant, surrounded by an insignificant crowd, watching and staring at the significant.

I don't know what to say apart from being cliche at the cliche.
"It's so much bigger than I thought"
"It's smaller than I thought"
"Wow, look how tall it is"
(Awkwardness generally sets in when you realise even your response is cliche staring at the cliche.)

I was on the Metro when I first saw the Eiffel Tower. It was beautiful, set a few kilometres away amongst the grey buildings, green trees. Picture postcard perfect and I feel that it easily could have been a scene from a movie.  Seeing the White House, it was small, much smaller than I thought, but then it was my perspective of seeing it from many metres away. 

Long after I have returned, watching TV or a movie, when I catch a glimpse of an iconic landmark that I have been to, I know that I have been but was it in a dream? I feel that I was transported into a postcard and was walking around it. 

Loch Ness - So beautiful, but my Nessie made it memorable!

The only time when the awkward and cliche doesn't work is when there is an anomaly or extraordinary event.  When the visit you make to that site, doesn't look like you''re walking through a brochure or movie. Either it is raining or something funny/memorable happens, that's when it is so much more real, it wasn't the perfect atmosphere but it was perfect for you at that time.

Photos taken from:
The London Shard/Eye photo and Loch Ness photo were taken by myself earlier this year.