Sorry, Do You Have a Lighter? – By Natalia Oparka-Kharma

According to the latest statistics, tourism is one of the most lucrative branches of business. People of all nationalities dream of going places: taking pics of the Kremlin, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall… We’ve even gone so far as to travel to space! Imagine taking a selfie with the view of the Earth in the background! That would knock Instagram down!

I have been lucky enough to travel here and there and at some point during one of my trips it dawned on me that all my voyages have a lot in common. For one thing, I always want to relax and get away from the everyday issues, at least for a couple of days. I also set quite high expectations. As a tourist, I want to be amazed! I want to be entertained! I want to be fed the best cuisine in the world. I’ve got money and I’m not afraid to use it! Of course very often I end up facing exactly the same issues that I would at home: the AC in the hotel room won’t turn on, the bathroom is too small and last night’s sushi didn’t agree with me. I may even come back home more frustrated than I’d been before the trip!!!

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Photography by Natalia Oparka-Kharma

After my last vacation, I finally realized that every place is just as good as any. Ralph W. Emerson wrote that though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not. And I think this is what I was looking for all this time. I wanted to find the beauty and peace that were unattainable at my home. Now, I’m bursting with love for my place. For the serenity it gives me. And once I discovered the magic of my own surroundings, I could fully appreciate the beauty of other places! Summer’s here to stay and many of us are in the middle/on the verge of planning a vacation. Rome? Beijing? Berlin? Choose wisely. As for me, I know that wherever I go – it’s going to be extraordinary, since I carry the sparkle, not ask for a lighter.


One thought on “Sorry, Do You Have a Lighter? – By Natalia Oparka-Kharma

  1. My mom and I really enjoyed this article! We could relate to it on so many different levels. It’s so true. You can’t enjoy any place you go to if you can’t find your inner-peace. That’s how genuine pleasure can be fully enjoyed or else you’d just be carrying a load wherever you go.


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