A few friends of mine happened to visit my home state, after a lengthy session of where to go and what to avoid, they got themselves trapped in the hard to avoid ‘Just another Tourist’ syndrome.
Let me explain to you what this syndrome is all about.
Firstly, it starts with NOT following the expert advice; people have to realize that someone who has been there and done that probably knows a thing or two (in this particular case, yours truly).
Second, comes the fact that mountains generate a lot of awe and if you are not used to being there quite often, the only thing you want to do is gaze at them and people comfort themselves and are satisfied by just looking at them.
Third, is most irritating one, Its called Shopping. People do not realize that mountains are there for a completely different reason, and shopping comes last in the list.
So, what does a ‘just another tourist’ do, he is the one you find sitting in the hotel, watching TV, when a smart one would have opted for a wonderful hike away from the town. He is also the one found sitting in the Cafes around the town, because he is so used to do it in the cities over the weekend. JAT (acronym for Just Another Tourist, didn’t know it would literally mean so much, lol) also keeps doing round of the most common places to visit, places swarming with fellow JATs. And in the process the JAT misses what mountains have put there on offer, the small hamlets waiting to be discovered, the un-spoilt village life, small summer streams that exist only for a few months, innumerable mountain trails, which take you to places of unimaginable beauty, and more practically countless stories, that no one has ever heard.
But, because JATs exist, all I get to hear from people returning from Himachal are things like, the place was “oh, so crowded” or “I bought these really nice T-Shirts there” or more commonly something like “ Man the chicks there are awesome”.
JATs, get a life, next time, just break the rules, take the path less traveled, get lost.
(I hope I didn’t annoy many people)