|"Wherever I go, there I am."|
Waldo, (Willy in the UK, Charlie in France, Ali in Turkey, and Hetti in India) of the Where's Waldo series, was a world traveler for a while. For one year the distinctive book character could be found in a children's magazine featuring illustrations depicting him in crowds in special places all over the world.
Many people are doing the same and 'pulling a Waldo' for a weekend, or a week or two at a time, depending on available holiday time. They are 'getting away' and hiding themselves in crowds the planet over.
Often travel seems more like hiding from the stick, rather than being drawn by the carrot. People attempting to recover from busy lives that are beating them down by taking trips and blending into the background of far away exotic places.
The market for international vacations is growing by about 4% per year. 2012 marked the first time in history that total international trips taken in one year passed the 1 billion milestone globally.
Numb from the endless work of keeping up with the Jones', people fly from one destination to another in a search of respite and some much needed relaxation. Turns out it can be more difficult than trying to find Waldo in a double page spread of an Australian beach scene.
|Waldo can hide from you (and his boss), but he can't hide from himself.|
Wally's exploits in world travel (and getting lost in crowds) were documented in 52 Wally's World magazine issues in 1997-98. They provided enjoyable geography lessons for kids in 14 countries, none of whom had to leave home to learn about their planet.
Since then Waldo has settled down as his restlessness has dissipated, and his jet setting ways have mellowed to a gentle pace.
As Waldo slowed down he came to the realization that wherever he went, there he was. When the newness and excitement of his trips wore off, as always inevitably happened, he was back to square one.
He stopped, and looked in the mirror in a moment of reckoning.
You might be able to run and hide for a short while, but like Waldo, you will eventually realize you can't escape the fact of who and what you are.
Waldo took the ultimate voyage and traveled within. In the process he found peace and contentment, right where he is at.