Why travel is good for you!
You know that travel bug, the one that bites you when you look at vistas of open roads, thunderheads, mountains, rainbows over green valleys, images of cheetahs racing through the savannah, castles on hilltops, rolling oceans, and spectacular sunsets over the desert? That bug is vicious, it bites deep and it hooks its little fangs into those bottomless recesses of your imagination and never lets go, never loosens its hold and scratches at your feet, creating a need to keep on moving, almost as though you have sand in your shoes…
While it can be hugely distracting wanting to constantly be on the move, experiencing new cultures, countries and cuisine, the thing about the travel bug is that it is actually good for you!
Travel broadens the mind, the intellect, your general knowledge, your sense of direction, your understanding of geography and history while honing your communication skills and teaching you patience.
Be cautioned though: travel is not for the faint-hearted. All you have to do is listen to stories of ‘how things went wrong’, to know that very seldom do plans work out effortlessly. But in reality, ‘wrong’ is relative! If you have gained a coping skill or experienced something not on your itinerary (so long as it wasn’t life-threatening) you have added colour and dimension to your life. Travellers’ tales of unexpectedly having to sleep in a train station, or missing their stop and ending up in a city not on their schedule, are all to be chalked up as opportunities for adventure, because that is what travel is all about.
I mean, one doesn’t go to a faraway land and then order McDonald’s (or does one?) The reason to travel is to get away from the humdrum, the expected, the predictable, the routine — the boring. However, it is understandable that sometimes when in a foreign country it is comforting to seek out the familiar and the recognisable, so I suppose eating the odd Mac is acceptable… kinda.
There is a select calibre of folks who literally book a plane ticket and, from the time they land in the airport in the foreign country have no idea where they will sleep that night, leaving their fate in the hands of the gods. These are the bravest of travellers and can normally regale a rapt audience with stories of close shaves and hair-raising adventures.
Many a bucket list has included travel, often as a means to unwind and relax. That is a totally different kind of travel and normally involves booking packages and hotel or resort stays. These are a fabulous way to reward oneself after a year of gruelling work, to be pampered and spoiled, sipping Piña coladas on the beach. Nothing wrong with that! In this scenario, nothing will be unexpected as the booking agents are specialists and will ensure that your entire holiday proceeds on oiled wheels. In fact, if something unfactored occurs, it can ruin a well-planned holiday!
Whatever your travel style, you will return a different person for the experience. So, get out that digital globe and fantasise about where you could be headed off the next time you get itchy feet!