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What’s So Great About Travel Anyway?

October 5, 2010

Travel has been integral to my life since I was a child, thanks to my parents instilling the “bug” in me from birth. During different stages of my life, travel has fulfilled a variety of needs and over the years I have traveled for all different reasons: 

  • Change of pace – The routine of daily life can get, well, routine. Travel is an excellent way to infuse some variety and excitement into a predictable schedule. As a single mother juggling children’s school and activities, my own paying and volunteer work , groceries and laundry, my life requires a structured schedule just to get it all done. Traveling gives me a much-needed break and a chance to recharge. A change of pace keeps my mind sharper and often gives me a new appreciation for my hectic life back home.
  • Stretch my limits – Travel gives me an opportunity to try activities that I would probably not do at home. I have tested my bravery and endurance with adventure travel and my grit and independence with solo travel. By pushing beyond my comfort zone, I gain a sense of accomplishment and confidence that translates into a can-do attitude in my everyday life.
  • My friend, a true Fijian Chief

     

  • Enrich my mind and soul – Travel satisfies my yearning for learning with unlimited opportunities for enrichment. I have taken a cooking class in Tuscany, studied the stars in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and tried to Hula in Hawaii. I’ve learned about building the Panama Canal, appreciated opera in Vienna, and nurtured my spirituality at awe-inspiring natural vistas. There is just no end to the enrichment possibilities travel affords the curious mind.
  • Cultural exchange – Meeting people and walking a mile in their lives is, without a doubt, the best way I know to foster true understanding. Travel encourages me to be tolerant of beliefs different from mine, appreciative of skills that I don’t have, and sympathetic to those who are not as fortunate as me. By integrating a little of each travel experience into my heart, I become a more broad-minded global citizen.
  • Bonding and memories – One of my favorite photos is of my Dad and me standing on the equator in Kenya during a safari. The photo is actually a bit tourist-cheesy, but to me it represents the memories of sharing an amazing trip with the man who has been my ethical role model. My first taste of Italy was a restorative post-divorce trip with my Mom when we laughed and shopped and ate our way through what has since become my favorite destination. And of course I’ll always cherish the wonder on my children’s faces the first time they saw their favorite Disney characters in person. These are experiences that I can carry with me wherever I go, through good and bad times. I can pull them out and use them over and over, but they never wear out.

These reasons I travel are not mutually exclusive – the edges blend together like a Venn diagram. Some trips use all the reasons, some only one or two. There are other reasons I travel, too, like just the pure fun of it or an opportunity that is just too good to resist, but they all come back to the fact that travel feeds my soul and makes me a better person – still quite imperfect, but better for the love of travel.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2010 9:35 am

    We have articles related to the joy of traveling! and we really enjoyed reading this one!

  2. Mary Lou permalink
    October 14, 2010 3:48 pm

    Great article.. There are three great segments of travel.. the planning.. the trip… and the memories that last forever.. Keep on traveling as long as possible. I took an 85 year old man around the world and he loved every minute of it..

    • October 14, 2010 5:34 pm

      Mary Lou – I agree with you, but if I didn’t know that you are a tour leader, I might wonder if you had abducted that gent! haha! (For those of you who don’t know, Mary Lou is Travel Maestro’s mother – of the laughing through Italy fame and to blame for my wanderlust) But seriously, travel is a wonderful gift. Thanks Mom 🙂

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