Ask half a dozen people why they travel and the chances are each answer will be different. Travelling does not necessarily equate to holiday, it could be part of an occupation, a lifestyle, or a search for an alternative way of life. For many ‘travelling’ is the necessary evil to get them to their favourite holiday destination. For others, travelling is the holiday. For those who don’t (travel), here are 5 reasons why travel can be good for the soul. Here are some tips form seasoned travel experts Urbane Traveller.
Leave your comfort zone:
Flying to a destination, hiring a car, and spending two weeks touring your chosen country or continent, will certainly help increase your interest in other cultures. But to really gain the experience you need to leave your comfort zone. Get down and dirty with your travel arrangements. Backpacking, go local, travel with the indigenous population and their livestock, in 50 year old local transport, on the way to market. Record the experiences on camera and tablet.
Getting out of the rat race:
Travelling through some of the poorer counties of the world can arouse some profound considerations. For instance, does your affluent lifestyle make you any happier than those living in tin shacks? Survival for many is a day to day lifestyle, and life expectancy can be the mid fifties. Yet is their inner happiness any less than yours – where the main concern is meeting next month’s mortgage payments. We’re all in a rat race, it’s just the rats are different.
See things from a different perspective:
When planning a travelling holiday we need somewhere to start and somewhere to finish. Picking out areas from those glossy tourist travel magazines can produce a good place to start, and a good place to finish. After that, throw them away. Next door to that beautiful palm fringed beach in the magazine is probably a smaller, more difficult to access beach, with its own natural beauty. The same applies to a country’s architectural heritage. View it from your eyes, from your perspective of how you see things.
Absorb the culture:
Boarding a plane, flying to a far-off land, being transported in an air-conditioned coach to your English speaking hotel which serves English style food is for many the ideal holiday. But to enjoy the culture you have to live the culture. Make your own way to a small local hotel or B&B. Eat in local cafes and restaurants and drink in local bars. Almost everywhere you go you’ll be welcomed with open arms. El gringo prepared to eat and drink with the locals. And a big plus, especially for young backpackers, your accommodation, food and drink will be considerably cheaper than in the big touristy areas.
Broadening your horizons:
While graduating college with degrees in geography, sociology, or cultural anthropology may provide a broad understanding of other cultures. Living and breathing those cultures, will provide an understanding that books alone never can. Travelling through countries rich or poor will invoke thoughts and ideas about your own lifestyle; how lucky you are, how to improve it, or whether to change it all together.