5 REA­SONS TO TRAVEL

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VAN LIFE

GET­TING LOST IN LAOS

MOU WAHU

WHAT AIR­LINES WON’T TELL YOU

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Why Travel

We all have them, that one friend on So­cial Me­dia that pops up con­stantly de­mand­ing we live vi­car­i­ously through their ex­pe­ri­ences; they shove up pho­tos of sun­sets and beaches and cock­tails in ex­otic lo­ca­tions on the other side of the world. At first we think ‘Wow,’ then we think ‘how can they get so much time off work?’ Then we day dream a lit­tle about the op­tion that we could do that – then the jeal­ousy starts to bite and we nip back with com­ments like, ‘get a job’ and ‘not an­other sun­set’. But travel can be a big de­ci­sion. It’s not as easy as pack­ing your bags and jump­ing on a plane…. Or is it. When we even strug­gle leav­ing our com­fort zone for a brief 30 min­utes to go to the gym three times week how are we sup­posed to es­cape for weeks or months. If you feel locked into the daily grind and the never end­ing rou­tine then a life shift­ing ex­pe­ri­ence like trav­el­ling may be the key to break­ing that way of think­ing. That brings us to rea­son num­ber 1.

1. SAY GOOD­BYE TO YOUR COM­FORT ZONE

It is said that by not tak­ing risks, you never re­ally dis­cover your true self. If it’s only ever about do­ing what is safe and easy then how will you ever know what re­ally makes you tick if you’ve never tried it. Travel will push you into a flurry of seem­ingly un­com­fort­able sit­u­a­tions; like forc­ing you to meet new peo­ple with com­pletely dif­fer­ent life­styles and cul­tures or nav­i­gat­ing your way around a moun­tain where no one speaks your lan­guage. By be­ing thrown in the cul­tural travel deep end you be sur­prised how well you can swim and with that swim­ming, that sur­vival, you dis­cover your real self.

2. TIME SLOWS DOWN

A reg­u­lar rou­tine builds strong neu­ro­log­i­cal con­nec­tions that over time al­low for us to au­to­mate ac­tiv­i­ties al­most seam­lessly. Think about that jour­ney to work where not a thought is spared on the di­rec­tion. We have all done it, driven 40 min­utes to work and have ar­rived shocked be­cause we don’t re­call mak­ing a sin­gle driv­ing de­ci­sion on the way, now ex­pand that out to, “I’ve been work­ing here 10 years and I don’t know where the time has gone”. Travel makes you live in the mo­ment and that ever chang­ing hori­zon con­tin­u­ally breathes new ex­pe­ri­ences and with those we are en­gaged in the here and now, we are gifted with the present, rather than the coma of rep­e­ti­tion.

3. GAIN IM­POR­TANT PER­SPEC­TIVES

The Ro­man philoso­pher Seneca preached a Stoic school of thought, one as­pect of which was if you learned to live with very lit­tle then you would re­duce worry and stress be­cause you only had to deal with the ba­sics. Travel can do the same, you don’t need 20 shirts, you only need two, you don’t need ten pairs of shoes you only need one. What you can get in a backpack or a suit case is all you need and even then we over pack. It makes us re­assess our lives from a sim­pler per­spec­tive. Plus you also get to see how oth­ers live. A cul­ture shock can only pos­i­tively af­fect you; it com­pels you to give back, to help out and to ap­pre­ci­ate in in­nu­mer­able ways your life­style upon re­turn.

4. WE ARE NOT GUAR­AN­TEED OLD AGE

Trav­el­ling is of­ten post­poned with the in­ten­tions of ‘be­com­ing set­tled’ or ‘build­ing up a real life’. Some even say they are sav­ing the op­por­tu­nity for re­tire­ment. But that goes hand in hand with why we need to work from 9 till 5 be­cause that’s just the views of so­ci­ety’s norm be­ing ex­pressed by those who are al­ready deeply con­form­ing. It is your choice to live how you wish. If you wait till the time is right or re­tire­ment, those days may never come. The time may never be right and if you do wait till your re­tire­ment then your health and fi­nances may not be what you hoped for – it is dif­fi­cult to change your mind-set to ex­change phys­i­cal things; houses, cars and jobs, for ex­pe­ri­ence but the value of ex­pe­ri­ence will far out­weigh the ma­te­rial – can you re­mem­ber the car you drove 10 years ago? No, but I bet you can re­mem­ber ev­ery travel ex­pe­ri­ence. We all have ma­te­rial things, but we all long for the ex­pe­ri­ences and it is the level of per­sonal courage that sep­a­rates the two.

5. AND THIS…

“The pur­pose of life is to live it, to taste ex­pe­ri­ence to the ut­most, to reach out ea­gerly and with­out fear for newer and richer ex­pe­ri­ence.” ― Eleanor Roo­sevelt

“Travel is fa­tal to prej­u­dice, big­otry, and nar­row-mind­ed­ness,

and many of our peo­ple need it sorely on th­ese ac­counts. Broad, whole­some, char­i­ta­ble views of men and things can­not be ac­quired by veg­e­tat­ing in one lit­tle cor­ner of the earth all one’s

life­time.”

― Mark Twain

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