I write a lot on here about travel – where I’ve been, how you can get there, what you could do and see in different destinations and about all of the other elements of travel that I can think to share with you all. Now it’s time to take a step back and consider just what exactly are my favourite things about travel.
When I travel I truly feel alive and travel has helped me find my own path in life. I’ve picked a life filled with travel over the type of life that all my friends and family live, and there are so many things that would never have happened had it not been for travel and my love of visiting new cities and countries.
Travel has undoubtedly enriched and enhanced my life and, as cheesy as it is, I think I’m a much better and more well-balanced person for having seen new places and tried new things along the way.
Here are some of my favourite things about travel and the way it makes me feel…
Travel always reminds me to stop, look around and take stock of the life that I lead. I’m incredibly fortunate to have been born in the UK where there is plenty of opportunity, food, money and we’re able to travel the majority of the world with absolute ease. I have a fantastic family and parents who support my decision to live a somewhat unconventional lifestyle as a professional travel blogger and writer. I am surrounded by great friends and I have an amazing partner who supports me and shares my love of travel. These are all things that many people aren’t lucky enough to have and for each of these reasons, and many more, I feel blessed.
Travelling to places such as India and seeing people in entirely different circumstances, ones that I could only imagine, makes me appreciate my freedom and my life more and more. I don’t think people can ever fully appreciate everything that they have until they travel somewhere and are faced with atrocious poverty and people who aren’t as lucky to have the things that they do. I consider myself to be incredibly lucky yet I firmly believe I wouldn’t have come to this realisation without travelling and seeing how other people live. Seeing these things for yourself brings a healthy dose of reality and shows you the reasons to be thankful.
Trying new foods
I’m a firm believer that one of the best ways to get to know a new destination is by trying out the local dishes.
I’ve enjoyed some incredible meals around the world and I’ve always tried to be open to new tastes and ingredients on my travels, as I think you really miss out if you’re not willing to give everything a go. I’ve eaten snails and frogs legs in France, kangaroo in Australia and zebra right here in Scotland (random, I know!) and I actually really enjoyed all of them and was strangely proud of myself for being brave enough to try these things.
When I visited India I fell head over heels with the amazing dishes there. I loved tasting the different spices, trying out the vegetarian dishes that are mostly unheard of in the UK and sampling all the delicious Indian deserts that I had no idea existed.
Food is connected to memories when we travel and embracing local food helps us to connect to a place and thus the tastes and smells serve to remind us how we felt in that moment, in that place.
Learning new skills
I think travel is definitely the best education money can buy.
Travelling to far flung corners of the globe forces you out of your comfort zone and you have no choice but to work out how to get from the airport to your hotel in a country where nobody speaks English, work out what to do when you miss your flight, learn new words and phrases in different languages and so on.
Travel, and especially solo travel, means you end up in all sorts of situations that you’d never find yourself in if you didn’t leave your own country behind and explore the world. These new experiences and situations mean you learn new skills, become more confident as a result and overall become a more rounded person. I frequently return from trips and feel like I have grown and improved as a person from my experiences abroad and if that’s not a great reason to love travel then I don’t know what is.
Travel confronts you with so many new experiences and although sometimes the experiences are not always good, the majority of them are and those are the ones you’ll remember. I value experiences and creating lasting memories over any material possessions because when you look back on life you’re not going to remember having the latest handbag but you probably will remember that trip to Paris and seeing the Eiffel Tower.
Seeing new, beautiful places makes you realise how incredible the world is and I delight in these types of experiences. There’s nothing quite like seeing a sunrise on a beach in Italy, gazing up at the unbelievably bright stars in middle-of-nowhere-Australia, quad biking in Iceland, captaining a boat in Capri and countless more. I’m so utterly happy to have had these experiences, and so many more, and I know that I’ll never be the type of person who is afraid to get out there and see new places and soak up new ‘once in a lifetime’ experiences.
This might sound a little strange coming from a travel blogger who absolutely needs the internet to work and usually has her mobile phone no further than a few feet away at all times but I actually love the fact that travel forces you to disconnect a little from everyday life.
When you’re in another country sure you’ll still have your phone with you but chances are you won’t have internet data on it so you’ll have to survive more than half an hour without checking your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram *shock*. This forces you to focus on ‘being in the moment’ and to enjoy the experiences you’re having rather than spending all your time flicking through your various newsfeeds to see what everyone back home is doing. When you’re not constantly checking your phone for texts and tweets you’ll be forced to remember how amazing the world really is and remember not to take it for granted as our time here is finite and you never know when it’ll end.
“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.”
So what are your favourite things about travel? Do you agree with the ones I’ve listed? Let me know in the comments below!