Saturday, 5 July 2014

Flying Halfway Around The World For What?

     The world is a huge place, full of diverse people, places and cultures, and I for one, want to see as much of it as possible. I’ve written about travel in the past, and why I think that it’s important that people see beyond their own front doors. However, people travel for many different reasons, and therefore have very different experiences when travelling, so I want to explore a few of these.

     First of all, there are trips that centre on a certain type of experience or atmosphere, rather than the specific place. For example, people going on relaxing beach holidays or winter ski trips, as these are things that they cannot experience at home. These are also typically ‘getaway’ trips, short breaks from reality to allow oneself to de-stress and have some fun for a little while. I think it’s important for everyone’s mental health to have time like this, and often getting out the country is the only way to ensure that you really feel like you’re on holiday. I personally wouldn’t go too far afield for a trip like this – Europe is sufficient for Brits – but I’ve been on plenty of relaxing beach holidays myself growing up.

     Other trips are about the location, and this is the main reason which motivates me to travel. I want to see famous sights, try local cuisines and experience cultures different to my own. There’s so much diversity in the world, so I feel that if I’m going to spend a lot of money going to another part of it, I want to find out what makes that country unique, to understand their history and customs.  These trips tend to be busier and more tiring, but I think it’s worth pushing yourself onwards to make the most of whatever time you have abroad and see and do as much as possible. This is especially true when travelling to faraway places – such as America or Australia for me – where so much time and money are involved in just getting there, it seems silly to not experience as much as you can.

     The travellers I have the least in common with are those who go abroad and end up doing things they could just as easily do at home, in particular, shopping and partying. I do enjoy both these things, in moderation; for example, I like going to more unique shops, not the brand names you get everywhere, and some other parts of the world do have fantastic nightlife, but these are certainly not my priorities when travelling. For others though, that seems to be their only interest – which is fair enough, I’d never tell someone not to do what they enjoy  - but I personally would never spend all that money to travel somewhere new, just to do things I can do at home.

     Everyone is an individual however, and we all make our own choices in life. I think travelling is a fantastic thing to do, whatever your reasons or expectations may be. One of the great things about travel is getting to meet new people, and there’s nearly always going to be someone with similar interests to oneself. Comparing my recent travels – my Easter break in the south of France and my Contiki through Europe – I saw more of each place in France while on my own, but I enjoyed the Contiki more overall because I met so many great people to share my adventures with. I don’t know what style my future travels will be in, but there’s still a lot more of this world I’ve yet to see.


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