Today we travel with friends, with family or alone. We have gap years, city breaks, we travel the world, we go abroad to indulge in our interests or even to learn new skills. We travel more than ever before, and I say hallelujah – may it continue! Here are some of my favorite reasons for travelling:
1. Work – As a travel journalist and photographer going places notoriously involves work. However much I try to resist, my eyes and mind are busy making mental notes of what is going on around me. It may be a conversation on a bus that I listen in on. It may be the way a waitress talks about the menu or it may just be about seeing a couple in front of the Eiffel tower. She in a wheel chair, him gently setting the scene for a portrait of the two of them together. Either way, it is a humbling and interesting experience to observe the world through other people’s eyes.
2. Music – It is worthwhile to travel in order to listen to your favorite artists. Not only do you get to enjoy their music live, you also get to combine the musical experience with a journey. Last time I traveled to see a concert was to experience Loreena McKennitt live in the Alhambra in Granada. A real intimate concert, just us and 400 others. Add the spectacular Moorish palace as a back drop and Granada with all its free tapas and unlimited flow of Alhambra on draft, and it’s a night to remember.
3. Aquire new skills. Last year I was asked to set up a photography course for a Norwegian company in Spain. It is meant to be a creative input for people who want more from Spain that sun and beach… so I am now on the look out for a suitable location!
4. Introducing our children to the world. You may take the kids to Disney World to meet Micky or to Australia to bounce about with kangaroos. Whatever you do, you are shaping their view of the world away from home. We have found that little ones adapt to new situations, new food and new people remarkably well. More on this subject in future posts.
5. Finally, I believe we travel to make the world a better place. Or as the Scottish poet Robert Louis Stevenson put it: “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”