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Thanks to being listed in the “101 Most Awesome Adventure & Travel Twitterers You Should Be Following,” I now have heaps of new readers who love to travel looking for travel articles. I came in at number 42 and still can’t believe Lance Armstrong beat me at number 9. He’s not really in my league but never mind…
Seriously though, I was honored, and it reminded me that one of the main things people like about my blog is the travel angle and my undying love of travel. So I decided to write a long overdue travel article. If you love travel and want to do more of it don’t forget to check out how to get free flights too for the latest travel hacking techniques.
Since we’re all self-described travel nuts I thought it would be interesting to explore why we love to travel. Great idea, I thought, and, even better, I can probably knock out an article on that in under an hour. But then my mind started ticking over and I knew I owed it to my delightful readers to live up to my promise to inform, inspire and entertain you. So I decided to put up some travel photos to illustrate my thoughts and raise a smile. Then I had to scan them all in, crop them, optimise them, embed them etc and that quick travel article ended up taking ages. But I think it was worth it. I hope you do too.
What Is It About Travel People Love?
For some travel’s a dream that comes true once a year for the annual vacation. Often people yearn of a greater travel adventure like a year in Africa (me) or selling everything and bumming off to Central America for 18 months with the kids like we did in 2007. For some, travel is a sweet plan for retirement on a boat, a housebus, with a backpack or by train. I haven’t quite decided yet and might have to run with all of those travel plans in my golden years.
For me travel has been an all-consuming passion, my first love. My whole life’s been geared towards travel. I trained to teach english as a foreign language so I could travel and get paid for it, and I did just that for years. I worked in exotic locations like Zimbabwe, Laos and France then saved up so I could travel extensively in Europe, Africa, South East Asia and Australasia. It’s been grand.
Why Do People Travel?
These are my ideas in no particular order.
1. To challenge yourself
My toilet and bathroom when I worked in rural Zimbabwe in 1992. I shared it with seven other teachers and their families. No running water, just a hole in the ground loo and no lock on the door either ~ the towel hanging on the door indicates the bathroom is occupied.
2. To enjoy new experiences
Looks as if my husband, Rich, had fun hanging out with this monkey – he’s the one on the right. This photo was taken in 2006 at a monkey sanctuary in northern Thailand. You can’t experience that in England can you?
3. To find yourself
Following in the footsteps of the Beatles, many people travel to India to find themselves but this traveler looks as if she lost herself. Do you laugh when travelers dress like a local? I do. Here a young hippy chick in India dons the local garb. Okay, I confess, it’s me in 1996. I still claim that I’m the only person to ever put on weight while traveling in India, but seeing this photo it’s hard to believe. I look even slimmer than the palm tree I’m propping up.
4. To learn a new language
No sooner had our daughter started speaking, aged 18 months, than we whisked her off to Vanuatu to learn bislama with the natives. Sometimes called pidgin english you can probably guess what ‘allo’, ‘tata’ and ‘tank u tumas’ mean. I love speaking in foreign tongues when I travel, it gives you a whole new outlook on life.
5. To experience new cultures
This man earned a tidy sum by loitering outside our son’s school in Costa Rica and selling fresh coconuts and deep fried plantains chips with lime juice and chili. They called him Senor Pipa – Mr. Young Coconut. I’m pretty sure he’d be moved on quickly if he set up camp outside the kid’s school here in Australia. The kids loved him though.
6. To party or just to have fun
Travel is fun and lots of people travel with the sole purpose of enjoyment, wild partying or just because the funniest things happen when you’re traveling. Silly things like this sign about a bizarrely-named traditional story from Paama Island in Vanuatu, which especially amused our 4 year old son, Max.
7. To see new things
I’ve seen the Taj Mahal, climbed the Eiffel Tower and the Twin Towers, and spied sloths, tapirs, lions and elephants in the wild, but I can never travel within a 50km radius of a waterfall without checking it out. I love the noise, the spray, the constant rush of sparkling water. I was raised in a watermill and we had two waterfalls in our garden so maybe that’s where my love of them comes from. I recommend New Zealand and Costa Rica for waterfall lovers. Here I am with the kids at a fairly decent cascade in Costa Rica. I don’t think I could ever tire or visiting new waterfalls!
8. To eat new food
I like to try new stuff but I draw the line at some things like the crispy fried giant centipedes offered as bar snacks in Zimbabwe. My husband is a more adventurous travel eater and enjoyed a breakfast of roasted squirrel with a side order of toasted maggots for breakfast during a trek in Thailand. I went hungry that day. I have eaten kangaroo though but don’t love it. It’s quite popular here in Australia, but even more widely eaten in Belgium of all places.