Travel has become more accessible and prominent over the past decade. Citizens of the world are inclined to go beyond the boundaries of their hometown, take the leap of faith and discover what lurks beyond. A sense of curiosity that feeds the heart and stomach. Filling the minds of people with unforgettable stories, turning laptop screensavers into real-life experiences and growing the souls of many, opening their eyes to the beauty that exists in tandem with their lives. All it takes is to spin the globe on its axis to find ourselves somewhere unique, undiscovered and unimaginable, and it just takes is a “yes”. Welcome to the hodophile life!
My attachment to living a globetrotting lifestyle started when I moved to London, six years ago. Once I started, I was bitten by the travel bug and the rest is history. To this day, I get teased by colleagues, “Aftab, we haven’t seen an out of office request from you in weeks. When is your next trip?” or from my family and friends “I’m giving you advance notice of a special occasion, so you’re not out of the country when the time comes.”
Some people don’t understand my addiction. And, not everyone is going to still. But, I’m going to give it my best shot to summarise the tornado of feelings deep within and spew out an overview of why I try to travel at least once a month. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get these wheels off the ground!
1. A lifetime of unforgettable travel stories
My favourite part of travelling is experiencing new, heart-wrenching activities, or moments that leave my eyes welling up, as I whisper to my travel companion to pinch me back to reality. But, coming home from a thrilling escapade and sharing it with your nearest and dearest is something else. However, I’m even more fortunate to able to share my travel experiences with all of you too, leaving me with a travel diary of memorable experiences for a lifetime, while inspiring others to get participate as well.
One moment I’ll never forget is standing on the peak of the Dolomites as the sunset right before my eyes. There were tears and many affirmations of gratitude. Travel has a way of stealing my heart…
2. Travel opens my eyes to the world
There is more to this exquisite planet that you will ever think. The different animal species that exist, diverse cultures, religions, cuisines, languages, but most of which you can only truly experience by being there. I’m fortunate to have discovered both extremes that exist in the world too. From the generosity of those that don’t have a lot, right through to those that are so wealthy, they don’t know what to do with it.
I spent my summers as a child visiting my family in Tanzania. Six weeks of glorious heat, exotic fruit and hundreds on mosquito bites, but regardless of subtle inconveniences, it was THE life. I spent my days playing outside on the golden sand under the basking heat and became friends with the local Tanzanian neighbour. Baring in mind, he lived in a shanty home and didn’t even own a pair of shoes, but he was the kindest, happiest soul I had ever met. Despite being his wealthy neighbour, he never disregarded me. He included me in his games, as he would any other, even though he couldn’t speak English and I couldn’t speak Swahili. Yet, somehow we became the best of friends. He even went as far as offering me one half of his orange, despite his situation — his generosity still shakes me to this day.
3. I learn more about myself
You never stop learning, whether it be about yourself or about something new. Travel allows me to escape the usual influences of day to day life and exposes me to contemporary experiences that I would never try at home. Skiing for the first time, on fresh snow, on one of the most prestigious mountains in Europe?! Prior to that, I had never wanted to ski and I came to terms with it. But, there I was, doing something I said I would never do in my life. It’s these experiences often test my boundaries and sometimes puts me in situations where I just have to say “why the hell not?!” and often enough, I discover I’m more fearless than I ever thought.
4. Travel gives me a sense of peace
I get so caught up in the fast-paced lifestyle in London, sometimes spending more time in London does me more harm than good. There is only so much pressure and stress someone can take before they burst, burn out and everything starts falls apart. Dramatic, yet true. Travel allows me to take a step back, enjoy the little moments, completely disconnect and not worry about anything, even if it may be for 72 hours. Let’s not forget, it also helps with many major mental health illnesses — travel being one of the best anxiety and depression relievers.
5. It’s about living in the present
As a blogger and social media fanatic, I often find myself on my phone as soon as a notification pops up. Travelling to some of the greatest wonders of the world gives me a chance to step back and be more present without technology. Taking the odd photo is a given, but otherwise, I truly indulge in the experience and my surroundings. It’s only when I come home to I truly process the trip through my words and images, allowing me to tell the best tales with all the juicy details.
What are your reasons for travelling often?
Until next time…