Simplistically speaking, travelling is an act of moving from one place to another. But, it is a whole lot more than just that. It is an inherent need. Our ancestors travelled to hunt, find better places for generations to come, and survive. Today, people mostly travel because they want to. Millennials call it wanderlust. And no matter how or why you started, once you get a taste of wanderlust, a desire for more becomes a permanent resident in your heart. To never stop exploring, learning and experiencing.
With the Covid’19 pandemic, a lot of norms have come into question – including travelling (more specifically, its impact on our climate and environment). There have been many debates and discussions on ways to lower carbon footprint while keeping wanderlust alive – from modes of transport to interaction with natural reserves and respect for resources, there are better, more sustainable ways to travel, and we all must do our own due diligence to do the best we can.
And if all this talk about the negative impact of travelling has made you question the need to travel, I would love to remind you of why you must not give up on travelling and continue exploring the incredible planet we live in.
- For starters, you only have one life to experience all the things that you know of, and explore the ones that you have no idea about. The anticipation of impromptu steps taken towards a bewitching but unknown territory has an unparalleled charm that you must not miss.
- Travelling stimulates critical thinking. You question principles, traditions and stereotypes that you have adhered to for most of your life, in the light of alternatives that these foreign lands show you. You also experience diversity of human race, living lives differently yet equally fulfilling. You see women who choose to stay at home, raise children, and experiment with aromatic spices so that when their men come home from work, they may serve them freshly cooked curries and homemade breads. You also come across men who play with makeup and dance in the rain. You witness different art forms and polarisation in their interpretation. You come across kingdoms with concentrated powers and lands guarded by armed men. From gigantic mountains to deep blue oceans, this world is a colossal ball of wonders. And you only experience them once you get out to travel.
- It also broadens your horizon and thought processes. You see different dress codes; follow country-specific rules; hear foreign languages. The many experiences, however disconnected and odd in their individuality, eventually come together as a beautiful symphony to enrich your life. You learn to be more tolerant, appreciative of differences and less rigid in your own being.
- If there is one thing that is always true about travel plans, it is that something will almost always go against at least part of your ‘plan’. It may be frustrating sometimes, but it teaches you a valuable life skill – adaptability. It reminds you that life is unpredictable, and that one must learn to adapt and go with the flow when plans alter or fail.
- Another life skill you acquire when travelling is money management. With a limited budget in a foreign land, you learn to prioritise and make the most of each penny spent. Is it going to be more local food or adrenaline pumping experiences? You decide.
- Most importantly, you get to live the wonderful stories that you had only heard of. You breath in the places you that had only seen in books. You make memories to last a lifetime. And you come back with your own million stories to regale.
To conclude, in the words of Dalai Lama: “Once a year, go someplace you have never been before.”
If you have the resources and time, use the opportunity to explore the world. If you are on budget, plan and save to make travel plans work. Go to a neighbouring city. Travel to far away lands. Explore other continents if possible.
Travel, while you can. Travel, because this world deserves to be seen by you, with your own set of unique eyes!Uzma Khan