Sunday, January 6, 2019

Why travel?

People sometimes ask my husband Larry and me why we like to travel so much. Well, we love a good adventure and the opportunity to create lasting memories with each other and friends.
Parasailing in Kauai, Hawaii
But the most important reason is that learning and travel go hand in hand.  Travel provides interactive opportunities to try new things, see new places, meet new people, and have new experiences. Learning becomes an integral part of travel—and it stays with you for the rest of your life.

Looking into the crater at Volcanoes National Park, Big Island, Hawaii

It follows that travel helps keep us young in mind and spirit. It gives us increased satisfaction and appreciation for our lives, enrichment from understanding more about other cultures (especially when talking with locals in other countries), and the chance to delve into the history of countries far older than our own. We agree with the playwright Henry Miller who said,” One’s destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things.”
Magnificent red sand dunes at Sossusviel, Namibia
Make planning easier

We use the “bucket list” approach to deciding where to go next. Our bucket list includes destinations in our home state of Texas as well as destinations in remote locations across the globe. From years of writing travel articles for magazines, newspapers, and online venues, I have learned that there is something interesting in every place we visit. We’ve never been to any place that we  were in a hurry to leave. In fact, we almost always wish we could stay longer.
Sunset on Lake Travis near Austin, Texas
You don’t have to take long trips to have amazing experiences. Day trips can be just as unforgettable as a month-long journey. Road trips allow for flexibility. You can stop whenever you want (another photo moment coming up!), adjust the itinerary along the way, and not have to worry about how much stuff you tossed in the back of the car.
Zip lines can be found in many
outstanding locations.

Cruises are an excellent way to see the world. One of the best perks is that you only have to unpack one time. And it’s easy to stay within your budget because you know ahead of time what most expenses will be. True, cruises dock at seaside ports, so exploring inland may take extra planning or extra days. However, many cruise lines now spend one or two nights in selected ports, allowing for additional exploration that further enriches your experience.

What if travel makes you anxious?
Travel—under any circumstances—is best done with an open mind. Here’s another learning opportunity: Develop a positive mindset to appreciate all that is good about travel and minimize perceived effects of bumps along the way.

Crater Lake National Park

The best way to overcome travel fears, such as flying in an airplane, is to do it anyway. Accept that things can go wrong, but don’t wallow in it. Plus, there’s a certain pride to moving outside one’s comfort zone and finding that you can be okay. Not just okay, but excited about discovering unexpected pleasures of travel. 
One of many tiger sightings in India
We have survived illness and hospitalization in a foreign country, hurricane-force winds that broke our ship from its moorings, and numerous delayed or canceled flights. But the benefits of travel still far outweigh the possible negatives—most of which are more perception and fear of the unknown than reality.
Incredible beauty of icebergs in Antarctica
Think about this: Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier


1 comment:

Lois Joy Hofmann said...

Beverly, you are so right. There are so many reasons to travel, but one of the most important is to get out of one’s comfort zone. My husband and I sailed around the world for eight years, but we still have the travel bug. We make at least one international trip every year in addition to traveling in the U.S. It allows us to stay younger than our years and to keep on learning about other cultures.