Escapism is my reason to travel.
Seeing people, places ,cultures so different from mine, and if I could I would just keep traveling .
But I do like to carry my shell to crawl into giving me a feeling of home. A tent or vehicle, maybe a motor bike or boat.
And because I have no problem talking to any one or anything that moves, trees and I have long conversations and animals, don’t mind milking a cow, goat ,sheep or camel if I need milk . I find that peasant people are the most interesting to me .I understand their thoughts and life style
.When meeting diplomats or politicians I see the defensive positions in which they hide their real characters, though charm and eloquence surround them.And intellectual conversation can be stimulating .Give me the natural people who do not have an act to put on and you become one with them.
Special place to me is Russia. The plane landed, a bus picked us up, took us to the centre of St. Petersburg, lost two of us and drove off. Now that was fun ,no money, no language, no idea where our ship was for our ongoing journey we had been told a different ship was to be used no name given . So we went to sit in a park while we planned our next move !
There we met an English speaking Russian man who was studying music at the conservatoire .We chatted about the highly decorated accordion player Oleg Sharov, whom I had meet a few time in Oban where he played for an old friend ,(He makes the most extraordinary musical sounds) . By now we were feeling at home,we found a bank with the help of our new acquaintance ,then went for a meal in the square with him . Hours went quickly by, a terrified guide was seen alighting from a bus which had squealed to a stop the other side of the area we were in.
Ah! That must be our transport, we exchanged hugs and addresses with our knight in shining armour .And went over to a very frightened cowering guide who was so relieved to find us , he had not counted his charges before driving off.(Bet he never forgets again. Off to Siberia if he does.) I found Russians so hospitable and we went on to have a wonderful holiday. Met a Dr who worked in the big prison in Amsterdam that then led to our next trip where we stayed with him! But that is another epic !
To travel is to experience new places, the scenery & sunsets, cities & villages, historic buildings, museums & art galleries. Enjoy the company of others, eat & enjoy good & different food and bring back the memories of all these things.
Like most I travel to see new places, cultures, people and food. I’m also fascinated by the varied architecture and scenery. About half of my travel is centered on visiting family and friends as so many live far away. I love to read novels set in different countries and later visit them to marry the written words with what I later see. I’m also drawn to read novels set in places I have visited so I can even more clearly see what the writer describes. It is a continuous circle of reading and travel.
What stands out to me as being when I enjoy a feeling of complete happiness are those moments when I’m in nature; the countryside or along a coast where the scenery is breathtaking. This has happened recently taking in the 360 degree vista from the top of St. Michael’s Mount and along the opposite coast in Port Isaac in Cornwall and at the far side of Lindisfarne Island in Northumberland. Maybe it’s because I’m from the seaside, but I am happy when I can see the sea. These memories are compounded by being with family members with whom I love to travel.
Thanks for all the inspiring comments so far from Silver Travel Book Club members on why you travel, and for sharing some of your most powerful travel memories.
This month’s Book Club choice is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton – definitely a travel guide with a difference – and we’ve asked why you travel and if there’s one particular trip that instilled a feeling of warm happiness in you. The most interesting two entries by 31/03 will each win a copy of the book.
Personally, I travel to experience other cultures, to meet people I wouldn’t otherwise come across, understand and eat local food, and generally – cliche alert – try to discover what is truly authentic about a place.
One memorable recent travel experience, thanks to Explore and Silver Travel Advisor, was to Chernobyl where I met the remarkable Ivan Semenyuk, living inside the nuclear Exclusion Zone:
It didn’t fill me with warm happiness (apart from the horseradish vodka, obviously), but it was a fascinating travel experience and certainly a very humbling meeting.
I travel to meet new people and get away from the routine of home. I cannot bear the thought of when I cannot holiday.
I just love to visit new countries – see the sights, taste the local cuisine, learn about the culture. One of my favourite places to visit was French Guyana – shooting the rapids on the Amazon, sleeping in a hammock – very scary to see and hear animal footsteps underneath all night, tasting the food which the organisers went out to catch and cook for us, visited Devil’s Island and saw the remains of the prison where Papillion was. A really different interesting time.
Why do I travel? The big question.
I like to explore, meet people from different cultures, try new foods, see iconic sights I have only heard of, and have adventures.
I have a scratch of map that both excites me and depresses me. Depresses me because the 50 countries I have visited hardly make a difference on the map, and excited because there are so many places to go, people to meet and adventures to be had.
While travelling in the Galapagos Islands, on the Mary Rose, a beautiful sail boat with only 16 passengers, I met an inspiring young woman. She had MS and was travelling solo. She wanted to do her long haul travel before it became to difficult and then would travel closer to home. From the Galapagos she was flying to Easter Island. She was not to proud to ask for help when needed.
A similar meeting took place in Vietnam, another young woman travelling solo and again with MS. I saw her struggling to board the boat taking us into a large cave. I helped her and we walked together, exploring, chatting, and sharing stories.
If these young women can travel solo so can I.
Last year, in Vietnam, I sat by a lake with two friends. In silence we watched a lone fisherman, paddling, in circles, with his feet, while he dropped his nets and hauled them in. Such peace, such quiet, such beauty, such serenity, such happiness.
I travel as part of my lifelong learning process. Everywhere you go you learn more about a place or its people. This type of learning is fun!
One journey that sticks in my mind was travelling overland from Nepal to the UK. I was excited about the destination at the end of the trip and the journey itself took me to such exotic locations and iconic sights. I still pinch myself when I think of the experience.
One holiday which I cannot forget is when I went on a cruise on the route of the arctic convoy with saga, leaving from Dover having visited the tunnels of Dover castle bringing many memories of the passengers on board. When I got on board, there was a number of aged men on board who had been involved with the arctic convoy. All the men present who had been selected from their associations , each were interviewed in turn and my eyes filled with tears when i heard their individual stories. Many had been aged16 when they went to sea, not knowing what they had let themselves in for. Frozen ships in winter, unsuitable clothing, rough seas, limited food all going to Russia to take supplies or bring Russians to the uk. We visited places like the the Italian church in Orkney, the museum of the little ships in Bergen besides a memorable service at sea in Alta, and a visit to private maritime museum in Alta. When we got to Murmansk in Russia we were greeted by the locals like long lost friends. We visited many cemeteries having being given a red rose to deliver where we wanted to give. All the crew, passengers and locals attended a large memorial service in the open air where a large monument following the war had been erected with a flame burning all the time, this is where I placed my rose. A very moving day. We latter visited Solovetsky islands in the White Sea where we heard a different story,first it was full of beautiful Russian domes, and restoration was taking place.it had been a monastery but latterly a place of exile but recently as a brutal soviet prison . Our final visit in northern Russia was at Archangel, an interesting town then it was a return journey along the Norwegian coast. This cruise made me think on how lucky I am, enjoying comforts and able to travel to remote destinations, without someone to give the history and meet the people involved. It is a cruise I will never forget.