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.
I travel to see new places, to walk through new scenery and enjoy different cultures, and art.
I travel to experience different cultures and cuisine, to delve into the history of a place and to capture memories of sites, smells, sound and tastes. The sound of birds in a Costa Rican rainforest, the smells of sizzling food in Bangkok street markets, the taste of freshly-caught sardines grilled on a beach in Portugal, the wonders of the art and architecture of Venice and Florence.
I also travel to visit family who have made their homes overseas. My most memorable feeling of complete happiness was meeting up with all three of my adult sons in California and spending our days hiking for miles through the mountains, sampling craft beers, visiting vineyards. We spent afternoon at Santa Barbara Zoo gazing in awe at the snow leopard, the condors and the delightful Fennec fox and as we were leaving, the zoo photographer encouraged us to pose for a group photo. She exorted us to “look amazed guys and pretend you’re holding an animal!” She then showed us a mock up of us ‘holding’ an elephant, a giraffe or a penguin. By the time she got to the penguin, we were all four doubled up and crying with with laughter. We eventually composed ourselves and opted for the more realistic tortoise:
The book choice for March for the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Emerald Waterways – is the thought-provoking The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton’s travel guide with a difference.
Few activities seem to promise us as much happiness as going travelling: taking off for somewhere else, somewhere far from home, a place with more interesting weather, customs and landscapes. But although we are inundated with advice on where to travel to, we seldom ask why we go and how we might become more fulfilled by doing so.
With the help of a selection of writers, artists and thinkers – including Flaubert, Edward Hopper, Wordsworth and Van Gogh – Alain de Botton’s The Art of Travel provides invaluable insights into everything from holiday romance to hotel mini-bars, airports to sight-seeing.
The perfect antidote to those guides that tell us what to do when we get there, The Art of Travel tries to explain why we really went in the first place – and helpfully suggests how we might be happier on our journeys.
How to win a copy of The Art of Travel
Tell us why you travel, and is there one particular trip or holiday that stands out in your memory as a time when you enjoyed a feeling of complete happiness?
Join the Forum thread (or comment on Silver Travel’s Facebook page) and the most interesting two entries from Silver Travellers posted before 31 March will each win a copy of The Art of Travel.