“To travel is take a journey”
This is the definition of travel according to the Oxford English dictionary. This is fact.
What does ‘travel’ mean to people?
I think it conjures up a lot more than just departing one place and arriving at another.
To me travel means discovery, fun, adventure and holiday. Being able to travel is my favourite thing in the world, my passion. I don’t take for granted how privileged I am being able to travel when most people in the world do not have such a luxury. I wished everyone had the right and indeed desire to discover places new to them.
I firmly believe that travel does indeed broaden the mind, as clichéd as that maybe. Mark Twain famously said:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness”
I couldn’t agree more.
I don’t agree with those that believe to really travel one must be away from home, travelling on their own for months on end. To me, that feels extreme. Travelling can mean a week’s holiday in Majorca so far as I’m concerned just as it can mean spending a day on the coast or indeed spending six months travelling the world.
Travel is not defined by duration, destination, cost, companions or even time. It is only defined by the fact a journey has taken place. Yet on that journey discoveries, no matter how small, are made. Memories are also made.
I still fondly remember camping every summer in Cornwall on our family holiday. I remember the rain. I remember cooking on the stoves in the morning, the games of cards, the sun-burn, the sea and the beach. I vividly remember the journey, all six of us, packed into a small car with camping gear every where. I remember folding the back seats of the car down and sleeping side by side with my two brothers and sister. We where on top of all the gear with a duvet thrown over us and at 4 am as we took the M6 south for the long drive.
Eventually, during the inevitably sunny afternoon, we spotted the sea. I remember the excitement as we approached our destination. I remember looking for the campsite for hours, always getting lost. Eventually we arrived. To this day Treyanon Bay remains one of my favourite places in Cornwall.
This was my first taste of travelling.
I was 16 years old when I first flew on a plane. Taking four children away was expensive during he 1980’s so we mainly stayed in the UK as my parents budgeted to make sure we had our weeks camping. But wen I was 16 we went to Spetses, a small island off Greece with no cars and lots of donkey carts. We stayed in an apartment perched on a hill. As you’d expect, it was white washed and had tiled floors. From the balcony we could see the town and the sea. I though this place was amazing. I first tasted swordfish and ouzo on this holiday.
This was my second taste of travelling.
I remember the journey home too. I remember sitting on the dock awaiting our ‘dolphin’ boat and watching with horror as it caught fire approaching. I remember seeing rescue boats going out to help. All was ok in the end but I was nervous on the trip back to the mainland. We had a day in Athens and I got to see the Acropolis and Parthenon. I’ll never forget that day,
In those days one could ask to see the pilot during the flight. So I did.
They let me stay in the cockpit as we flew over the UK coast line. It was night time and there I stayed, at the back, watching the pilot and co-pilot fly, explaining to me what they were doing. These days its unlikely any child nor adult can have such an experience.
There are many more episodes in my childhood and indeed adult life which have shaped me and no doubt contributed to the fact that I ended up in the travel industry pursuing a career.
I suspect I will always love travel and I know there are millions of people like me.