We’re writing this in a stressful time: months deep in the throes of an international pandemic, at an unprecedented time when social distancing has become the norm. A lot of Australians – and people around the world – are feeling stressed, and it’s important to take steps to take care of our wellbeing.
With travel plans disrupted and our dream holidays feeling so far away, it’s a great time for armchair travel to get that travel fix. Visiting our favourite galleries and museums virtually and exploring the world from our comfy sofas can be a lot of fun while we’re waiting for the real thing. At ATAS, we live and breathe the travel sector, so where we’d usually be giving you advice about travel – amazing places to visit, navigating airports and more – we’ve been reflecting a lot on travel itself and the special place it holds in our hearts.
With that in mind, the question arises: why do we travel? What is it that we love about going far away, leaving our homes and our comfort zones to explore that which is new? Here’s our thoughts on the power of travel to make lives better.
Travel makes us happy.
Many of us have nostalgic memories of planning your first travels, equipped with a trusty travel guide in the library and scribbling into your dog-eared notebook (or if you’re a bit younger, your notebook computer!). Nowadays, scrolling through Youtuber vlogs to reading amazing travel blogs (like ours!) as you plan your future journeys is a great source of joy – reminding you that the world is out there, that we’re all connected even though we’re far apart.
Travel can be fantastic for your mental health – making new friends around the world, building closer friendships with your travel buddies as you make memories together, seeing incredible things and making the dreams you wrote in that dog-eared notebook come true. You get to see how wonderfully different we are, and the ways we are similar too. You also get to see, taste, and experience things that simply aren’t available at home, fall in love with a place, and cherish those memories forever.
The world is an amazing place, full of diversity, surprises, flavours and fun – to such an extent that we never get to experience it all. Wanderlust is curiosity, and it’s a great pleasure to be able to make life into an extraordinary journey.
Travel makes our world smaller.
It isn’t that long ago that people were mostly getting around on horse-drawn carriages, ship travel for pleasure was largely the domain of the elite, and many if not most of us would stay in one place our entire lives. For the last century, the world has been our oyster – and it’s been fantastic!
Of course, now that we’re dealing with an unprecedented pandemic, border closures and 1.5m social distancing, the world doesn’t seem so small – but with the power of technology, it can be pretty darn close. So why not reach out to friends you made on your travels, and catch up on Zoom? For now, bring the world to you!
Remember “Eat, Pray, Love”? (If not, it’s time to add it to your booklist – more info here!) If you’re feeling down or lost, travel is a great way to find yourself, and escape from the anxieties that can take over your mind. Things that seemed like a big obstacle at home can seem tiny a world away. Stepping away and coming back refreshed can give you the perspective both on your own life and the world which you needed – and can form an important reminder of what actually matters to you.
While we can’t hop on a plane and find ourselves in the same way that the heroine of Eat Pray Love did, we can daydream our way through journeys in travelogues, and practice our own self-care journeys.
Travel is a great teacher.
We tend to live in a small bubble: seeing the same people every day, going to the same places, staying in the same comfort zone. Travel allows us to experience new ways of thinking, doing and being. We’re exposed to adventure, to the unknown, to a kaleidoscope of new colours, flavours and festivals; we learn and grow.
While you’re in #stayathome mode, your learning doesn’t have to stop – from Zooming with an Italian tutor, to watching immersive travel videos in 4k, or learning how to cook home-style Sichuan cuisine. 吃饭 (let’s eat)!
Feeling a bit stuck at home? Check out our blog on travel books to lift your spirits, and daydream about your post-pandemic trip with our articles on the world’s most romantic places and new ways to see old favourite destinations.
Categories – LEISURE TRAVEL