Inland Karst Landscape, Outside Hanoi

Discover The Magic And The Reasons Why We Travel

“So gather moments while you may, Collect the dreams you dream today” sang Paul Anka. I was listening to his Kodak commercial   ‘Times Of Your Life‘ whilst looking through my old travel photos. Yes, after all the travels and expenses, the magic of travel is kept fresh through these photos.

Now we use our smart phones and other smart devices to capture and share the special moments during our travels. In this digital world, we can share these memories with friends and relatives who may be on the other side of the world – nearly in an instant.

Despite the hassles in the airports,  travel has grown exponentially. The long queues at the airline check in, at the immigration and customs check points, the hassles at security counters and other inconveniences cannot diminish our search for curiosity, fun, freedom and fulfillment that travel brings.

Do you want to know how I overcome all these hassles? My tip is simple – just arm yourself with a BIG positive attitude and allow for extra time. Tell yourself that your holiday starts now, even before going to the airport, train or bus stations, and you will succeed in overcoming any hassle with a smile. Try it on your next trip.

1. Business Travel 

We travel as a part of our work, so why not make it enjoyable and fun. Most likely we represent our firms, better still we own our business firms. Those working in the public service, religious bodies and international agencies are also engaged in business travel. In olden times, travelling is often hazardous. At best, such travel was an adventure, and at worst, you encounter pirates on the sea and robbers on land – the following 3 pictures (from Wikipedia) illustrate the mortal dangers :-

If you can, travel with Singapore Airlines (SIA). I know because I worked some 30 years there. Once on board, you can leave all the airport hassles behind, especially in the comfort of its premium zones. Never mind first class air travel these days. Business class on SIA is very good. On its latest B 777-300ERs (Extended Range), the business class seats at 34-inch wide can be folded into a 74-inch lie-flat bed. Its state-of-the-art inflight entertainment delivers 238 (252 in the Airbus 380) movies, 228 TV programs, 30 hours of short features and over 800 music CDs and audio books.

Business Travel in Some Style

Business Travel in Style – First Class Cabin with Christmas decor in the now-Retired B747

2. Visiting Friends And Relatives

Whilst looking through the many photographs that my wife Melinda has painstakingly organised  into photo albums over the years. I was amazed by the number of times we travelled to visit friends and relatives (VFR).

Tea Ceremony at a Niece Wedding in Michigan

Tea Ceremony at a Niece Wedding in Michigan, USA

I am sharing some of my photos here where the purpose of the trip is celebratory. Above is a niece wedding. Below, and clockwise from top left : son’s 21st birthday dinner, Chinese New Year reunion dinner, daughter’s graduation,  meeting up with ex colleague Yuriko, visiting ex neighbours Frank and Dotty and as a guest of Rosie and Ron.

3. Leisure Travel

Whether you are an active traveller or a passive tourist (passive because nearly everything is packaged), or anything in between, you have your own reasons to travel. On the active front, I have enjoyed my Machu Picchu visit, deep sea fishing and trekking on the Salkantay Trek – named among the 25 best Treks in the world, by National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine. It’s a lovely 4-day trek and you can do it too. Just train yourself and the better shape you arrive for the trek, the more there is for you to enjoy.

Travelling to new and strange places give you the opportunity to experience fun, freedom and fulfillment … such as doing a folk dance below 🙂

Folk Dancers at Trafalgar Square

Folk Dancers at Trafalgar Square

… or to expand your perception of  the world at large and perhaps to satisfy your own curiosity of other cultures and strange places – such as being an Inca king for 5 minutes in Cuzco, a Chinese Scholar in the Unesco Heritage city of Fenghuang and learn about the Miao diaspora.

And if you live in rural places, you travel to the urban city in search of entertainment – at the theatres, museums, plays and exhibitions. London, Paris and New York – to name a few – cater to the influx of  both domestic visitors as well as from overseas. Thus, I saw the Mona Lisa in Paris, my favourite Picasso painting in New York and Da Vinci’s Last Supper in Milan.

Da Vinci's Last Supper in Milan

Da Vinci’s Last Supper in Milan

Those seeking the sun, sea and and sand will go on vacations to the sea resorts and even to far-flung islands like the Maldives, the Carribbean, Hawaii, Tahiti, Bali and Phuket. Well, Tahiti and the romance of the South Pacific are still in my bucket list …

Tahiti and the South Pacific

Tahiti and the South Pacific

You may also like to make use of your history lessons, visiting  those majestic pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the Taj Mahal in New Delhi, Mount Rushmore and the list goes on. In 1998, you can have all the space you wanted in the Great Wall. Now, the crowds will just push you upwards!!

On The Great Wall Oct 1998

On The Great Wall Oct 1998 – How Empty Then!

Just as we cannot read all the books in the world, we cannot travel and visit all the places there are to visit. So we compile our own bucket lists, and I think everyone of us do keep a list – either as a written list or just in our heads. There are just as many reasons for travel as there are interesting places to visit.

4. My Top 3 Reasons To Travel?

If I have to state my top reasons for travel, there would be only 3. Yes, 3 is always the magic figure. It’s simple to remember why we need to travel.

The Happy Faces In This Family Reunion Says It All

The Happy Faces In This Family Reunion Says It All

1. Visiting Friends and Relatives

2. For Leisure, and 

3. Any reason is a good reason to travel.

I’ve done a survey with friends who travel quite a bit. Their reasons for travel are as varied as the realities of life. Check it out whether these reasons resonate with yours.

* Because it has been on my bucket list for 25 years.
* Because I’ve worked too hard the last 6 months.
* Because I’ve said “next year” for the last 3 years.
* Because this is the year I’ll give myself a birthday gift.
* Because we scrimped on our wedding anniversary. And it’s time to make up for it.
* Because I want to spend time with my kids – while they still want to.
* Because I’ve given back too many vacation days every year.
* Because we paid for their college. Now is the time to think of us now.
* Because this birthday is bigger than any before, my 60th deserves something special.                                                                                           * Because it’s time I give myself the treat I deserve

Tingle of Excitement

I still feel the tingle of excitement each time I start planning for a trip. Travelling for me expands my perception of my known world. It’s like shining a light into a place I’ve not been – and therein lies its magic for me. I hope we share the same tingling too.

Related Posts:

1. Journey To Machu Picchu, Part II

2. Retirement Travel And Continuous Education Part III, Mentorship

3. Top 10: Reasons All Men Should Travel

4. 17 Reasons Why Around the World Travel is Good For You

5. 100 Reasons to Travel