Understanding the joys of travel and how to make the most of them

A traveler goes in search of people, of adventure, of experience. A tourist goes for sightseeing.

The Festival of Light in Sukothai, Thailand (wikipedia)

CHARLOTTE, NC, September 2, 2017 — After you have done all the mandatory sightseeing and witnessed all the treasures of the world, the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Great Wall, there comes a moment when you realize that now you can begin to enjoy travel for travel’s sake.

Cascading waters of Plitvice National Park in Croatia (wikipedia)

Each of us is unique and, as such, we all travel in different ways with different perspectives. Many travelers go in search of something new each time they venture forth. Others are content to return to familiar places, destinations that become like an old shoe because they suit someone’s lifestyle.

It doesn’t really matter how or why people travel. For veteran travelers or even novices who want to attempt something different, pick an aspect or two of travel and immerse yourself in it.

It could be people watching at a sidewalk cafe or a few contemplative moments in a massive centuries-old cathedral or surrounding yourself in a peaceful country setting where time seems to stand still.

African sunset in Kenya (wikipedia)

Over the years I have come to understand how certain times of day affect my attitude. I adore the serene, soothing freshness of a new day. Barbara Grizzuti Harrison described an Italian dawn as arriving “with theatrical brush strokes,” and early morning for me has, indeed, become a time of renewal.

Christ the redeemer greets the day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (wikipedia)

I cherish those precious golden moments when the veil of night lifts to reveal the dewiness of daybreak. When the world seems cleansed with coolness and moisture that beckons through a scrim of earth-clinging clouds, whispers in flowers and trees, gently nourishing them in clear, tiny droplets of life, caressing them in a misty shroud.

Bodnant Gerdens in Wales, a canopy of life (wikipedia)

That time of day when a peach-colored sun is little more than a formless shape in the sky, innocent and subdued, dispersing gradations of light across the horizon.

When birds are hushed silhouettes with wings, made all the more distinct by the back-lit palette of a delicate pastel sky, a sky that will swiftly yield to the frantic turmoil of commerce and enterprise.

The Abbey Library in St Gallen, Switzerland (wikipedia)

Morning is that fleeting portion of the day when tranquility prevails with muffled sounds that introduce a sunrise, all unified into a single uplifting serenade. Daybreak is a symphony for my soul.

Whenever possible I enjoy sipping coffee and watching the day unfold with a freshness all its own. For me, writing a description of those experiences are moments of pure joy where I can lose myself in another world all my own.

Subway station in Moscow

“The piazza was buzzing with the rhythms of the day and a passion for living; fishermen sorting their catches and hosing down the decks of their tiny boats, vendors lining the pier with buckets of fresh squid, laundry lines filled with sheets and pillowcases and personal items strung between ancient mustard colored buildings; gray haired women dressed entirely in black peering from third story windows, observing the same daily rituals they had watched continuously from the same locations for decades, small groups of men, two, three, sometimes four, flailing their arms and hands with gestures to emphasize their points of view, the topic being secondary to what really mattered, which was the flair and the amount of expression with which the opinion was expressed; sidewalk cafes with waiters clanking dishes and glasses as they flitted among their mazes of tables, tethered children crying and reaching for elusive, brightly colored balloons, lovers walking hand in hand, so infatuated with each other that nothing else existed.”

Scenic beauty of Kotor in Croatia, one of the world’s best kept travel secrets (wikipedia)

“There were smells too. And street sounds. A feast for the senses. People shouting from distant hidden doorways and alleys. Invisible voices from upstairs apartments singing opera that permeate into the clamor of the streets, creating a theatrical backdrop for this elaborate outdoor stage.”

Wake up early and greet a day filled with promise (wikipedia)

“Motor scooters zipping helter-skelter between people as if choreographed not to run into anyone or anything. Fruit and vegetable stalls, and freshly cut flowers.

“This was a place where participation was mandatory, yet it was also a place where one could remain entirely anonymous. It was a pageant, a carousel, a parade and a circus all wrapped into a single piazza, performed under a canopy of sunny, blue Mediterranean sky, and orchestrated by life itself.”

Trains are one of the best ways to travel (myswitzerland.com)

Traveling keeps you young, at least in spirit and in mind, if not body

Travel is intoxicating. Barbara Grizzuti Harrison once wrote,

“My unconscious mind reached a deep intuitive understanding of the past (my past), only to see more levels, deeper levels, hidden pasts. It meanders sinuously among artifacts lost and found, unknown but known. It travels many ways to arrive in the same place.”

Pulteney Bridge in Bath, England still operates much as it did in the past (wikipedia)

Perhaps the words of Daniel Boorstin sum up the wonder of travel best: “A traveler goes in search of people, of adventure, of experience. A tourist goes for sightseeing. Just like the question is more interesting than a statement, and a road more intriguing than a map, I aspired to be a traveler. Be brave. Go through open gates.”

When you come to a gate, go through it…Germany’s Brandenburg Gate in Berlin (wikipedia)

Find that empty gate and wander through it. You will not be disappointed and your life will become richer.

About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.

He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)

His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.

Read more of Travels with Peabod and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News

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