Travel-Wise & Open-Hearted

‘We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again – to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.’ 

Pico Iyer

The above quote from travel writer Pico Iyer eloquently expresses some of my thoughts on why I enjoy travelling. Everytime we head off in our campervan I feel happy knowing I am setting off on a trip that will give me many chances to open my heart to new places and people and most certainly fall in love over and over again.

Travelling to new and familiar places I uncover different ways of living and new perspectives. Travel keeps alive my fascination and interest in people, history and nature as I see places, observe interactions and learn languages. These things encourage me to make connections and enjoy our differences.

For me being away from home is always a liberating experience. My brain is stimulated by seeing the everyday differently as well as seeing new sights and learning new stories. In my own four walls I am safe but I also become tethered to a schedule and travel injects the unexpected. The sights, smells and tastes of a different place open up new possibilities for my own life and stimulate creativity and interest. I don’t witness a shining light of revelation but by witnessing other people and observing that there is more than one way to be, I gradually understand humanity just a little bit better.

I am not suggesting that coming home is unpleasant. I like where I live and returning to Lancashire I will spend a few days adjusting and thinking through everything I have seen. This is my travel-wise state and it often results in tiny shifts in my life as I follow up on something I have questioned or learnt while I was away. I might remember how much better I feel from being outdoors all day and try and include being outside more in my day; I might increase the amount of language learning I do after being embarrassed with how little I know; or I might research further a period in history I had learnt about on our trip. I try and cling onto the open-heartedness of travelling as long as I can as I move around my local area and I resist getting back into habits. Eventually I will become comfortable in the workaday again and I know it is time to get back on the road.

Travel might feel like an indulgence but it has value. It is an annoying cliche but we often think of life as a journey and it is the travelling in my life that gives me the resources to make my way along that journey as the best person I can be until my big trip on this planet ends.

‘Travelling through the world produces a marvellous clarity in the judgement of men. We are all of us confined and enclosed within ourselves and see no farther than the end of our nose. This great world is a mirror where we must see ourselves in order to know ourselves. There are so many different tempers, so many different points of view, judgements, opinions, laws and customs to teach us to judge wisely on our own, and to teach our judgement to recognize its imperfection and natural weakness.’  

Michel de Montaigne

Author: Back on the Road Again Blog

I write two blogs, one about my travels in our campervan and living well and frugally and the second about the stories behind the people commemorated in memorial benches.

6 thoughts on “Travel-Wise & Open-Hearted”

  1. Good summary of what travel can bring & why you do it – similar here – I get itchy feet and want to go away somewhere, anywhere sometimes, just to get out of the being at home routine to find some new viewpoints, fresh places, and learn something new about the area or place I’m visiting. Long may the wheels roll….!

    Liked by 1 person

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