Mar 06

Some Thoughts on Travel

Regular readers of this blog will deduce that travel is an enjoyable pastime of the author. Whether traveling domestically or across international borders there are many benefits gained from travel. Great poets have written about traveling. Famous writers have used travel as a sort of muse to awaken their creative genius. Throughout human history, esteemed explorers have traveled far away from their homes and their journeys have led to significant historic discovery!

Often there is a sense of rejuvenation after taking some time off from one’s daily routine to travel. Recent studies have indicated that international travel, in particular, can help stimulate cognitive flexibility and creative thinking. This recent poll, conducted by The Global Commission on Aging, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, and the U.S. Travel Association, shows a correlation between travel and improved mental health especially in relation to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, the Framingham Heart Study is useful to explain some of the physical benefits of travel.

For many people, the simple act of planning a trip can bring an increased sense of happiness and, conversely, after returning home from traveling, there is often a prolonged sense of contentment. Enjoyable memories can linger for many weeks or even months after a brief sojourn.

This links to a previous article detailing many packing and planning tips….but to save time just be sure to– Read the link about saving space in the suitcase. Also read about packing tips from professional travelers. And a one-page packing list in pdf format.

Planning for travel and gaining travel experience through the implementation of your plan helps to build individual organizational skills. Travel can also help to build confidence in your interpersonal and communication skills. Learning to read a map is a useful skill. Your travel experience can often make you more valuable to your employer as well.

A good link for Tips for flying

Follow this link for many more related to transportation abroad.

When you travel abroad it is best to try and blend in. Avoid attracting attention to yourself. Dress appropriately for the venue or event. Show some understanding of and respect for the social norms of the culture you are visiting. Be observant and you may learn a bit. Here is a source for learning about customs and manners in many different countries; Culture Smart Books.

Another link for Culture Smart here.

Safety is always a concern when traveling. I wrote an article a few years ago and in it there are plenty of useful links for reading about personal safety and self defense. By following some simple precautions and remaining vigilant to the fundamentals of situational awareness, travel can be enjoyable and the risk of encountering potentially dangerous situations can usually be minimized or avoided. Go read this short piece for suggestions to avoid basic health problems while traveling.

Gaining knowledge of different cultures and learning a new language (if only a few common phrases) helps to broaden one’s world view. ESL learners have an advantage communicating in the English speaking world, because the English language is so broadly spoken. English is near universal as the default language of population-earth. English has become the language of international business. So, for all the ESL learners reading this remember that you will greatly improve your spoken English if you travel to an English speaking country and if you travel to a country where English is not the dominant language, you will most certainly be able to find someone who speaks English. In fact, many Europeans speak English as their second language.

Famed actor, writer, international traveler and all around funny guy, Michael Palin has a terrific list of books to get you in the mood for travel. See; Michael Palin’s Ten Greatest Travel books

From travel you can study history, you can gain an appreciation for great art, and you can learn about the geographic world as well.

So, Go! Set some plans for travel. Get out and experience your world. Learn something new. Do something adventurous. Step outside of your comfort zone. Push your limits. See what happens on the other side.

Until then, Happy Trails to You

lyrics by Dale Evans Rogers

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, ’till we meet again.

Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It’s the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here’s a happy one for you.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.

Happy trails to you, ’till we meet again.


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