Why Travel?

Jonah Lehrer wrote in an article for The Observer (2010),

“It has long been said that travel ‘broadens the mind’. Now new evidence proves that jumping on a plane will not only make you smarter, but more open-minded and creative.
Several new science papers suggest that getting away – and it doesn’t even matter where you’re going – is an essential habit of effective thinking. It’s not about a holiday, or relaxation, or sitting crossed legged in an ashram in India: it’s about the process itself, putting some space between home and wherever you happen to spend the night. “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. The beauty of this whole process was best described, perhaps, before people even took to frequent flying, by George Santayana in his essay, ‘The Philosophy of Travel.’ We ‘need sometimes,’ the Harvard philosopher wrote, ‘to escape into open solitudes, into aimlessness, into the moral holiday of running some pure hazard, in order to sharpen the edge of life, to taste hardship, and to be compelled to work desperately for a moment at no matter what.'”

Here are some other great reasons to travel:

1. Travel gives us a sense of accomplishment: exposure to different languages and culture. Moving out of our comfort zone can be frightening but also invigorating. We are flexing our inner strength and sense of self.

2. We learn more about ourselves – we may open our palate to new tastes and our mind to new experiences. We may find that what we like and dislike has changed as we experience new activities and people. In learning more about ourselves we also open ourselves better understand others.

3. We become more interesting – as we travel, we learn more about new places and people of the world and have great stories to share with others.

4. Travel gives us perspective – we can easily become consumed in our own small world; our friends and families, our triumphs and challenges. When we travel, we open to something much larger and may realise that we often worry about the small stuff and may find more gratefulness for what we do have and have taken for granted.

As George Santayana wrote in his essay, The Philosophy of Travel, “There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar; it keeps the mind nimble; it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor. Romantic poets inaugurated an era of travel because they were the great apostles of open eyes. Buddhist monks are often vagabonds, in part because they believe in wakefulness. And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end”. 

I am leading a small group to North India in October 2013. If you are interested in travelling or finding out more about the tour contact Zoe at Peregrine Travel .

Zoe Rees – Private Groups and Charity Groups Consultant
Peregrine & Gecko’s AdventuresLevel 4/380 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC, 3000
t.1300 854 439  |  f. +61 3 8601 4300


Jonah Lehrer in an article for The Observer (2010)

Pico Iyer, Why We Travel (http://www.cmi-gear.com/tim/travels/chapter12-travel.as

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