Travel is like crack cocaine. For those of us that love to travel for leisure, the time away is a period of intense high. When we return home, we may sink into a temporary depression but in no time we will be planning the next hit.
There are many different reasons for people to decide that flying many hours to a completely foreign city or country is a worthwhile venture. Particularly when you consider the financial outlay required and translate that into pairs of shoes, cases of beer, or the new car that has been forgone (particularly when travelling as a family), it takes a fair bit of courage for one to blow their hard-earned cash on a holiday.
For those of us that thrive on adventuring into the unknown, travel is also an investment. We spend a crapload of money but it returns to us cherished memories of beautiful landscapes, exciting tales of mountains conquered, sordid holiday romances, an array of delicious but foreign food experiences, new friendships, and the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve overcome the fear or hesitation of a strange place and discovered more about your own character.
The places that I tend to visit are mostly grouped into three categories: amazing scuba diving sites or ski mountains, gastronomic destinations, and cultural or scenic adventures. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to get a country that will satisfy all three areas – hello France and Italy!
Having a travelling hobby is a wonderful way to see the globe. There is no shortage of enthusiastic pilgrims forever searching the world for the perfect surf break or powder snow, playing the most famous and scenic golf courses, following the trail of the Tour de France, or sailing around the azure waters of the Caribbean, Mediterranean, or the Whitsundays islands. The best thing about pursuing your hobbies overseas is meeting like-minded skiers, golfers, divers or surfers, avidly comparing your favourite destinations, and then getting ideas for your next trip in that never-ending search for the perfect break or powder, whatever the case may be.
The addiction is starting to form.
Then you add in the food and the culture. I put them both together because they are so closely intertwined. In many cultures, food is what brings people together, is a feature of religious feasts, or reflects the produce or lifestyle of the local area. Whether it be the simple and rustic meals of Guatemala or the elaborate and technical results of fine French cuisine, travelling the world being led by your stomach is a sure way to connect with the local people and their culture. Escape the tourist traps to wander the back streets or frequent the street stalls where all the locals eat and you can’t go too far wrong for an authentic foodie experience.
The addiction is taking hold.
Finally you take in the breath-taking scenery or the striking architecture that has made the destination a feature on people’s bucket list: the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, the Alps, the Great Wall, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, the Panama Canal – the checklist continues, each with its own fascinating history, sense of majesty, or just wonder of human achievement.
When’s the next holiday hit??