There's a wonderful German word I came across while wandering for wonder online that means just that - the urge to wander- "Fernweh"! Leave it to the Germans to have a word that precisely describes what we Travelists are all feeling at the moment. We're going to get tired of sequestering ourselves at some point and will want to stretch our wings and fly again, and we will! Nothing lasts forever, not even pandemics. So what to do in the mean time? Well, it's a good time to catch up on that stash of souvenir ticket stubs and menus and other memorabilia from our past trips and make something fun with them. I often make collages with the flat items I bring back from travels and lay them out on a map of the location, tear out some pages of the guide book, gather together the ticket stubs from museums or transit rides, find whatever coins or bills I have left and assemble them in a frame using ahot glue gun or glue dots to keep things in place. Just be sure to display the date from a Playbill or ticket somewhere on your layout to give a sense of time, and the name of the map, to give the sense of place. Add some selfies and photos of the people you traveled with or met along the way and some handwritten notes and there you have it, a collage of your past travels to revisit while sequestered to get your Fernweh juices flowing again.
Enjoy your time on pause while the rest of the world has paused along with you. You can rest at ease knowing there's no FOMO going on anywhere!
Soon we'll all be wandering for wonder once again. And when that time comes we'll be ready to go, will you?
Research conducted by a team of chemical and pharmaceutical scientists from Germany, Italy and Lebanon found that the oil derived from a certain type of bay leaf ,L. Nobilis, to be effective against the SARS-CoV virus. Their findings published in a paper "Phytochemical Analysis and invitro-Antiviral Activities of the Essential Oils of Seven Lebanon Species" discusses the effectiveness of this oil against the SARS Coronavirus. SARS, another strain of the coronavirus, also originated in China and presented a pandemic threat in the early 2000's. We found a good source of the L.Nobilis oil available on Amazon called SVA ORGANICS 100% Pure Laurel Berry Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil 4oz - $14.94. Other oils mentioned in the paper found to inhibit the growth of the SARS virus in a laboratory setting are derived from Thuja Essential Oil 10ml - $9.99 and UNDA Gemmo Therapy Juniperus Communis (more potent than j.oxycedrus) 4.2 oz - $36.70 . Social distancing and hand washing seem to be the best ways we know of at this time to prevent spreading viruses. We found a handmade Aleppo soap Bar with Olive Oil and 70% Laurel Oil - $17.70 that may be more soothing to the skin with the antiviral properties of laurel oil. If you're traveling by air it may be best to clean your seat and surroundings with disinfecting wipes. We found a travel size on Amazon containing enough alcohol to kill most viruses and bacteria: Disinfectant Wipes - 75% Alcohol - 60 Wipes/Box - $13.88 and another product made from natural disinfecting and anti-viral oils called Dr. Schulze’s Air Detox - $28.00
In the 14th Century there was a pandemic called "the Bubonic Plague" AKA "The Black Death" that also originated in China before spreading throughout the Middle East to Europe through trade routes in Italy. This plague quickly spread to humans from infected rats and wiped out nearly 60 percent of the population of Europe without a cure.
As legend has it, while the plague raged through village after village in the 14th century, an opportunistic band of spice traders from Marseille, knowing the curative properties of the spices and oils they traded, discovered a blend of oils that, when rubbed all over their bodies, allowed them to loot the homes and businesses of the dead without contracting the bacteria. They were caught and sentenced to be hanged only to be spared by disclosing the formula for their protective oil blend. This oil, became known as "Thieves Oil", a blend of five oils: eucalyptus, clove bud, cinnamon, lemon and rosemary, continues to be very effective today even against some multi-drug resistant bacterial strains and many virus strains. A company called Plant Therapy, known for their quality and well tested oils, offers a Thieves Oil blend called Plant Therapy Essential Oils Germ Fighter Synergy 30ml - $14.95 available on Amazon at a fair price for the volume.
Another high quality brand of a similar Thieves Oil blend is called doTERRA On Guard Protective Blend 15ml - $44.00, also available on Amazon. doTERRA oil blends are generally more expensive than others but are known to be superior for their purity and strength.
Ways to use essential oils:
- As a body rub: blend 10 drops of essential oil per 1/4 cup of carrier oil such as PURA D’OR Carrier Oil: Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil 473ml - $12.99 or PURA D’OR Castor Oil 4oz - $12.99 (or as directed by manufacturer), mix and rub on the body torso, under arms, neck area. Re-apply every two hours as essential oils are short lived. Pure essential oils may burn the skin if applied directly so be sure to blend with a carrier oil before applying.
- Clear the air: there are a variety of diffusers available to keep the oils in your air ranging from local workspace , room or heavy duty commercial use and even a portable model for travel. You want a minimum of at least 10 hours diffuse time. They vary depending on size and features for different environments.
- Ingest: we don't suggest ingesting any of the oils without specific guidance from a qualified complementary health practitioner before doing so. Visit the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health website for more information about this.
- Disinfect surfaces: In a spray bottle mix 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 15 - 20 drops of the Plant Therapy Essential Oils Germ Fighter Synergy 30ml - $14.95, shake and spray on surface to clean, wipe and spray again to leave dry on surface. Or try these wipes and prepared spray and allow to dry on the surface:
Text links to products:
- SVA ORGANICS 100% Pure Laurel Berry Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil- 4oz - $14.94
- Thuja Orientalis Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil 10ml - $9.99
- UNDA Gemmo Therapy Juniperus Communis (higher in phenolic and flavonoid content than Juniperus Oxycedrus) 4.2 oz - $36.70
- Aleppo Bar soap with Olive Oil and 70% Laurel Oil - $17.70
- Plant Therapy Essential Oils Germ Fighter Synergy 30ml - $14.95
- doTERRA On Guard Protective Blend 15ml - $44.00
- Bay Leaf Essential Oil 10ml - $9.99
- PURA D’OR Carrier Oil: Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil 473ml - $12.99
- Disinfectant Wipes 75% Alcohol 60 Wipes/Box - $13.88
- Dr. Schulze’s Air Detox - $28.00
At Travelist Inc, we're not experts in health care but have experimented with essential oils to treat stubborn MDR infections when all susceptible antibiotics failed and found them to be very effective. In fact, after extensive research we learned that various oils actually break down the "biofilm" these superbugs developed to protect themselves thereby making way for antibiotics to do their job. We tested them out on an elder patient afflicted with a stubborn pseudomas aruginosa and klebsiella bacterial lung infection with successful results. Even the doctors were surprised when after three days of combining the essential oil blend we mixed and rubbed over the torso, front and back, while the patient was receiving an IV drip of antibiotic (before, during and afterwards) actually cleared the infection in three days after months of receiving just antibiotic. We can only hope that the oils reported in the laboratory research are equally effective against elusive strains of viruses as well and provide the links to products for your convenience.
DISCLAIMER: Please be clear, we make no claims that any of the oils or soaps will, in fact, reduce the chance of contracting or curing any viral or bacterial infection. The U.S. FDA doesn't regulate or test complementary approaches to healthcare in the United States. As such, there's no official U.S. government designation as to the efficacy of any phytochemical based product mentioned here. Many of the essential oil products recommended are neither food nor drugs but are considered cosemetic and aromatherapy products. We make our recommendations based on the findings reported in the research paper noted above and based on our own successful experience with using various essential oils to treat health conditions.
We wish you safe and healthy travels. Let's hope we may all "wander for wonder" free of worries again soon.
We're excited to be offering National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures tours for the avid traveler. They're a perfect solution for those with an insatiable curiosity who prefer to travel in small discreet groups; the ultimate Travelist. The National Geographic Journeys tours include plenty of free time to wander for wonder equipped with a packet of information about the destination prepared by National Geographic to help you make the most of your exploration. Each tour includes opportunities to learn about our world through unique interactive experiences with local experts like historians, marine biologists, photographers, Buddhist monks, chefs and other local specialists. When you travel with National Geographic Journeys you'll be helping to fund G Adventures community development initiatives worldwide while supporting the National Geographic Society's non-profit work in conservation, exploration, research and education. We chose a few of the many tours available to present on our Wander Tours page but please send us a note through the form if you'd like to learn of other destinations and trip durations and we'll be happy to help you. There are opportunities for private tours and solo travelers as well. We suggest that you book well in advance since their tours sell out very quickly.
Once again the New York Times Travel Show and Conference graced the crystal palace as the Javits Convention Center on the west edge of midtown Manhattan for three days in January. This year the most discussed topics in the conference portion of the show were the ubiquitous "sustainable" travel (and the marketing exploits of such called "green washing"), over tourism, and the social responsibility of travel. Special mention was made about the importance of tourism to help the countries hard hit by natural disasters rebuild the damaged areas and promote the untouched areas for tourism and, in many cases, at greatly reduced cost.
The trade show portion of the weekend was jam packed with attendees and presenters from all parts of the world with many vendors promoting all things travel from tours, flights and cruises to travel gear, publications and cultural demonstrations. A costumed Uzbek boy performed an energetic traditional dance on one stage while cooks from around the world prepared popular native dishes for the audience to sample.
The people from Puglia had a booth promoting their part of the world with a real “nonna” shaping fresh orecchiti pasta like a well oiled machine while talking with on lookers. For a look at her and her son using a common kitchen knife to cut and shape pasta while chatting with on lookersclick here.
Small group and bespoke tours were featured by most traditional tour vendors in addition to their larger group tours as the demand continues to grow for this sector. Interesting to note how different vendors define “small group”; for the tour operator offering private jet tours a small group was fifty travelers whereas the personal van tours were able to accommodate groups as intimate as eight with a maximum of twelve to sixteen travelers, on average (which is what I would call a small group; fifty travelers is a small circus…).
Experiential travel was also very popular with a broad variety of eating and cooking tours, botanical tours that visited amazing gardens in several countries, polar expeditions on both poles, exotic auto tours and private home stays were offered more than ever before. It seems that there’s a tour for everything these days. And why not? People have so many interests and love to see how people in other countries share their knowledge about a particular subject.
It was a little disconcerting to listen to the various airline representatives try to find relevance in discussions about sustainability. Let's face it, air travel has a long way to go before it can justify itself to Mother Nature. It's just not an environmentally friendly way to travel although a few have announced their plans to remove single-use plastic from their flights. But what alternative do we have for spanning the globe? Bicycle? Horseback? Yak? Ocean cruise ships are even worse offenders with the cheap polluting fuels and trash they produce. But at least one of the cruise lines is making headway in reducing its’ carbon footprint. A representative from Hurtigruten cruises presented their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint by building the first hybrid electric-powered expedition cruise ship.
Besides transportation, many of the destination operators expressed genuine concern for the way they impact the environment and their ongoing efforts to improve. The New York Times recently published an article that’s worth a read with many good suggestions for doing your part in the fight against global warming called “Be a More Sustainable Traveler” by Livia Albeck-Ripka with illustrations by Jackson Gibbs
"Devastating bushfires have been spreading across Australia for months, and they show no signs of slowing down. Millions of acres have burned, destroying about 2,000 homes and killing at least 25 people. It is estimated that more than half a billion wild animals have perished in the flames — a number that is expected to exponentially increase. Entire towns have evacuated to the shores and volunteer firefighters have left their families and careers behind to fight the flames around the clock...." Australia needs our help now! Click HERE to find out how
FOR A LIMITED TIME - ENDS JANUARY 27TH - PLACE YOUR BIDS NOW! AUSTRALIAN SPIRIT SOARS - Global Travel Auction for Australian Bushfire Relief. Bid on high-end luxury hotel stays organized by Australian luxury communications agency, Elysee Collective, and resort marketing/representation agency, World Resorts of Distinction, with all proceeds to be donated to the Australian Wildlife rescue (WIRES). Bids can be placed on 15 different truly "wander for wonder" stays. Note that the items do not include airfare, and bidding ends on January 27th at 6PM Australian Eastern Time.
Every once in awhile I come across a service that just makes the entire travel experience much more pleasant. The company called "Luggage Forward" offers to transport your luggage so that you won't need to. They'll pick up from where ever you are and deliver it to your destination and ensure that it arrives. Visit their website: www.luggageforward.com to schedule a pickup.
Another interesting variation on luggage handling offered by a company called "Dufl" not only manages your luggage but will launder, press and pack your clothes. All you need to do is throw a few items into a suitcase and contact Dufl. They'll tidy it all up and have it waiting for your arrival. This is a great service for the business traveler who tends to pack a "kit" since their packing needs are generally the same from one business related destination to another.
An idea came to me to eliminate the need for luggage altogether. Why not have clothes waiting for you at your destination? How hard can it be to put together a few outfits for when you're there according to the types of activities you plan to partake? Well, there's a company that's doing just that called TRVLporter that'll help you to rent an entire wardrobe for your next destination selected by a stylist just for you. TRVLporter is an online fashion rental and style concierge service that allows you to have designer clothing ready and waiting when you arrive at your destination. You'll never look so good! How fun is that?!?
And for all those hours of layovers there's Priority Pass Prestige Membership- Airport Lounge Access to 1000+ lounges worldwide. An annual membership fee grants you access to exclusive airport lounges world-wide where you'll be able to rest, groom, or just enjoy a good cocktail and catch up on your email while traveling for work or vacation.
To help you find a good deal on airfare:
If you're in New York City during December you'll be in for a treat. Holiday time in the Big Apple is just magical! From the Radio City Christmas Show featuring the high precision kicks of the Rockettes to the annual tree and menora lightings taking place all over the city from Rockefeller Center to Wall Street and all around uptown. There's joy to be had where ever you wander. One of my favorites is strolling past the decked out department store windows on 5th Ave up around 57th Street. If you want to make a little tour of it, start at Bergdorf Goodman on 57th and 5th for a spectacular display that never disappoints, then wander down past the Louis Vuitton store and right across the street is Tiffany, then head east over to Lexington Ave to check out the Bloomingdale's windows before heading downtown on Madison Ave to see the smaller shops and then back westward to 5th Ave to see Sachs and right across the street, the Rockefeller Center tree, holiday displays and ice skating rink!
We'll miss the fun and creative window display at Barney's this year and forever after since they've closed for good. Their windows always had a quirky take on the holiday season leaving one to wonder at times.
A word of warning - walking around the city this time of year can be very cold. You'll find the need to duck into a pub or cafe for some warming libations from time to time before heading off to the next site. A little preparation will make your holiday window watching much more enjoyable so dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes.
If you happen to be visiting New York City this fall there're a few events worth attending. The first is Open House New York on the weekend of October 19th. This is where the most interesting design shops, architect's homes and studios, historical buildings, industrial sites... open their doors to the public for a look at what they do and how they do it. Most sites are free, some require tickets or reservations, but all are worth seeing. I've been to this event several times over the past years and have never been disappointed by the venues or the way the tours were conducted. It's a real treat for those inquisitive types who don't mind waiting in line for a peek at the unique. Click here to visit the OHNY.org website.
The other must see and do event is the Annual Village Halloween Parade held each year on October 31st, Halloween. It's fun to be a spectator or just dress in black and buy a mask to wear from any local Duanne Reade and jump into the parade at the starting spot, 6th Ave. and Canal Street. You'll be part of the show along with thousands of other festive participants. If you choose to watch from the sidelines be sure to get there early to claim your spot on the sidewalk. Close to a million people come to watch so be prepared for crowds. From their website:The Parade runs STRAIGHT up 6th Ave. from Spring to 16th Street. Start: 7PM The streets are most crowded between Bleecker and 14th Street, so you might consider getting there early or try another place along the route…(or better yet, put on a costume and join the Parade!) The Parade starts at 7:00 pm and ends around 11:00 pm.
In November be sure to stay around for the 93rd annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, one of the world's largest parades presented by the NYC based department store, Macy's on Thursday, November 28th. The parade begins at West 77th St. and Central Park West and ends at 34th St. Herald Square. The best viewing spots are Central Park West from West 75th to West 59th Streets and 6th Avenue from West 59th to West 38th Streets. Again, as with any big splashy event in New York City, be sure to get there early to stake a spot on the sidewalk. It's a very popular event where people stand eight deep on the sidewalks just to get a glimpse.
The large balloons held by thirty or more balloon handlers and anchored by small tractors join legions of marching bands from all over the United States, dance groups, clowns, floats, celebrities, entertainers and many many NYPD police to keep everything under control. It's quite an event to attend at least once. Be sure to make reservations for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at one of the few open restaurants. Town and Country magazine has a good listing of some of the finer restaurants taking reservations for Thanksgiving dinner. Be sure to reserve early.
I've selected a number of local tours for visitors to the BIG APPLE through tour aggregator, Viator that'll save you lots of time and you'll see more if you schedule ahead of your arrival. My selection is based on my familiarity with the local sights and tour vendors. I hope you enjoy your stay!
I enjoy going to the NYT Travel Show each year in January at the Javits Convention Center in mid-town Manhattan. It’s a fairly large show with a good variety of tour operators and tourism bureaus from a wide variety of countries all over the world in addition to almost anything related to travel: food, gear, publications, organizations, cultural exhibitions and lots of seminars about the business side of things.
One thing I noticed in particular this year among tour operators – the notion of “FIT” or what’s called “Foreign Independent Travel” and sometimes “Family Independent Travel” – the individual or small group that prefers to chart their own course. Not at all a new concept but one that's being co-opted by many more traditional tour operators to build more customizeable options into their itineraries . More than ever were the opportunities to experience life as a local whatever the destination whether experiencing life in a Mongolian yurt or harvesting grapes in Italy or olives in small Greek villages. “Learning through experience” has become a popular attraction like the opportunity to spend time with farmers in France to gain an appreciation for their skills or with home cooks in Tuscany to learn to make one of the many delicious Italian meals from a bonafide "nonna".
Japan was there in full force promoting their various prefectures and customs offering little cabbage pancakes “Okonomiyaki” to those willing to wait on a long line just for a taste, or a demonstration of a kimono dressing. The Japanese can always be relied onto take things to the next level. They’re so passionate yet so reserved – from the ski resorts in the mountains of Nagano to the fishing villages of the south, to the beautiful natural areas of Gifu prefecture and of course the rich culture of the cities Tokyo and Kyoto -- Japan has it all and then some.
There were several African safari outfitters at the show – from Botswana to Kenya, Tanzania and other wild game reserves. I spent some time talking with a father-daughter safari outfitter, "Mashatu", from Botswana about their family’s roughly 72,000 acre privately owned game reserve. One thing they told me that I found surprising was the number of repeat visitors they have each year. It made my mind drift to the film “A Month By the Lake” with Vanessa Redgrave who played a character that took a month vacation on Lake Como in Italy every year since she was a young girl… I couldn't help but wonder who would go back to the same place year after year when there are so many places to visit on the planet. Apparently, people love the serenity of the Mashatu grasslands and the proximity of the migrating animals to the camps. After poring over their website I can easily see why anyone would want to return again and again, especially there -- it's rather luxurious and offers many levels of activity for a broad variety of traveler from solo to family to "adults only" and several different types of camps from the ultra-luxury villa to the more rustic (but still luxurious) tent. I’ve never been on an African safari but would love to do it sometime. One outfitter in particular that caught my eye called "Horizon Horseback" is also in the vicinity of the Mashatu reserve. I love to ride and have friends who frequently take equestrian tours all over the world, but none of us have ever considered an equestrian tour in Africa. Apparently, wild animals see a rider on a horse as one whole animal, not a separate human on a horse which comes in handy when riding among wild life. They have over 145 horses of a cross of Boerperd, Arab and Thoroughbred breeds. We’d love to organize a small group to visit this extraordinary equestrian safari for a week followed by a few days of a photography safari at the nearby Mashatu reserve. I'll be adding more about Mashatu and Horizon Horseback on our Wander Tours page soon.
Other show highlights featured river cruises – so many now that the popularity of river cruising is driving the cruise industry to build a variety of new ships for this purpose. What a relaxing way to see a place – from the water’s edge with daily stops for exploring in-land. A perfect way for those of baby boomer age to travel (easy on the knees) although anyone would enjoy sightseeing aboard a river cruise. The best rivers to cruise (according to one of the seminar speakers, Pauline Frommer, of the Frommer's Guide family) were the Mekong, Mississippi and the Danube due to the variety of attractions along the way. If you'd like to be notified of the river cruises we select as part of our Wander Tours, just fill out the form on the bottom of that page to request more information.
Ocean cruises are more popular than ever with an amazing variety of destinations, on-board events and activities with bigger and better ships being built every year. So many cruise lines now: Scenic, Crystal, Uniworld at the higher end to family friendly Ama Waterways, Viking, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise line, Celebrity... all vying to out do each other.
I attended a seminar on Luxury Travel hosted by the CEO from luxury travel network Virtuoso, Matthew Upchurch (who brought with him a bounty of worthy aphorisms such as "Price is what you pay, value is what you get." -- Warren Buffet ...he was just filled with them). I wanted to know more about what's considered "luxury" but didn't actually hear a definition that satisfied me other than the obvious "fancy hotels, cars and drivers, guides..." and then there were a few examples cited, such as "UniWorld as being the best in luxury cruise lines" ...
I couldn’t help but wonder how the millennial generation is going to impact this sector of gilded plushness and fastidious attention to what’s considered luxury by today’s standards. My general impression of the millennial traveler is to focus on the actual experience and less on its packaging. I thought of the wedding held in California by tech billionaire millennial wunderkind, Sean Parker and his betrothed (who, incidentally, is the daughter of a man I went to high school with in New Jersey, but I digress…) where all the guests were dressed in “Game of Thrones” costumes and the environment altered to support the theme. Made me wonder if that's that what luxury looks like to his generation. What was so luxurious about that wedding had more to do with service and the abililty to actualize a dream, however outlandish, than with man-made plushness. Afterall, it took place outdoors in the heart of Big Sur (naturally plush, to be sure, but then again there was the dirt not to mention, the bugs).
Despite the focus on the experiential, it's still nice to stay in a chic hotel, sail on a nice yacht, fly first class, dine in fine restaurants once in awhile... none of which will be going away any time soon although they may be refactored a bit to suit the tastes of the well-connected-tech-set always on the prowl for something new. The seminar presenter from Virtuoso left us with his final definition:"luxury is what you deliver". I suppose that sums it up.
Years ago I visited Lochness, Scotland and saw the most bizarre thing that left an indelible impression on me of the Scots -- a battered looking man all tarred and feathered with a carrot on his nose being driven around the town in an open truck for all to see. I assumed it was a barbaric form of punishment thought to be obsolete. Only until recently did I learn of my misperception. While at the New York Times Travel Show in Manhattan a few days ago I stopped by the Scotland Tourism display and met with one of the representatives and told her of what I had seen years back and wondered if it was still practiced as a method of punishment. She laughed and told me that what I saw is called a "blackening". Apparently, in the smaller towns, the pouring of sticky molasses-like syrup all over the soon to be married groom and covering him in feathers was and is still practiced. The groom is usually drunk by this point, which explains the dizzy look of the man I saw years ago, covered in feathers and paraded throughout the town in an open truck as part of the wedding festivity.
The Scottish woman from the tourism bureau and I had a good laugh. But I couldn't help wonder how many more misperceptions I have by spending just a day or so in any one location to have a look around. I suppose a local guide would have explained it to me if I had thought to hire one. I would have learned of their tradition and it would have made good sense but I may not have wondered about it for as long as I have since it never seemed to rest comfortably in my memory. The whole image of someone tarred and feathered in the 20th century fascinated me and gave the Scots a whole new dimension in my mind. I'm somewhat disappointed to learn the reality but still think fondly of the Scots. They're lovely people and I hope to visit their country again soon. A look at Scotland provided by the Scotland Tourist Board.
I've lived in New York City for over twenty years and noticed that I was feeling a bit of dread whenever I had guests visiting from out of town. Although I (usually) love my visitors and look forward to getting together with them, I've always felt a subtle discomfort while walking around the streets with them. What was it? I've thought long and hard about it and realized that it's not them nor is it me. It's just that the city has a rhythm of its own. After living here for so long I've learned not to fight it, to just go with the flow and it works. But navigating the streets with out-of-town guests makes me realize how frustrating it can actually be when not in stride with the city -- we're moving against it instead of with it. When you come to visit New York City, and I hope you do, don't try to push too hard. It will push you enough and when it does, just go with it. It all just works better. I've selected a number of local tours for visitors to the BIG APPLE through tour aggregator, Viator that'll save you lots of time and you'll see more if you schedule ahead of your arrival. My selection is based on my familiarity with the local sights and tour vendors. I hope you enjoy your stay!
What inspires us to travel? Of course there’s the need for rest and relaxation that makes us long for an occasional vacation to catch our breath. Then there’s the traveler that feels a calling to a destination to expand their mind and experience something new for self-fulfillment; something compels them to visit a particular destination at the time they feel the itch to pick up and go.
We’re all on this big blue planet Earth doing our thing in the only way our locale permits. Do you ever wonder how your counterpart on the other side of the planet gets it all done? After all, we’re all doing the same things to survive but the way we do them is dictated by resources; either financial, environmental, or through aggregated knowledge over time. Just look at the construction of the water distribution system in Tokyo. It’s basically like ours in New York City in functionality but different in execution. The parts I saw were beautiful -- artistically constructed concrete conduits that channeled water throughout the city serving the same purpose as our big City concrete pipes that run underground from a large reservoir somewhere never to be seen by civilians. The Tokyo system may not be any better than ours in functionality but, in a way, it contributes more to society through esthetics.
That is why I travel. To “wander for wonder”, to see and to learn, to experience and to understand, to see what other people are doing and how they do it. It inspires me to consider alternatives to doing things without judgement. For me, travel is an essential supplement to life that makes it worth living.