27 September 2023

Let dreams be your escape plan to travel

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By Rama Gaind.

Dreaming of the special stay at Cape Nidra Hotel Hua Hin in Thailand. Photo: Rama Gaind

Travel is such a simple word with two syllables that conjure up images — along with restlessness and a yearning — to regain control of our wandering spirit, to again become a travel bug. It doesn’t take much convincing to realise “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”. Not a lot of us have been able to do for quite some time.

As an alternative, some avid travellers will be dreaming about a vacation. According to the Pew Research Center, with some 90 per cent of the world living with travel restrictions during the COVID-19 restrictions, with the limits ongoing, we’re seeing more people “dreaming about vacation”— in the figurative sense as well. Our dreams, day or night, will have to carry us to that distant horizon for now.

Not daydreams . . . actual dreams when the brain goes on a holiday to places like the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania, Thailand, London, Paris or Rome. So if you’re in a reverie then you need to get away. You have to have a break. To relax, recuperate.

Those pre-pandemic days of carefree travel are not likely to return. The constraints have clipped our wings for some modes of travel … but our fervent hope is that it will not be for too much longer.

Travel is such a simple word, yet it has connotations that far sweeping.

Lockdown is certainly a challenging time for all of us, with no travel likely until 2022. How much more planning can we do with packages because no sooner do we book, that the flights and accommodation have to be either put into credit or cancelled due to border limitations. I’ve had to call off five trips this year until November. However, these plans have only been postponed as I have every intention of resurrecting them just as soon as it is safe to do so. Unfortunately, we do not have a crystal ball, yet we need to stay sanguine.


So, why not ruminate, be creative, show initiative — and that got me thinking. Give this column a different slant, occasionally. Compose something a little out of the norm to destination writing.

It would be good to just look at various ways we ‘talk’ when using this one simple word — travel. The combination is quite staggering!

Share the many wonders of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Rama Gaind

Travel is described as the movement of people between distant geographical locations. Travel can be undertaken by foot, bicycle, automobile, train, boat, bus, plane, ship or other means, with or without luggage, and can be one way or a round trip. To travel is to move or go from one place or point to another for leisure, business, adventure or special interest. Why do you travel?

There are different words you can use instead of travel: journey, peregrinate, pilgrimage, tour, trek, trip or voyage. Travel means different things to different people. Wanderlust is the boost for me. Travel is discovery, freedom, providing new experiences and memories, being a happier person by building self-confidence, breaking routine and meeting people from all walks of life, from all over the world.

After all, it’s much more fun to love the world than to be afraid of it.

To be able to travel is wonderful — to see new places, meet new people, experience different cultures, live life to the fullest. Plenty of good things are associated with travel.


What memories come to your mind with the word – travel?

Words may be repetitious, but historical facts are enlightening. Who is the father of tourism? Thomas Cook can be said to have invented modern tourism. Cook, (born 22 November 1808, Melbourne, Derbyshire, England — died 18 July 1892, Leicester, Leicestershire). He was an English innovator of the conducted tour and founder of Thomas Cook and Son, a worldwide travel agency.

Then who invented travelling? Ancient Greek writer, geographer and historian Herodotus is widely known as the Father of History, but he was much more than that. He was also the world’s first travel writer, a pioneering geographer, anthropologist, explorer, moralist, investigative reporter, foreign correspondent and enlightened multiculturalist before the word even existed.

Psychologist Tim Watson-Munro says, “right now, as never in our lifetimes, we need to remain optimistic”. A pandemic is unsettling and one antidote to suffering is to try and stay positive, productive and resilient.

A spontaneous catch cry will soon reverberate to bring back that flying feeling. As English poet Robert Browning said, “the best is yet to be”!

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