Why Travel?

Boatmen Launching
Boatmen Launching

Why Travel? I mean really travel, the kind of travel where you actually get to know someone truly different from you and find friendship, kinship or just plain old affinity. Travel … in which you are deeply touched by the beauty, courage or devotion of people you would have not imagined that you would have anything in common ground with. Travel … with an open heart, mind and spirit. Travel … which expands your passion for life.

You’ve probably guessed I’m not writing about resort travel, the kind where you’re trying to get even more comfortable than you are at home, without cooking, cleaning or washing clothes. I’m not knocking it, just taking another look. We all tend to work too much, take care of too many things, and feel we need someone to take care of us once in a while. What I am suggesting is there are other ways to revive a lagging spirit. Life’s too short to spend a week playing dead. How about taking a vacation with real travel and enough time to relax and let it all in?

On a trip it seems to be difficult to completely “arrive” until you’ve been away 4-5 days and your “real life” drifts into the background. You are suddenly (or finally) IN Chang Mai or Bali, or on the Tibetan Plateau. You can recognize that turning point when the trees stop being a concept and have individual leaves that move, catch light and have individual beauty. If that hasn’t happened, jump in a lake, a river, an ocean or a swimming pool – really! Get a massage, meditate or whatever you do to empty your mind.

I absolutely believe that we need to regularly spend some time outside our culture to be reminded that there are other ways to live, to think, to be, other than how we do in California or America.

Children at Pagoda

In every part of the world people have their beliefs, problems, solutions, traditions and standards. We know all this intellectually, but we don’t KNOW it. Reading a menu is not the same as eating a meal. Intellect is not the same as experience. Travel allows us to explore, share, consider, learn about, respect and gain affinity for other ways. One of our greatest dangers and greatest arrogance’s is to believe we are right, and to be right about what we believe.

There are multiple, equally right, beliefs in the world. Travel is the best antidote I know for being habitually “right” and trying on other points of view.

After a good travel time, you will return home with renewed energy and creativity, and a new appreciation of our world and our common humanity, as well as new perspectives, more depth, freedom to think and act, and the ability be more ourselves. I promise! I do realize that none of the above is “news,” but I know I need reminders…

Travel ! You get from it what you put in. You reap what you sow. Give it your all and the rewards are staggering!


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Having journeyed to the Far East and Asia over 20 times in the past 20 years, I’ve been intrigued and inspired by the ingenuity, craftsmanship, balance and human spirit that have gone into the making of those works I have seen and collected.

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