11th May 2016
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An unexpected reason to travel
Author: Lesh Karan
Mature happy woman travelling by train Sri Lanka

It is said that home is where the heart is, but to some degree it is also what you’re used to and what you know. This is why the hubby and I prefer to choose travel destinations that are off the tourist-trodden paths. This type of travel not only broadens one’s mental and spiritual bandwidth, but also makes one’s life more enriching – through the feeling of gratitude.

I wasn’t consciously aware of the thankfulness I felt after each trip until I returned from a holiday to Sri Lanka (the hubby’s birth country) at the end of 2014. I observed that in between trips I usually get into a rut of the daily routine, staying within the confines of what I know and do. This can make life mundane, and me less tolerant and appreciative of what I have. I notice the good stuff less, and complain more.

Essentially, travelling to countries with different living conditions, lifestyle and/or facilities other than what I’m used to makes me appreciate my life in Melbourne much more.

So while my visit to Sri Lanka did broaden my mind, it also made me aware of all that I take for granted back home, such as:

  • being able to drink water out of the tap
  • clean, spacious and safe roads with footpaths
  • the variety of delicious foods and cuisines at my disposal (and not having to be worried about getting sick from eating out)
  • the change of seasons – everyday is hot, hot and hot (and muggy) in Sri Lanka
  • clean toilets with toilet paper
  • lack of mosquitoes (in Melbourne) and the diseases they spread (malaria is not much of a problem in Sri Lanka anymore, but dengue fever can be)
  • I have every material thing I need and more to make my life comfortable – a beautiful home, car, gadgets, nice clothes
  • the freedom to make certain choices about my life, more so than many others in the world – as well as to have those choices available to me (from where to eat, shop and do yoga to which hobbies, activities and career I choose).

Travel does indeed deliver more than meets the eye. It goes deep, and speaks to the soul. And that is something for which to be truly grateful.

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    COMMENTS

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    Old Dog
    16th May 2016
    10:36am
    Nothing could be closer to the truth. I will be traveling to North America very soon and no doubt I will have a very good time. However, the travels that I undertook 30 years ago as a 40 year old backpacker still live fresh (almost) in my mind. Doing it on the cheap, through 3rd world countries, staying in "refugios" while hiking in South American National Parks, actually camping in a Nation Park in Japan when everyone said it was not possible and all the while "putting up with" the things that we did not have at home. Yes, when I got back I really did appreciate all of those things. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!


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