Monday, July 8, 2013

Travel Monday: Up in the Air, Over the Water and Navigating at Ground Level

I've spent a significant portion of my life travelling... When I think back to my childhood, I took my first plane trip as a mere baby and my love of travel has literally blossomed from there!

I'm currently traveling and didn't get a chance to bring my library of Sri Lanka photos with me, so I've decided to blog about some of my thoughts on travel and favorite memories. I think it'll make for interesting reading and the photos will be whatever happens to be on my laptop.

Since a very young age I've been fascinated with how people travel, whether it's by walking, driving, swimming, hitching, cycling, sailing, flying or travelling by bus, train or some other form of transport. As a kid my family would always take a driving holiday as well as fly to somewhere warm and sunny, or do something adventurous like camping, cycling or hiking. We would immerse ourselves in the "foreign-ness" of our travels absorbing new cultures, languages, sights, smells, tastes and sounds.

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” – St. Augustine

There are many reasons why people travel. This includes reasons like exploring new places; ticking things off on their must-do list; seeking new experiences, meeting new people, finding out why the world is round, shopping, relaxing, thrill-seeking, volunteering, adapting, finding themselves and more.
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

As I've grown up and moved on with life, I have continued my journey on the adventure trail immersing in new cultures and challenging my boundaries, including this current stint living in Sri Lanka. There are so many reasons why I love to travel, from picking up the travel bug at an early age, to wanting to meet people, absorb cultures, discover whether there's any truth in what I've read in books or seen on TV or film and to connect with the world.
“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

Some of my favorite travel memories are triggered by photos of obscure things...

This wondrous photo is of Varanasi, one of the most amazing places I've ever visited.

I don't have enough words to describe my impressions and experiences from the few weeks I spent walking the ghats. In essence, I felt like I had experienced birth, death, all things in-between and more...

Suffice to say, India is probably one country that has definitely changed me, and I can never stop going back. Each time, I learn more about the country and myself. Wondrous!

Sometimes food triggers the most incredible memories of something you were seeking out. This photo reminds me of time spent in search of soul food and trying to connect with African American culture. I think I was in search of something beyond the All-American!

I think I found this quaint little place in Harlem, New York and I couldn't decide whether to eat in or take out.

I've spent many summers in Europe and this photo is of one gorgeous summer spent travelling through France. I loved traveling with no set plan, finding accommodation as I went along in farmhouses and people's homes, enjoying unexpected scenery, impromptu picnics and rustic french cuisine.

The sunflowers were blindingly yellow and as I traveled, I found I could totally relate to all the artists who found their inspiration in the french countryside.

I adore sunsets. And, I've witnessed some of the most spectacular as I've chased them around the globe.

It's also a fact I don't believe any sunset is ever the same. Each one is unique and tells its very own story... This one is one of my favorites taken in the Maldives.

I must admit the following two photos are unusual picks.


The first reminds me of the exotic nature of the Middle East. I haven't explored a great deal as yet, but I am enamored with thoughts of camel rides and Bedouin tents! I sound like a romantic!

The second is taken from the plane overlooking the desert. It reminds me of the vastness of the desert combined with advancements to connect across the sand. Without the perfectly carved out freeways, it's Lawrence of Arabia country.

I love a sunburnt country! Australia has always had happy memories for me. It's a melting pot of people and cultures. Some of the people I've spent a great deal of time with are aussies, and I happen to befriend them everywhere I travel. I enjoyed some time living in different cities in Australia and made even more friends. A very good thing!

My most recent good memory of Australia was attending the 2011 Boxing Day Test in Melbourne (i.e. The Ashes). But, there are many more memories of BBQs, beaches, fireworks, food festivals and much much more!

Whenever I'm in South-East Asia, it's all about the food. This photo was taken at a restaurant in Malaysia, where I've previously resided for awhile. When food likes this appetizing, all bets are off! It's something that never fails to impress in this region of the world. A little spice, a little sweet, a little sour, a little salty...

There are many more favorites but that's all I have time for now. I've learnt that the best travels and adventures are often the ones where seemingly ordinary things happen. In those moments, discovery, kindness and a certain openness reveal themselves.

Till next time...
“Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.” – Paul Theroux

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