Do you want to know the number one reason to travel? Do you want the answer to that lingering question? Do you want to know why you should not delay and why you should take that trip of a lifetime? Well read on and I will tell you.
There are many reasons for travel and you can read a thousand or more people advising you of why on the internet. I could talk of how it enhances your life, enriches you, educates, humbles and broadens the mind. It is all these reasons and it is many more.
Yet, somehow whilst in bed last night the number one reason to travel struck me. It was not some massive light bulb moment or a great realisation. It is something I’ve know all along. It is just that last night reinforced the number one reason to travel all over again.
So what is my number one reason to travel?
It is simple.
It is this year.
Yes, 2013 has reinforced why we should travel at every opportunity we get. And I’ll tell you why.
This year, 2013 has been a year we will never forget. For my bride and I it has been both an amazing and a devastating year.
This year was the year when my bride and I got married Such an amazing and happy event. We will cherish the memories for ever and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy as that day.
We had an amazing time going on honeymoon to Sardinia for 2 weeks. We’d love to go back. Well truth be told we had a main honeymoon and 2 mini-moons (with 2 trips in the UK between May and July).
That was one of the highlights of the year and undoubtedly for us two the highlight of our lives. However 2013 has not been kind.
A few short weeks prior to the wedding we found out that my bride’s grandfather died, suddenly from a heart attack. Yes, he was old but there was no sign of this coming, it was very sudden. We had been busy planning the wedding to accommodate for him then suddenly we had to change plans. We miss him very much.
Then days before the wedding I received a call from a close friend. She had to send her apologies since she was no longer able to make our big day. Her younger sister has a horrible disease and was often bound to a wheelchair. My friend understandably had to go and help her sister. Thankfully I now hear that my friend and her sister are well enough to take a cruise together. The sister is still highly restricted in her movements but she will be able to enjoy the experience.
In recent weeks I’ve been visiting a friend of 20 years who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He suddenly started showing the symptoms and was soon rushed into hospital. On admission he was literally given weeks to live! Thankfully the actions of the medical staff seem to have been effective and we now think he has months, at least. He is well enough to return home and spend his final days in comfort. I pray for him every day.
Less than 2 months ago we were rocked by the sudden death in a motoring accident of a lad we know in his young 20s. Such a cruel stealing of a wonderful lad’s life.
Today my bride is supposed to be attending the funeral of the father of a very dear friend of hers. Again it was a relatively short illness. He was in hospital for a few weeks then passed away. I met him a few times and he was truly a lovely man.
So why am I not joining my bride in support of a friend at this funeral? The answer is simple, I am convalescing. I am at home after spending 4 nights in hospital last weekend. I had key hole surgery. A fairly routine procedure yet it was invasive and it will take time to heal. (Please don’t worry, my life is not at risk.) However when the reality of surgery came to light it did alter my plans. I was supposed to be spending 3 weeks of this month in Shanghai (a place I love to go to). This trip has now had to be postponed until 2014.
Yet 2013 is full of more drama for us.
I am not a big user of facebook, infrequent is maybe a fairer expression. Yet as and when I do go on I keep finding sad stories. Only in August did I read that a guy in the year above me at school died suddenly of a heart attack.
Around the same time a few of my school friends and I were trying to arrange a get together. Instead of the joys of meeting up the e-mail thread soon became a list of bad news. Tales included mentions of fellow pupils who had been treated for life threatening diseases.
Then yesterday summed the year up for me. Yesterday was my birthday, I turned 41. Not young but not old either. Someone I know from school messaged me a birthday wish to which I gratefully acknowledged. Then he responded by telling me that it was his birthday soon but he had fresh challenges. He has recently been diagnosed with cancer. However he was going to fight it and beat it. Good on him. I know he is a strong and determined person and I support him in this fight.
All these stories are true, I promise you. Every single one. There are even more tragic tales this year, so many that I can’t recall them all.
Only a few weeks ago we were fortunate enough to celebrate my parents’ golden wedding anniversary. We know we are blessed.
We had a lovely time and went to Ireland for a long weekend. We had a big party there since that is where my parents hail from. Yet somehow in the build up the party was in doubt.
Why? Well simple really. We did a similar thing 10 years ago. However a number of those attendees from 10 years ago are no longer with us. Those are painful thoughts for my mother and she was reluctant to repeat the event with so many loved ones missing.
Thankfully she agreed in the end. We had a wonderful time and I know she enjoyed it. Even though I spent a lot of time meeting poorly aunts and uncles the mood of the night was positive.
So if by now you do not know my number one reason to travel then let me explain it to you.
If you don’t take the opportunity now then you may not get this chance again. Yes, it may never happen!
Sorry to be blunt but that is the reality of the matter.
We don’t know what is around the corner. We don’t know what life will throw at us.
I travel enough in one year to cover more than some people travel in a life time. I can manage with not going to China this month whilst I recover from surgery. Do you have the same choices that I do?
If you read my site often you will know that I recently set up a new site, Travel Blogger Interviews. I have numerous interviews set up with some great travel bloggers for you to enjoy. Yet when I ask them what tips do they have for others the answers seem to be the same. It is simple, JUST DO IT.
Yes, go out and explore, see the world whilst you can. Don’t let things hold you back.
Life is short and unpredictable. I should know, my eldest sister died at the age of 17. How cruel is that?
I am not writing to ask for your sympathy, I am writing to inspire you and encourage you.
If you are planning that trip of a lifetime, longing to see the world. Don’t let things delay or stop you.
For me the number one reason for travel is that you may not get the chance again.