The Travel Diaries: A Journey Within

Travel diaries

I recently came back from a much-needed break after some 10 years. This wasn’t just a vacation, it was a journey of self-realisation, exploration and solitude that helped silence the constant chitter-chatter in my brain. Let’s explore the Travel diaries

In the new age, where everything has become about clicking pictures and posting them on social media, actually standing still and allowing your surrounding to take over all your senses is bliss.

What does it mean to travel?

For each one of us, travelling can have its own share of positives and negatives. While some see travel as an escape from the mundane, for some it is a fun time, however, for me, it is the time for me to discover my inner self, meet new people, hear new stories and explore what the world has to offer.

This also makes me wonder about the meaning of life. Henry Miller writes:

What are we here for if not to enjoy life eternal, solve what problems we can, give light, peace and joy to our fellow-man, and leave this dear fucked-up planet a little healthier than when we were born.

There has been much research around the benefits of travelling some of which include:

  • Reduces stress
  • Creates Stronger Antibodies
  • Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease
  • Improves mental health

and any more…

With so many benefits, travelling is always a preferable choice for humans to stay healthy both physically and mentally.

The history of travel diaries

It is often a misconception that people have started travelling in the past few decades, the truth however is that people have been travelling for ages. The word ‘travel’ was first used in the 14th century. However, people started to travel much earlier.

While the old Romans travelled to relax in their Mediterranean villas, the people of Eastern Asia wandered for a cultural experience.

So what do you understand when we say travel in the past, many people might think of Marco Polo and Columbus. It is therefore important to distinguish between travellers and explorers.

a. Romans

The Romans had good roads which made their travel by road safe and quick. History suggests that the main reason for their travel was not just enjoyment, they also used this time to learn new cultures, by observing their art, architecture and listening to their languages.

b. During the middle ages

This was a time when religion played a central role, therefore travel was mainly pilgrimages. What changed was that travel was not just for the rich, everyone explored new places, churches on foot.

c. Grand Tours

During the 17th century, Grand tours became quite common among scholars and students

d. 19th century

This was a time when people started travelling for fun, due to the introduction of railways. This was the start of modern tourism.

As more and more development tools place and more sophisticated transportation options opened up, travel became more common. The introduction of airlines has brought the world closer and made people more travel enthusiasts.

The Art of Travel

Few things are as thrilling as the prospect of going somewhere new. However, the reality of travel rarely fits our fantasies. Disorientation, mid-afternoon melancholy, and sleepiness in front of ancient ruins are all well-known tragi-comic disappointments. Despite this, the reasons behind such disappointments are rarely investigated.
We are often bombarded with recommendations on where to travel; yet, we rarely hear about why we should go and how we may be more fulfilled by doing so.

The Art of Travel - Alain de Botton

Instead of bringing back 1600 plants, we might return from our journeys with a collection of small unfêted but life-enhancing thoughts.

The Art of Travel is a philosophical look at the ubiquitous but distinctive practice of ‘for pleasure’ travel, with ideas on airports, landscapes, museums, holiday romances, photos, exotic carpets, and hotel mini-bar items. The book combines personal reflections with ideas gleaned from some of history’s most illustrious figures. Unlike other travel guides, it dares to ponder what the aim of travel could be – and gently offers how we might learn to do so.

The Alchemist

Alchemist is a book that offers an insight into various philosophical learnings. It is not only a spiritual discovery of the protagonist’s potential but also a travel saga. He covers three countries in his wake. He crosses Spain, Morocco, and Egypt to get to his destination.

With the writer, we also explore that how travel helps find answers to our life questions.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity

Conclusion

Traveling can be a life altering journey that opens us up to new opportuntiites, possibilities and the way of life. I for one experieced how living a simple life is the essence of happiness. You can buy a milllion clothes, dress up all you want, but the power of your brain is what defines you.

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  1. […] entire journey has very beautifully been written by Baltimore based writer Matthew Olshan and illustrated with […]

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