“Oh the places you’ll go.”
I confess – I can’t wait to hit the road again! I am writing this when expectations are rising that the end is in sight for the lockdown – ‘release’ dates are even being talked about! I realised recently that travelling has been part of my entire life – from my times as a child using up the family rail-pass, summer camps and weekends away with youth groups, the first ‘solo’ (i.e. no parents / adults) holidays, then travelling almost constantly as an adult.
I was doing a (very) rough count of the number of cars I have had and reckon that the cumulative mileage on these is well north of a million (the last year’s mileage seems pitiful). Trains, boats, and planes as well – and even the occasional cycle! I think being ‘on the move’ is very much part of who I am.
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart!”
I’m not really sure why I enjoy travel so much. I think a good chunk of it must be to do with movement and seeing different places. And in saying that, I am fortunate to live in a beautiful part of Scotland, so I don’t really have an excuse for my itchy feet.
And, while I have been able to visit many countries across the world, I also realised that I get as much enjoyment from seeing and being in a different part of our own country. There just seems so much of interest out there…!
“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
A need for exploration seems innate in human beings. Throughout our history we have wanted to move beyond our own frontiers. And with that has always come the good and the bad. But where would we be without it? Still rubbing sticks in our own cave probably. The leaders would have been the ones planning and delivering the travel plans!
“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
Arguably there has always been an economic aspect to travel. Think of the East India Company – at one time the world’s biggest business monopoly where empire, and exploration – and greed – were interwoven.
One of the biggest economic effects of the pandemic has been on travel – the parked-up cruise liners, visible from the M8 in Glasgow, are testament to the impact. Short of going ‘doon the watter’ I’ve never been on a cruise, but there are millions of people across the globe looking forward to the return of the big cruise liners.
“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travellers don’t know where they’re going.”
Our own memories of places we have seen have no doubt provided some comfort through the months of ‘staying local’. The way our brain has its own ‘Google Images’ function never ceases to amaze me – and how a smell, or a taste, or a word can trigger a mental snapshot. Of course both our paper and digital photos help!
"Choose your companions before you choose your road."
I opened this ramble with a question and a confession. So I will finish with another confession that answers my question.
The confession is that I have thought a lot about where I will go. And the answer? Anywhere and everywhere – just try to ‘haud me back’.
"He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry the wealth of the Indies with him." So it is in travelling: a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge.”
Spanish Proverb quoted by Samuel Johnson
Stay safe, lead well