Don't dream it's over: The 13 reasons Australians will never stop travelling

In 1897, a perfectly hale Mark Twain famously announced to the press that rumours about his death were greatly exaggerated. We could say the same about the travel industry.

True, the closure of borders, shutting down of airlines and the worldwide disruption of tourism aren't signs of good health. Yet although travel might be in an induced coma, it certainly isn't dead.

Once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, travellers will swiftly return to the road. When we asked our writers to say why they'll never stop travelling, answers came thick as pigeons in Piazza San Marco, demonstrating the traveller's indomitable spirit.

Travel is a fundamental human compulsion.

The road has always been a metaphor for the journey of life. We're restless, curious, questing creatures with a never-ending need to see what's around the corner. We travel to learn, encounter others, stickybeak, escape our humdrum lives, seek adventure, find fulfilment – and for all the other reasons you'll read about below. We hope we inspire you, and get you thinking positively about our wonderful world. - Brian Johnston

A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Here at Traveller, we know it is a tough time for everyone in the travel industry and for all lovers of travel. But we want to be positive and inspire you to start thinking about your next holiday, whenever it may be. We want you to be part of that - share your most inspiring travel photos and stories with us on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #travelleraudream and inspire others to start planning their dream holiday.

TRAVEL ALLOWS US TO WALLOW IN LUXURY

By Brian Johnston

There's an unashamedly self-indulgent aspect to travel. We want to imagine living like a millionaire, even if just for a week. No work, of course. No shopping or cooking or washing up.

Goodbye to all that. We're looking to pack up our troubles and chores, enjoy a change of scenery and pamper ourselves with well-deserved treats: a night at the theatre, a ridiculous Michelin-starred meal, a butler to do all the things we know we're perfectly capable of doing ourselves.

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We travel to experience something better than home, at least on a crass materialistic level. Once a hotel room with a minibar and free soap was the pinnacle of indulgence. Now we want bed sheets with thread counts, a pillow menu, spa treatments accompanied by whale song, a ski concierge and – why not – a helicopter pad.

You'd be disappointed if your hotel bathroom wasn't far better than the one you have at home. A rain shower, luxury brand moisturiser, Italian marble. A chamber orchestra to play while you soak in a bath in the shape of a dinosaur egg.

However, these days, luxury in travel is being redefined. It isn't just about things but about experiences, the more unusual and exclusive the better. It's about taking a spin in a racing car, getting into the Sistine Chapel before its public opening, skiing in Antarctica, helping to dart rhinos for research in South Africa. After all, part of the indulgence is being able to boast about it afterwards. Shameless, but pleasing.

TRAVEL LETS YOU BE AWAY

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Roadtrips are a popular way to see the US's many attractions, including Valley of Fire State Park, a public nature preservation located 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas (pictured). Photo: iStock

By Louise Southerden

Once upon a time, a boarding pass was a golden ticket to being truly, if temporarily, "gone". Sure, you wouldn't see the faces of your loved ones until you returned, but that was a small price to pay for the freedom of casting off the bowlines, metaphorically or nautically, bound for somewhere else.

The world might be more interconnected, but it's still possible to experience the joy of "awayness" when we travel. Auto-reply is your ally. A non-roaming phone is a must. It's easier to feel "away" when travelling solo or with a like-minded companion. Or in nature, preferably in a grand landscape that makes you feel unimportant – the Mongolian steppe, say, or the Southern Ocean.

When I don't travel for a while, a vital part of me seems to lie dormant, waiting to be kissed awake by a new destination. For being truly away isn't just liberating. It's a circuit-breaker in our overloaded lives, a chance to remember how good it feels, once the FOMO wears off, to not check our phones every six minutes, to let a day unfold in real time. And how can we explore if we're still tethered to base camp and the people we are there?

One of these days I'll leave all my devices at home, my camera too, and travel like a falling tree in a remote forest – trusting my senses, not needing witnesses, falling in love with the world all over again and meeting kind strangers who are, at this very moment, waiting patiently for us to return.

TRAVEL BUILDS CONNECTIONS

By Catherine Marshall

Google Maps are so much more than a compilation of the world's continents and oceans and countries. They're a pictorial representation of the encounters I've had as I journeyed from this place to that, of the people I've met in my effort to reduce this unwieldy globe into a coherent semblance of its component parts.

Recalling Argentina's Southern Patagonia, I see not the glaciers sliding into the isolated Lago Desierto, but Carole and Dale, who've invited me to sit with their family at mealtimes since I'm here alone.

We bond over food and books, and arrange to meet up again in my hometown, Sydney, and in theirs', Dallas, where they pick me up at the airport and put me up in their home and take me to their favourite restaurants.

When COVID-19 grounds us on our opposite sides of the world, we commiserate over Instagram and Facebook. "I'm now looking for playdates for my next two weeks of suddenly-free time," Carole writes.

When I conjure Benin in my imagination I see not the harmattan hanging in the sky like a gritty veil, but my Malian guide Hamadou, who has etched deep tracks on his journeys across West Africa and who emboldens me in my own explorations of this land. Back home, he WhatApps our group pictures of the Bandiagara Escarpment in Mali and camels in the desert of Burkina Faso.

When COVID-19 hits, he's the first to message: "Good luck to everybody, wherever you are now.". Yet we're together, even as we're apart; we're collecting our memories, reaping the deep comfort that comes from the bonds we've forged along the way.

TRAVEL OFFERS THE THRILL OF THE UNKNOWN

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By Ben Groundwater

What will you do today? These five words hold unbelievable possibilities. The answer is wonderfully infinite and unknowable. What will you do today? Anything. Everything. You will have experiences. You will have adventures. You will marvel, thrill, wonder and enjoy. You will see the world.

Travel is so full of these exciting unknowns. It's not just where you will go today but how you'll get there, what you'll see, what you'll eat, what you'll drink, who you'll meet, what will go right, what will go wrong, what will shock or surprise or delight or dismay.

When you travel, every day holds the promise of a completely new set of experiences. Every decision is a journey into the unknown. What will you do today – is there any better question in the world? Is there any better concept? Any better notion?

Entire countries can be unknown. Entire cities, entire towns. People are unknown – billions and billions of people. Attractions are unknown. Food is unknown. And your path to all of these experiences is unwritten. The thrill of that idea is almost indescribable.

This is why days feel so much longer when you travel, why you come home feeling like so much has happened and yet your friends and colleagues barely even realise you've gone.

Time passes so much slower when you're travelling because there's so much to take in, so much that's new and different and shocking when you're somewhere else. The thrill of the unknown stretches life out, it takes your world and fills it with so much more meaning and excitement and joy.

What will you do today? No one knows.

TRAVEL OFFERS PERSONAL REINVENTION

By Lance Richardson

In 2002, I bought a one-way ticket from Sydney to London that was also a ticket to a new identity. I was 18 years old, introverted and unworldly, but I knew enough to know that I would never become the person I wanted to be by staying in the same place.

This is something that many LGBTQ people will understand: sometimes you have to escape home to become your true self, the version of you that is not shrouded by years of self-preserving lies.

During the course of that trip, which lasted two radical years, I was exposed to Renaissance art and French wine, to the Parthenon Marbles and West End theatres, and to gay nightclubs. My mind exploded like a volcano shaken from dormancy. I changed the way I said my own name and tried on clothes I would never have dared to wear back home. I faked confidence until, one day, I found I was not actually faking it.

Without those first years abroad, I think I would be a deeply unhappy person today. Sometimes I see other men and women who never got to break away – to drive across the breadth of America, to kiss a stranger in Mexico – and I glimpse the old, confused "me" who saved up for a whole year to afford that ticket out.

On their behalf, I am filled with longing. Everybody deserves at least one chance to reinvent, and the best way to do that is not through money or university or marriage, but travel.

TRAVEL FREES THE IMAGINATION

By Julie Miller

An Native American cowboy on horseback at the edge of a butte cliff at the Monument Valley Tribal Park in Arizona, USA. A famous tourist destination in the southwest USA. The iconic western landscape is a backdrop for many western movies. The native American is a Navajo tribe native. Photographed on location in desaturated sepia tone. satmar28cover
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Monument Valley in Arizona, USA. Photo: iStock

Sitting here, alone with my cats, self-isolating and forcibly grounded, my mind drifts to a place I'd rather be, a utopian idyll in this dystopian present.

Today's simple fantasy involves a coconut palm, a salt-rimmed margarita and a multi-hued hammock, swaying gently in a whispered breeze as a turquoise swell laps a white coral beach.

I've had this vision before. But when I opened my eyes then, the sun was still shining, the waves still crashing, the cocktails flowing. My tropical paradise is not just a flight of fancy – I've walked that perfect sandy crescent in reality, locking its restorative magic into my memory bank for recall in less halcyon times.

Now picture this: I'm astride a buckskin pony, hand on Stetson, gazing out at the most iconic symbol of the Wild West, the buttes and spires of Monument Valley. A chimera fuelled by Hollywood? Sure.

But also an unexpected occurrence several weeks ago, a chance encounter during a trip to Utah fulfilling a childhood dream, one that could never have come to fruition on home soil.

This crisis shall pass, we are told. Borders will reopen, planes return to the skies, and we'll once again be handed the keys to a beachfront cabana, or the city of our dreams. We'll be snorkelling with whale sharks, lacing our hiking boots to tackle Kilimanjaro, perfecting our camera skills to capture the northern lights. Our wildest dreams will become our most relatable truths, our imaginations unshackled, thanks to the privilege of travel.

TRAVEL FEEDS ANTICIPATION

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The Aurora Borealis is one of the most spectacular travel experiences you can have. Photo: iStock

By Jill Dupleix

Nothing gives me more pleasure than looking at my leather-bound diary and seeing page after page of days crossed out, even if they are months away. Especially if they are months away.

Because those are the days I won't be here. I will be there. And while I am still here, I get to look forward to being there. And as I have learnt, "looking forward" is the best part of travel.

I spend so much time looking forward to a trip, that if it gets cancelled the day before I leave, I almost don't care, because I have had such a good time already. All the dreaming and scheming and planning and fantasising has been glorious fun. I might, in fact, even feel a bit relieved, saved from the reality of actually experiencing the hassles of bad beds, flight delays and strange coffee.

But don't take my word for it. According to a 2010 Dutch study, the anticipation of upcoming travel or holidays was a more powerful driver of happiness than anything the participants experienced while travelling and even after travelling, safely home again. They gained enjoyment in the present from anticipating the future. Quite simply, they felt happier before their trips.

And if all else fails, take the word of that ultimate guru of all wisdom, Winnie The Pooh, in what he struggles to say, in this passage by A. A. Milne: "'Well,' said Pooh, 'what I like best,' and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called."

None of us really know what it is called, but like Pooh, we know it's delicious. And it has the power to make us happy, whether there is any honey to eat or not.

TRAVEL IS AN ANTIDOTE TO OUR NORMAL LIVES

By Elspeth Callender

Travel is an escape hatch from our usual lives into other versions of the world – like parallel universes – with aspects we consider preferable to those of our own. Where the leaders are smarter, rules are laxer, food is cheaper, streets are livelier, lovers are more intuitive, people dress more stylishly, mountains are higher, deserts are sandier, snow is deeper, fauna is more overwhelmingly mega.

In a new place, we're enamoured of the novelties and relish the differences. We get into the swing of things – loading up on local food and booze, wrapping our tongue around a mysterious language, witnessing every single sunrise or sunset. We experience moments we never want to forget, meet people we never want to say goodbye to, sight-see ourselves silly and boast-post the best bits.

Though, after a while, we're irked by some of the ways of that foreign land, bothered by how hard it is to get around, isolated by the language barrier. We realise our heart lies in a place where the air is clear, empty beaches stretch on forever, tap water is drinkable, wildlife is abundant, diversity is a given and First Nations culture is alive and beautiful and supremely ancient.

We go home. There's jet lag and post-travel funk to push through yet, from the moment of touchdown, we appreciate where we live more than ever and even find ourselves falling in love with it all over again. Until, eventually, the daily grind and the political circus and the shock jocks and the price of pastries and some last-straw soggy weather get us down and we race, with all our might, back towards that portal.

TRAVEL ALLOWS US TO CONNECT WITH NATURE

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One of the most powerful places to connect with nature is on safari in Africa. Pictured, giraffes in the Serengeti National Park. Photo: iStock

By Brian Johnston

Travel can recharge our spiritual batteries, especially if we get out into nature. Nothing new about that idea. The ancient Greeks fled to the hills and olive groves to improve their health.

Shinto pilgrims have been trotting along forest paths in Japan for a thousand years, meditating and hugging trees. In the 18th century, Romantic writers opened European eyes to the majesty of the mountains, and soon everyone was tramping around the Alps, inhaling the fresh air, enthusing on the scenery and feeling so much better about their rapidly changing world.

It seems a given these days that wide-open spaces, big skies and the scent of pines can clear our clogged minds of the stresses busy urban lives generate. Scientists have begun proving it with research that demonstrates how nature has measurable beneficial impacts on mental wellbeing.

The countryside doesn't just delight the eyes and refresh the lungs, it unwinds your mind and improves your physical health, too. Who has walked through a forest and not considered it a place of enchantment?

Small wonder forests have been transformative settings for legends and fairy tales. What shrivelled soul would be unable to enjoy a country ramble or a national park hike, or just a shuffle through a park to admire the cherry blossoms?

And surely animal encounters provide great travel moments. The antics of monkeys, the breaching of whales, the appearance of a polar bear induce sheer delight. There's wonder and happiness in nature.

TRAVEL EDUCATES AND ENLIGHTENS

By Kerry van der Jagt

When I was a child, I received a copy of The Children's Encyclopedia by Arthur Mee. While other girls played with Barbie dolls I travelled from the highs of the African mountains to the depths of the Pacific Ocean, chasing gorillas, searching for shipwrecks and finding solace in the wonders of the world.

Formal education inflamed more curiosity, but it's travel that satisfies my desire for life-long learning. Interest in World War II led me to Thailand's Death Railway and Poland's Auschwitz concentration camp, yet a memorial in a corner of Belarus about the country's heavy losses under German occupation and the resilience of its people taught me the most.

On an expedition cruise of the inside passage of Alaska and British Columbia I learnt that black bears could be white (Kermode bears), southern resident killer whales are critically endangered and glaciers are receding faster than natural processes can explain. Nothing brings home the lesson like watching a skyscraper of ice collapse before your eyes.

Closer to home, a multi-day walk in Tasmania's north-east turned everything I thought I knew about Tasmania's Aboriginal (palawa) people on its head. In school I'd been taught that the last had died when Truganini passed away in 1876. Clearly, the proud and passionate young guides on the wukalina walk are living proof they had not.

TRAVEL GIVES US A GIGGLE

By Katrina Lobley

The scene: Rick's Cafe, Negril, Jamaica. My tour companions and I are swigging Red Stripe beers while watching the cliff-jumping that make this bar such a drawcard. Winding beneath the cheers and chatter, competing with the music pumping through loudspeakers, another rhythm asserts itself. Rival tunes are wafting from a catamaran floating ever closer to shore. We swivel, eyes popping as we realise the boat's packed with naked party-goers.

Jamaica sure knows how to swing – and how to give visitors something to laugh about for years to come. Here on city streets, vendors trundle carts stocked with "reggae brownies", Rastafarians knock about with doobies dangling from their lips and everyone dances with wild abandon. It's a place I won't forget in a hurry.

Ditto Japan. Not since I heard that story about Washlets – the country's famous electronic bidet that works like an orchestra to wash, blast, pulsate, rinse and blow-dry the nether regions. A guide in Kyoto (British, so partial to a bit of toilet humour) tells us his friend's developed a Washlet addiction that's now full-blown, so much so he can no longer use a simple flush toilet.

Sometimes, visitors themselves are inspired to bring the fun to a destination. In the Austrian ski mecca of St Anton – nicknamed St Manton because so many men flock to its challenging slopes – I chat with a Brit holidaying with 38 of his mates. Two of them, he tells me, clambered into a horse costume to ski a run in conjoined fashion – and they've got the kick-ass video to prove it.

TRAVEL FOLLOWS YOUR STOMACH

By Terry Durack

Having a single obsession of any kind that drives your travel is essential. To have food as your motivation is doubly rewarding, because you're eating someone's culture at the same time, and sharing their table. The love of food unlocks so many doors along the way, leading you down alleys and over hills that you would never have explored otherwise. There are the traditional milestones and benchmarks, of course, such as eating grouse on the "Glorious Twelfth" of August in Britain, or buying your first quiche Lorraine from a little boulangerie in Lorraine in north-western France, or dining on tortellini in brodo in Bologna.

I feed on the memories of all the Singaporean chilli crab dishes I've had from hawker stalls in Singapore, the massive pork and potato dishes of Munich, the dry martinis of the bars of New York City, the coconut crabs of Vanuatu.

You could argue that if you live in Australia, there is no reason to travel for new food experiences. We eat so well here, and so broadly, across the many different cultures and cuisines that have made their home here, right back to the original inhabitants of this ancient land.

But it's not enough. I'm driven by the thrill of the new, the strange and the curious. I'm busting to get to half a dozen places around the globe that I've heard of but have yet to get to. Like The Alchemist in Copenhagen, where chef Rasmus Munk does crazy, intellectual, artistic expressions of food that really feel as if they would work, but do they? That's what drives my travel – greed, yes, but also curiosity.

TRAVEL OFFERS SELF-PRESERVATION

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Travel can help heal, and feed, the soul. Photo: iStock

By Alison Stewart

Self-preservation is a powerful motivator. Fear about avoiding or minimising the spread of COVID-19 means we must postpone or cancel our travel plans. The world has suddenly shrunk. Conversely, self-preservation is exactly the reason we will be resuming our journeys of exploration as soon as the pandemic is contained. Travel is a human need essential to our survival. It allows us to cement our identity and origins while defending differences.

Throughout our lives we strive for knowledge in our own myriad ways. The accumulation of that knowledge helps us to colour in and enrich the great canvas of our being.

When early explorers inscribed, "there be dragons" on their rudimentary maps, they did so not from fear or revulsion but from a driving need to know. It is hardwired into us, this need to follow the lines of learning that are journeys into fascinating places – perhaps with different belief, trading or political systems – to enrich our own.

And some of us look further, beyond our solar system to the stars beyond, wondering, "What is out there and will we one day know?" From the beginning of time people have gazed outward to the allure of the unknown.

Such magnetism has drawn famous wanderers such as Marco Polo, Ferdinand Magellan, Christopher Columbus, Bartholomew Diaz, the Vikings, the Crusaders, towards that next frontier.

But not just the famous, the desire to journey lies within us all. Whether we consider it consciously or not, we travel to understand ourselves better.

Conscious travel allows us to appreciate not just the greatness of what has gone before – the development and collapse of sophisticated political systems – but also the seemingly trivial. In embracing the new, we absorb how people have learnt to live with one another - how they have hunted and gathered to survive, the dishes they have constructed, social systems that have worked, the use of religion, tribal beliefs, gender balance or imbalance, the evolution of shelter into buildings of great architectural significance.

Travel is a spiritual requisite, a balm to the soul. And it doesn't need to be a physical undertaking either. For those unable to travel for financial or health-related reasons, as James Taylor once sang, "In my mind I'm going to Carolina …" There are books, movies, music and videos to just as easily enable the imagination's flowering.

We may be earth bound now, but nobody can control the inspiration that eventually will draw us outwards again, across those global pathways to the places of our dreaming.

TRAVEL IS A VEHICLE FOR PEACE AND HARMONY

Though tourism has boomed in recent times, it's only the world's most privileged who get to venture beyond their country's borders. This advantage presents us with a unique opportunity – indeed, responsibility – to engage in what Gandhi termed "the language of peace": a face-to-face dialogue free of the politics and religion and social structures that divide us; an opportunity to nurture deep cultural understanding and mutual respect that will endure long after we've parted.

TRAVEL CULTIVATES PATIENCE

There are the delayed flights. The grumpy taxi drivers. The hordes congealed around the baggage carousel. The communiques so frequently lost in translation. They encourage patience to bloom as if it were a rapidly-spreading virus. And mercifully so, for patience is both a virtue and a remedy, a vaccination against petty annoyances that might otherwise mar our journey.

TRAVEL CHALLENGES US

That feeling of not really knowing what's happening, that joy of sharing a moment of good-natured confusion. Life turns on these moments. Travel is made for them. Making yourself understood in a foreign place is a challenge, but it's an ultimately rewarding one. And it's always worth attempting.

TRAVEL TEACHES US ABOUT OURSELVES

To know yourself, you have to challenge yourself – and what better challenge is there than travel? Travel and you will learn what you are truly capable of; what you love and what you hate; what you know and what you don't; what strikes you with fear and what fills you with joy. This self-discovery might be the most important journey of all.

TRAVEL DELIVERS UNTOLD BEAUTY

What an amazing abundance of natural beauty this wide world holds. From forests to deserts, mountains to plains, oceans to rivers, the tropics to the arctic. The world is Torres del Paine in Chile; it's the Serengeti in Tanzania; it's the lakes and meadows of Switzerland. It is a beautiful, beautiful place.

TRAVEL OFFERS BUZZ AT FIRST SIGHT

Everyone remembers it: that first sight of the Eiffel Tower from a bus window; the Coliseum as you round a corner; Angkor Wat as the sun rises. Famous places, iconic landmarks, images that exist already in your mind's eye, imprinted a thousand times over, finally seen in the flesh.

TRAVEL CHALLENGES OUR PERCEPTIONS

Who knew England makes wine? Or that there's culture in Las Vegas? Or that Canberra has hip, trendy hotels? Everyone has perceptions about a place before they've been there and travel is a great way to challenge them. Only by going somewhere can your opinions be based on first-hand experience rather than hearsay.

TRAVEL BRINGS HISTORY TO LIFE

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Sure, you can read about the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the battles in the Colosseum and the opulent palaces of Indian royalty, but it's only when you visit these places – when you see, smell and touch them – that they really come to life. Not only will you learn more, but you'll also retain more. Travel makes history real.

TRAVEL MAKES US MORE OPEN-MINDED

Travelling exposes us to different religions, cultures, etiquettes and priorities. It reminds us that there are many ways to worship, celebrate, mourn and love. It'll challenge almost every notion you hold dear, from happiness to justice to success. It's impossible to go overseas and not return more tolerant, forgiving and open-minded.

TRAVEL REMINDS US OF WHAT'S IMPORTANT

Whether it's for a week or a year, living out of a suitcase is a powerful reminder that you don't need a lot of stuff to survive, and experiences are better than possessions. Think about what you miss most when you're away. Is it your flat screen TV or your friends and family?

TRAVEL SHOWS MORE THAN ONE WAY

Travelling exposes you to myriad ways of solving the same problem. Almost every country has its own take on everything from medicine to toilets to plug sockets. Not only is it a reminder that there's rarely one "right" answer, but it's also a wonderful celebration of humankind's ingenuity, creativity and inventiveness. Unless, of course, you forgot your travel adaptor.

TRAVEL PUSHES US OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONES

It could be bungee jumping, talking to strangers or ordering an unknown dish at a restaurant – the point is you're far more likely to try something new when you're travelling than at home. And as countless self-help gurus will tell you, it's only when you leave your comfort zone that you start to change and grow.

TRAVEL GIVES US PERMISSION TO BE SOMEONE ELSE

At home we often have roles that define us: mother, son, doctor, plumber. When you travel, you can be anyone you want. Introverts can become extroverts; the cautious can become curious; the serious can become playful. Travel is a wonderful opportunity to "try on" a new you and see how it fits.

TRAVEL OFFERS US A CHANCE TO HEAL

Recovering from a bad break-up, a failed business or the death of a loved one? Travel is one of the most effective ways to heal. Not only does it remove you from the distractions of daily life, but it gives you the time, the space and the permission to mourn, mend and forgive.

TRAVEL ALLOWS RANDOM DISCOVERIES

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Nafplio, Greece. Photo: iStock

I think of all the trips where I've ended up in places I didn't have a clue about before I set off. Travelling around South America, for example, I discovered under-the-radar beauties like Sucre, Arequipa and Colonia del Sacramento, which I remember as fondly as the big names (Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Cusco). And in Europe, Olomouc in the Czech Republic, Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria and Nafplio in Greece nestle, in my memory, alongside the Romes and Barcelonas.

TRAVEL OFFERS ENDLESS ADRENALIN RUSHES

Cycling down the "World's Most Dangerous Road" in Bolivia. Bungy jumping in Queenstown. Canyoning in the Swiss Alps. "Surfing" down a volcano in Nicaragua. Jogging through New York's Central Park. Zip-lining in Snowdonia. Hiking beside lava flows in Guatemala. Skydiving over New Zealand's Bay of Islands. These pulse-raising thrills are among my most cherished travel experiences. Anyone for some tobogganing in the French Alps?

TRAVEL REVEALS THE JOURNEY, NOT JUST THE DESTINATION.

By the time you get where you are going, it's all over. Travel is about travelling, not lying beside a pool. It's about movement, whether you are climbing a mountain, riding a bike through a vineyard, or sitting in a rickety train going over a rickety bridge. Arriving at your destination is fine, but the surprises, the upsets, the hidden discoveries, come on the way.

TRAVEL CAN TEACH US LESS IS MORE

Most of us have fallen into the consumer vortex at some stage, the eternal quest to own more and more stuff in order to feel whole. Travel helps strip that away, reminding us that little more than a duffel bag, a dog-eared book and a beautiful beach can offer more fulfillment than obsessing over the latest gizmo.

TRAVEL BUILDS CHARACTER

Beyond the glossy veneer of most travel Influencers' Instagram accounts, the stark reality is travel can at times be rough. Whether it's lost luggage, botched bookings, getting sick or the frustration of language barriers, travel frequently rips you out of your comfort zone and teaches you a little mental fortitude in the face of adversity.

TRAVEL ENCOURAGES US TO TAKE OURSELVES LESS SERIOUSLY

Attempting another language can be humbling, not knowing your way around disorientating, stepping outside your established friendship circle sometimes sobering. Being able to laugh at oneself in such situations goes a long way, both for you, and those you encounter. Pomposity is insufferable at the best of times, but especially on the road.

TRAVEL SHOWS US THE BEST OF HUMAN NATURE

For every story of pick-pocketing and misfortune, there's a counter story of those who go out of their way to help travellers. Whether it's something as simple as offering directions or a tip-off about the best local bar or sight, to more significant acts such as returning a lost passport, or even loaning money to a stranger in trouble, there are countless ways people can surprise you while exploring another place.

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