Guest Post by Ellie Wookey
I’ve always joked that when I travel I lose all sense of date and time. But, on reflection, it made me think why exactly that was. It’s not just the different time zones, it’s the distraction that travelling is to your mind. No longer are you at home thinking of all the different people you need to see or the places you need to be at a certain time. When you travel you just go with the flow and you are fixated on what and who is around you. Travelling is the best distraction in the world. It makes you focus on what is important; and that is being in the moment.
In my opinion, travelling is the greatest gift you can give yourself. It opens up your eyes to the world and most importantly so, it keeps you opened minded. If you don’t travel, you only experience your normality, your day to day life. However, if you travel, you get a greater understanding of other people’s normality, their day to day life. This is highly significant in countries such as in Asia where life really is so different to my home. The culture, the language, the food, the clothing, the traditions and the religions are so different to what I know. This is why I travel. This is why I love it so much. It opens my mind up to a whole different world and makes me feel so lucky that I can experience a different lifestyle, even just for a short period of time.
Travelling also puts me out of my comfort zone which is the best thing for you. After all, you don’t grow as a person in your comfort zone, you only grow outside of it. Even just getting from A to B on my own requires me to experience situations that I haven’t previously encountered. This can be made more difficult by, for example, a language barrier. However, one must embrace the challenge and remember that this barrier to overcome is a blessing because it’s another step on your learning curve.
Culture is something that fascinates me greatly. I feel that ‘culture’ can be interpreted in many different ways. For me, culture is the interaction of the people and the traditions and lifestyle choices that bring them together as one. Culture is not the same everywhere in the world. It’s unique to a country, to a city, to a town and even to a small village. It’s different everywhere which is why travelling to, for example, different continents, is so enriching as you experience such diversity in culture.
Food is something I love and I try really hard to embrace and try all different foods in each country I visit. Food forms such a strong identity for each country and really adds to the travelling experience when you can try local dishes and really get a flavour for the cuisine on offer. It makes it even more special when you get to watch the food being made and even get a go at making it yourself. Recently when I was in Chiang Mai in Thailand, we took part in a local cooking class. It was here that we really got a good understanding of the Thai cuisine and the way in which it is cooked. It felt so rewarding to be able to have a go at making the traditional dishes such as chicken fried rice and pad thai. Prior to my trip to Thailand, I wasn’t hugely keen on Thai food but I tried to embrace it whilst I was there and I left my trip with great enthusiasm for it! I even brought home a Thai cookbook to attempt some dishes at home!
To sum up, travelling for me is my happiness. It brings so much to my life and has given me some of the best memories and experiences that I’ll ever have. It’s become an obsession now and I can’t wait to spend more time travelling around the world!