Since I am posting this while I’m on an eleven-day tour of Ireland, October 19 seemed an appropriate day to talk about travel. I love to travel and see new places. But it turns out that travel is also good for you. Though I am not a huge Deepak Chopra fan, I do like what his website has to say about the benefits of travel.

  • Travel promotes heart health. When you travel, you are likely to move more than you do at home, especially if you are retired, or have a desk job. People who travel regularly tend to be healthier.
  • Travel keeps the mind sharp. When you travel, you meet new situations, new cultures, and new people. It is good for your brain to have to engage with different experiences.
  • Travel enhances creativity. Engaging with a new culture opens different pathways in the brain, especially if you are immersed in the culture and the new experiences. For a writer like myself, this is especially helpful.
  • Travel relieves stress and boosts mental health. Getting away from everyday stresses can be very healthy. In addition, just the pleasure you get from planning the trip can improve your outlook on life, because you have something to look forward to.
  • Travel shifts perspective. Getting outside your comfort zone is ultimately a positive experience. It is also educational to see how other people view life, and perhaps even how they view your country.
  • Travel increases connection to others and self. Travel gives you a chance to meet new people, particularly if you are on a tour of any length. It can also give you a chance to better get to know the person you are traveling with.

So there you go – if you need an excuse to travel, you now have it! (I highly recommend Ireland.)

Quotes about travel

Any successful journey begins by packing your luggage full of imagination.–Kathrine Palmer Peterson

As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate lovingly, our own.–Margaret Mead

Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.–Miriam Beard

For my part, 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 good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving.–Lao Tzu

I was surprised, as always, be how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.–Jack Kerouac

The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life.–Agnes Repplier

The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.–Shirley MacLaine

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try to understand each other, we may even become friends.–Maya Angelou

To get away from one’s working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one’s self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change.–Charles Horton Cooley

To travel is to take a journey into yourself.–Danny Kaye

Traveling provides occasions for shaking oneself up but not, as people believe, freedom. Indeed it involves a kind of reduction: deprived of one’s usual setting, the customary routine stripped away like to much wrapping paper, the traveler finds himself reduced to more modest proportion – but also more open to curiosity, to intuition, to love at first sight.–Nicolas Bouvier

The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only one page.–Saint Augustine

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World Tourism Day

Since 1980, we have celebrated World Tourism Day on September 27. The UN chose this date because, on that day in 1970, the Statutes of the United Nations World Tourism Organization were adopted.

Their official Website states: “Over the past six decades, tourism … has become one of the fastest growing and most important economic sectors in the world, benefiting destinations and communities worldwide. International tourist arrivals worldwide have grown from 25 million in 1950 to nearly 1.2 billion in 2015. Similarly, international tourism revenues earned by destinations around the world have grown from 2 billion US dollars in 1950 to 1260 trillion in 2015. The sector represents an estimated 10% of the world’s GDP and 1 in 10 jobs globally.” That’s a lot of traveling!

I have lived in Seattle, which is a top tourist destination as might be expected. But currently, I am staying in a small village in Ireland, where this summer I heard accents from many different countries: Slavic, French, Spanish, American, and British. Tourism accounts for a large percentage of the village revenue.

The theme for 2017 is Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development, which means, tourism should benefit travelers, the host country, and the environment. This is a good rule to follow everywhere but is especially important for developing countries, which have too often been exploited.

Tourism is a wonderful thing, enabling a person to see how different people live and see new sights. It brings in money to the people being visited. But let us travel with a mind open to learning, and a respect for the host country, its people, its customs, and its environment. Let us be good guests and good hosts as we visit and are visited.

Quotes about travel and tourism

The fool wanders, a wise man travels.–Thomas Fuller

The average tourist wants to go to places where there are no tourists.–Sam Ewing

Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.–Paul Theroux

Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.–Lawrence Block

The thing about tourism is that the reality of a place is quite different from the mythology of it.–Martin Parr

If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.–Henry Miller

Tourism is sin, and travel on foot virtue.–Werner Herzog

I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.–Mary Anne Radmacher

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.–Robert Louis Stevenson

Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.–Gustave Flaubert

Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.–Benjamin Disraeli

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.–Laozi

The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.–Samuel Johnson

I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.–Bill Bryson

Take only memories, leave only footprints.–Chief Seattle

I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.–Susan Sontag

See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream.–Ray Bradbury

One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.–Henry Miller

There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it.–Charles Warnera

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