Nostalgia about my first ever trip out of town, years ago during summer holidays, almost makes me teary-eyed. The excitement started from the moment my father announced that the family was planning a trip. And it kept building up inside me, with every passing moment, until the time the journey actually took place.
As the day to start the journey drew nearer, I started thinking and talking to my friends and family more and more about it. The infectious wave of excitement did not subside until I stepped out of the house for the airport.
My experiences during my trip to the northern mountainous areas of Pakistan were totally different from that I had had in the city where I lived. The wild and rugged beauty of the mountainous areas, the simple living of the people there and their unforgettable hospitality left lasting impressions on my mind. The greenery around was splendid and awesome and the icy cold water of the lake had made the whole area look even more beautiful. For me it was a new experience altogether.
The cultural difference between the two places was an eye-opener for me. Roasts, naans, chapli kababs and many other delicious dishes were good enough to satisfy my appetite. My personal observations about the people, place and their habits was much more than I could have learned from books.
The purpose of travelling can be different for different people. While statesmen visit other countries on a goodwill mission; the businessmen for business; the poet and writers may take a trip for collection of facts and impressions for their writings and others may want to travel as tourists.
Travelling is considered as a powerful tool for personal development. It builds confidence in you and teaches you to become a responsible person as you learn to take care of your belongings and look after your companions during the trip. So if you have not been able to get an opportunity to travel around this globe you may, to some extent, consider yourself less fortunate.
If you are travelling alone, it helps you develop decision-making as you need to decide where to go, where to stay, what to see, what to eat and so on — the list could be long. If you are a frequent traveller and have to travel alone, you will miss your home or family a lot during the trip, but the wonderful joy that is associated with it will somewhat reduce your sadness. Some individuals, however, who have never travelled alone, may consider the prospect quite terrifying.
Travel sickness can cause discomfort. Loneliness can also be a problem. Being in a city or country that you have never been to before, and knowing nobody can be a bit overwhelming.
When you are travelling for a holiday, you have hundreds of choices of where to go and how long to stay; but your budget and the available time at your disposal are some of the important factors that you consider before finalising your travelling programme. This way, you learn to manage your programme within your resources.
During travel you feel free — from school homework, office work or household chores. Travelling, whether for pleasure or business, increases your knowledge about different cultures, languages, foods, currency, etc., and frequent travelling to different countries helps you in making friends from around the globe.
In the words of Francis Bacon, an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, and author, “Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.”
After 9/11, however, the hassle involved in getting visa, if someone is travelling abroad, and new security checks at the airports (because of the risk of terrorism), that include measures like taking off our shoes and taking out our laptops make people feel squeezed and hassled. Nothing is more frustrating or embarrassing than having airport security rummage through your personal belongings in front of other passengers. From making you remove items of clothing, to forcing you to open your carry-on luggage, airport security will always be a real hassle.
Good and bad travelling experiences can be a real eye-opener and provide an opportunity to learn from them. The more a person travels and the more he sees the world, the more experienced and confident he will become.