It seems such a short time since 2018 began and yet here we are now already in February, the December holiday season a distant memory and another new beginning rapidly approaching, with the Lunar New Year upon us. Increasingly I hear, at an accelerating pace, “how time flies”, though the old adage of that being so, “only when you’re having fun”, seems not to always ring so true as I believe it should.
As 2018 picks up pace, it’s good to take a step back and remember that we are the pilots, we can control the path we are on and there is no doubt that an essential ingredient to getting the most out of life and ensuring that time really does fly, is to travel.
At this point in the year, it’s always important for me to stop, re-centre my thoughts and my heart, and decide, where to next. How about you? Before you reply, I’d like you to think about the following; what if, today, with immediate effect, you were asked to surrender your passport for a year. Worse, that you could not even venture further afield than the city or town in which you live for an entire 12-month period. Many of us are extremely privileged to have the opportunity for freedom of passage, but do we fully appreciate that? Would it take the threat of that light going off temporarily to re-energise some of us and embrace the brightness of the possibilities that travel affords us? Not just for the bragging factor, more importantly for the richness of experience and opening of our minds. And hearts.
This emotion is one we must never forget. It is the spirit of travel that I hope we will all work to replenish in 2018. Especially as we move further and further away from the year that was in 2017.
As we contemplate travel plans for this year, we will recall that sadly last year didn’t move us forward in any way towards being a unified and inclusive world. For the first time in our generation, a number of leaders have defined their visions for their nations to be about keeping people out, not welcoming them in. Global connectivity and compassion seems to have reached a new low. Efforts to lock the front doors of destinations through the likes of travel bans, for instance, were deplorable. It’s a sad day when cultural diversity and difference are positioned as a risk to national security. Ignorance insisted that isolation was safer than inclusivity. And yet from my perspective, nothing could be further from the truth.
It is through our travel ventures that we are able to understand differences, appreciate and embrace diversity and seek to bridge the unnecessary divide. It is this action that creates reassurance. We are stronger together than we are divided by the sum or our parts, which is why, I fundamentally believe that we need to travel to keep our hearts and minds open and preserve society.
And so, as the year of the dog and the rest of your 2018 unfolds, I simply ask you to seize the moment, don’t let time pass by and be sure to play your part to actively keep the spirit of travel alive.
Travel More. Discover More. Embrace everything and everyone. Break Barriers. Learn and Discover from others. And most importantly, cherish each moment. I refer to the great Mark Twain, as I have done on occasion before, but never have such words rung true:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”