Travel

‘But why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.’

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-11/2008: India
-09/2006: Bali/Indonesia
-11/2005 – 12/2005: Vietnam and Singapore
-11/2003 – 05/2004: Australia (East Coast, Oodnattata Track, Sydney, Melbourne), New Zealand, Fiji, U.S.A. and Mexico
-09/2002: Andalucia, Spain
F1050005_Kangaroo_Aus2004.jpg-01/1997 – 03/1997: Australia (Western Australia, The Dead Heart, Sydney, Melbourne)
-07/1996: Ireland
-05/1992 – 09/1992: Australia (Melbourne, bustrip across Australia except Western Australia), Singapore and Bangkok, Thailand
-07/1989: London, England
-07/1987: Hastings, England
-07/1986: Hastings, England

I grew up in a tiny little village, where life centered, and still centers, around community activities involving, apart from holiday trips to coast resorts of Slovenia, Croatia, Italy or Greece, little travel. So you might say that traveling does not constitute an integral part of the psychology of the people there.
And, honestly, I had not had much of an inclination to change that attitude until friends from school decided to go to a summer school in Hastings, England. Since I did not want to be left behind, and, surprisingly, was encouraged and funded by my parents, I found myself in a seaside resort on the other side of the channel. This was in 1985 and was meant to stir my latend desire to travel and explore different countries, cultures and mentalities. PC012734_HaLongVietnam.JPG Still, it took me more than twenty years to fully enjoy these trips, completely shedding the village-mentality of “staying within the borders” and regarding the whole world as my “home village”.
Great Britain was to become a great love-affair, which was so natural and immediate that I could never find a proper explanation for it. Several trips to Australia followed, which would substitute Great Britain as my favourite destination, not only because Australia is the traveler’s paradise but mainly and most importantly because I met so many nice and open people there, many of them having become close friends for many years.
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Still the most profound and mind expanding aspect of traveling is the exploration of terra incognita. It might not be as comfortable as traveling to a well known country but the benefits are at least as rewarding. Exploring uncharted territory might come as a cool summer rain after a hot, sun-beaten day and always leaves me rejuvenated, full of fresh ideas and, at times, humble – especially, when I have been to under-developed countries.
viet17_halong_manwatching.jpgcopyright by Sylvia Schreiner
It appears that humility is an important quality, overall, one that is, more often than not, sadly missing in our (over) developed societies. We do take so much for granted that it starts frightening me. As a matter of fact, in the Western world so many live in utter abundance, but I can see only so few who are aware of it and even fewer who can enjoy it. Being able to travel freely is one aspect of my life in utter abundance and I regard it as a great privilege.
viet15_halong_peoplephoto.jpgcopyright by Sylvia Schreiner