Born and raised on a small island, in a country the majority of the world considers a vacation paradise, many options here are limited. My home is a place filled with loads of bright sunshine, beautiful turquoise oceans, white sandy beaches and a few other beautiful sights to see. Who wouldn’t bask in the wonderful island life among the palm trees with the background music of real waves crashing on real beaches?
Don’t get me wrong. These things are all what makes Barbados home but they aren’t things I’ve ever found myself attached to. I’m personally not fond of the heat, humidity and blazing hot sun. Once the sun is tucking itself in, the beach can be heavenly. There’s nothing like salty cool air and sand between your toes to melt the day’s woes away. But life here leaves me feeling limited and yearning for much much more. Though I frequently go to the same place, I’ve been blessed with travelling as often as I do, once or twice a year. (Okay, so it’s not quite frequently enough for me to earn tens and hundreds of thousands of miles and free tickets, but it’s still a little often.)
My recent trip to Rhode Island has reminded me of why it is I love to travel.
1. Seeing new things
Every country has something that will leave you awestruck the moment you lay eyes on it. Whether it be created by the forces of Mother Nature or animals otherwise, a sight to see remains a sight to be seen by one, by many, by all.
2. Seeing and meeting new people
There are all kinds of people everywhere. There are kind people, mean people, hurried people, relaxed people, happy people, sad people, angry people, people alone, couples, small families, large families, people with pets, people like me and people like you. I’m a big people watcher. I like watching people go about their lives.
Watching the couple laugh as they push their daughter on the swings while their golden retriever happily pounces around Dad…this brought nothing but a smile to my face. Watching their concern as their daughter attempts to slide down the pole instead of the slide and making sure she didn’t injure herself. A well groomed golden retriever and a smiling family who said hi and showered my baby cousin with compliments.
There’s nothing like connecting with new people.
3. Creating new experiences
It’s not everywhere that one will find the opportunity to take a dip and snorkle among enchanting tropical coral, see massive waterfalls, ski on snowy top mountains or zipline through forested areas. (Just for the record, I’ve done none of these things myself…yet.)
My recent trip to Rhode Island left me enchanted by its nature. I’ve always thought that I liked being surrounded by nature and felt rather connected to it but I had never felt such love towards my natural surroundings as I did there. The environment is so different from home, despite it all being nature, and I can’t explain it but it was something I just felt more connected to.
Travelling to many different places can bring a sense of enlightenment and revelation that you’d likely never have discovered in the comforts of your own familiar environments.
5. Expanding my cultural knowledge
This doesn’t need much discussion…so many countries…so many cultures. Whether it be food, activities or festivals, there is so much to learn from everyone in the world!
6. Developing an appreciation for the Earth
One can’t help but feel humbled to be alive on this blindingly gorgeous planet. And knowing that it’s slowly being destroyed really hurts my heart.
7. Becoming a better person
There’s an independence that comes with travelling on your own. Then there’s an open-mindedness that comes with exposure to various people and their various cultures. It’s near impossible for a closed-minded individual to travel somewhere exotic and have fun. If you aren’t open and accepting to the cultural differences, there will be a ton of dislikes which could make for a rather unhappy traveller. But people want to have fun and travelling has this way of opening up a person…the exposure to new things can often bring a lot of personal discoveries and revelations that, you have to admit, leaves you a different person.
8. Irreplaceable memories
Ones you’d never make at home!
I’d post more lovely photos from my trip but…they’re mostly baby photos. My baby cousin just had his first birthday and is way way too cute.