What comes to your mind when you say the word ‘travel’? Do you think of new people, places, food, activities or maybe even books? It differs depending on what you gain from the experience doesn’t it? My first thought would be EXPLORING.

Inspiration for travel

I’ve always had an eagerness to travel (explore). I was born into a family that loves to travel. My parents travelled with us often. Besides our regular weekend getaways, I can recall many day trips through local townships and farms in search of a new thrill or interesting find. Finding antiques and collectables was my dads favourite hobby. In fact, it still is. If I don’t hear from him over the weekend, it’s safe to assume he’s out exploring for new and interesting finds.

Perhaps this explains why I also have a keen interest in cultures other than my own. Walking alongside my dad through rural villages as a young girl peeked my interest. I recall endless thoughts flowing through my mind. Every place we explored was different in some way. From the climate, the land, the people, the cultures, the food, the language, the belief systems and the social norms. Every trip was unique and if nothing else, it was a given that we’d come back home feeling like some small part of us was different.

https://www.sa-venues.com/sa_languages_and_culture.htm Interesting info about South African cultures.

The benefits…

No matter what part of travelling resonates with you most, it is scientifically proven that travelling is good for our health. The most fundamental of health benefits, in my opinion, would be stress reduction. Can I get an Amen?! Who doesn’t want less stress right? Stress is a part of everyday life and we can’t eliminate stressful situations altogether, but we certainly do need to take a break from time to time.

Take a look at these 7 proven health benefits of travel posted by Matador https://matadornetwork.com/bnt/7-scientific-facts-prove-travel-good-health/

Taking a break allows your body to release stress and tension build up. It gives you an opportunity to restore your energy and mental well-being to ensure the decrease in a fatigue build up.

Is your body in need of a rest?

It’s not always easy to know when your body needs a break. Our society has become so prone to running on autopilot that we don’t stop to reflect on what our bodies really need. It’s important to prioritize your well-being. A helpful tool to ensure this is a 10min daily meditation. Give yourself the time it needs to reflect and assess your well-being every morning. You can also use these helpful 12 signs to determine if you need a break https://www.healthline.com/health/i-need-a-break

The start of our journeys

Now I’m all grown up, and have a family of my own. The passion for exploring still remains. I’m not entirely sure if Laren shares a similar passion or simply makes it possible because he’s aware of how it satisfies my soul. Either way – I’ll take it! I love him for his awareness of what makes me happy and his willingness to make it possible.

Our first trip was an overnighter at the Great Fish River. A quiet camp ground between East London and Port Alfred. It’s a lovely spot for fishing, but little else. Bear in mind this was a good few years back and I have since heard it now boasts a beautiful play area for children and much more. You can check them out here https://www.sacampsites.co.za/Camping%20Sites/fish-river-diner-caravan-park/

This was the beginning of our lifetime of adventures together. We’ve since stayed at roughly 30 destinations and travelled into 3 of South Africa’s provinces. Our travels are centred mostly around the Eastern Cape, occasionally stretching beyond.

For me, it’s all about being with the people I love most, exploring new places and enjoying everything that life has to offer us in the many magical places we find ourselves.

What’s your next step?

The destination is not what matters. The cost is not what matters. It’s all about the experience and what you make of it. Travelling is an opportunity to immerse yourself with new experiences and fresh beginnings. We learn through experience.

Plan your next break around your passions, pick a destination you’ve always wanted to explore or choose a spot based on a culture you’d like to learn about. If you simply want peace and tranquillity then choose a place that provides this with little interruptions. Then simply GO!

Here’s a list of top tourist destinations in South Africa you might find helpful. https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/south-africa-saf.htm

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