Last week, Juliet Kinsman, a sustainable luxury travel writer for Conde Nast Traveller, dove into the real reasons you travel – and you may be surprised.
Why do you travel? For the escape? For excitement and exploration? Bonding with friends and family – or grabbing some much-needed me time? The high of new surroundings, new tastes, new sights and new people?
The benefits of travel are real. It has been scientifically proven to spark the production of all those happy hormones – all the best “-mines and –ins” like dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, oxytocin and the like.
Bronwyn Varty of Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa got a shoutout in the piece, remarking that when we’re away, particularly when we spend time in nature, our circadian rhythms – very simply our body clocks – reset.
It’s true, isn’t it? On holiday, we sleep better, we eat better and our screen time decreases. In short, we generally do life better away from home. We’re kinder – to ourselves and others.
Our fight or flight mode – now our default state for more than a year – switches to what psychologists have called “flow” mode. Relax mode. Aeroplane mode for our bodies and minds.
Kinsman reflected on time she spent away, glamping in a dreamy film-set style hotel an hour outside of Lisbon:
“My time away providing the meaning of life might be an overstatement, but it certainly involved engaging with the strongest human emotion at the heart of ubuntu: a sense of belonging.
Contemplating the bigger picture and our role in the world shows us how precious travel is in giving us perspective.
It also cultivates compassion and empathy, and has the potential to inspire us to be kinder and think about ‘we’ not just ‘me.’
Travel is also a reminder, in many ways, that we actually are all in this together. Our lives are so different, separated by borders and oceans, and yet we’re all connected.”
We may not be able to jaunt overseas for a glamping holiday quite yet, but the benefits – whether you’re in Paris or Parys – remain the same.
We may travel for a multitude of different reasons, but that sense of ubuntu, those connections and the fact that we’re all human (something we often tend to forget) is undoubtedly one of the most important.
As is a reminder that our work matters. Sure, we know the stats. In 2018, the tourism sector contributed about 4,5% of total employment in South Africa, according to the Tourism 2020 report released by Statistics South Africa. The South African travel industry employed 1 in 10 people based on estimates by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa in 2019.
We know these very well. We’ve seen the devastation the pandemic wrought on these lives – our colleagues, our friends. We may take two steps forward and three back, but let’s continue to take those steps. Just one at a time. Because we’re in this together. Thankfully, though, with our latest move to lockdown level 2, we don’t need to stock up our wine supplies to quite the same level we did previously.
Let’s continue upskilling and reskilling – the key to thriving in 2021. We know we have to continue adapting, as Paul Ash succinctly said it here for the Sunday Times. We’re used to the fact that the only constant is change.
So, let’s continue learning. Reminding ourselves why we do what we do. Why we love to travel. Let’s walk the talk and take those local trips and getaways, supporting our tour operators, small business owners, restaurants and cafes.
Let’s remember the real reason we travel. And be a little kinder to each other and ourselves.
Love it or hate it, Airbnb has read the room. The part “sharing economy,” part entrepreneurship, and part “meeting people” online company has upgraded its platform to solve the pain point of every single traveller right now – the need for flexibility.
The holiday firm says the changes are in response to “three fundamental shifts” in how people want to travel – the fact they can travel anytime, want to go to more places and stay longer.
Users can now search using flexible dates, flexible matching and flexible destinations.
Flexible Dates, which was launched in February this year, enables people to search for places to stay if they are flexible on dates. It has already been used 100 million times.
What the world was musing over this past week
To diversify or not
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Here are four simple ways to compartmentalise work and home.
If it’s not a heck yes, it’s a no
Better your work-life balance by following this principle of simply saying no.
Women in Wine
Female entrepreneur Dimakatso Malwela and her team at Nhlakanipho Holdings launched House of D’licacy, a non-alcoholic wine brand, last week, a great showcase of resilience and diversification in the tourism space.
Your most self-destructive habit?
Here’s why Simon Sinek says comparison is the absolute worst thing we can do.
All aboard your caravan
Younger buyers discover the joys of caravanning for Covid-era holidays.
Swimming to success – despite the odds
Laura Strugnell and Clarissa Johnston came out of retirement to take a shot at the Olympics and made history by qualifying in the Synchronised Swimming Women on behalf of SA for the first time in 29 years.