We are often confronted with "The best albums of 2014" or "Eight proven ways to keep your home clean and neat".
So I am jumping on the band wagon with "What I enjoy most about travel"
1) Photography. I would be dishonest if I did not make this the thing I most enjoy about travel. It can be difficult to find inspiration for photographs at home. The places you go so often and the things you see everyday usually become so commonplace that your photographic vision is blinded (or at least dulled).
Going to places you are less familiar with seems to help open that photographic vision. Inspiration comes in many different ways, but seeing something new is one of the best ways to stimulate your creative instincts.
2) If you know me, that one was obvious.
Companionship. I enjoy traveling with Kathy and my sons and daughter-in-law. Even tough usually it is just Kathy and me together on our journey, sometimes we are able to travel as a family.
In our daily lives, we visit with each other, but all the practical things like paying bills, laundry, cooking, cleaning, volunteering, etc help make a busy life.
When we go somewhere together, when we do active things together, when we share new experiences together it is a special kind of fun. Life slows down a bit. Sharing the travel expience with each other is a big part of the pleasure of travel. We have made friends of some of the people we have traveled with. Traveling again with our travel friends is one of the great life events!
3) Learning. Whether we ackowledge it or not, lifelong learning is a part of all of us. It is something that we, as a species, enjoy. Sometimes we find a book, a web site, a lecture, a TV presentation, a museum, or a group that interests us and we learn some new things. But it can be challenging to do that locally. Travel offers many opportunities to learn and often to learn in interesting ways. It's been common knowledge that this is the case. Who has not heard the idea that "travel broadens one"? And perhaps we take this concept for granted, not really thinking about it. Going to new places is simply fun. But as I travel more now, I am becoming aware that learning plays a big part in the fun of traveling. In Barcelona, Spain we learned a lot about art and architecture; about Antoni Gaudi and Pablo Picasso. In San Antonio, Texas we learned about Spanish missions; about LBJ's life at the Texas White House; about aquafiers and the water delivery system in a large city. In Arizona we learned about the Navajo people and the lands in which they live.
4) Eating. Wow, no surprise here. Don't we all enjoy eating? More importantly, eating in different places and different cultures is interesting. Discovering the interstingly healthy food in Costa Rica was great fun. I enjoyed the taste of foods in the American Southwest. I loved the creole and cajun influenced foods in Louisana. We learned that eating in Spain is a very different experience than anywhere else we have ever been. Kathy enjoyed the brown bread and vegetable soup that was found everywhere in Ireland. We both enjoyed the Irish Mist honey-spiced whiskey in Ireland. In fact, the entire pub experience in Ireland is wonderful. California dining and wining was great. Part of the fun in Hawaii is going to at least one Luau. And who would refuse to go to a Tennessee or Texas BBQ dining experience? The Texas ranch where we had BBQ was a fabulous treat, complete with a trip to see the ranchers cattle, live entertainment, dancing, cold beer and great BBQ!
5) Wildlife. One of the great parts of travel is seeing wild animals in their natural habitat. Whale watching from a small boat in Alaska is one of my fondest memories. We saw sea otters on the same boat trip. The howler monkeys and sloths in Costa Rica is another of my favorite experiences. I will never forget being in a caged enclosure with capuchin monkeys in an island off the coast of Honduras. I have allowed flamingos to eat from my hand; I've kissed a Llama; I rode on top of an elephant; stood within five feet of a small key deer in the Florida keys.
6) Environment. By this I mean being a part of nature; experiencing the natural world. I enjoy this aspect of travel. While I do enjoy the great cities of the world, learning about cultures I know little about, and seeing great architecture and art, I enjoy more the great natural environments of the world. I enjoy the smells, sights, and feelings of nature; rain, mist; wind; sun; snow; twilight; sunrise; sunset. I like rain forests, mountains, arid landscapes, wildflowers, desserts, canyons, quaking Aspens, tall trees, cactus, weathered pine trees, jungles, swamps, green valleys and red rocks.
7) Transportation. You may think this is a funny item in my list. But I think it is one of the things I enjoy about travel. Walking is one of my joys in travel; I like to walk. I walk a track in a local gym and, when weather permits, I walk in my neighborhood. I hope to never lose the ability to walk.
When I travel to new and exciting places I enjoy walking. I like to ride trains; cogs; helicopters; subways; trolleys; buses; Segways; boats; bicycles. But I really like to walk. I enjoy boardwalks, bridges, suspended walkways in the treetops; trails. Walking in places I have never been to before is always a joy.
8) People Watching. I like to watch other people. I also like to photograph interesting people. At sites, historical buildings, and museums I enjoy when there are tour guides and/or people in period costumes that illustrate and explain customs, skills, or habits of the place and the people you are visiting. Demonstrations are almost always great fun. Local people and people entertaining are enjoyable to watch and photograph.