The Art of Travel

By Joe Burke

Sometimes we need to get away from it all. For some of us its relaxing on a beach, and for others it’s a tour of Notre-Dame. When we travel, we experience so many new things, and sometimes there can be a sensory overload. There are new sounds, new feels, even new sunsets. While we are experiencing these new things, I believe that it is important to take a second to really soak it all in. It is too easy to let time fly by when you are out experiencing amazing new things. I have spent the last few weeks of my life in South Africa, and the expression, “time flies when you’re having fun,” speaks true to the time I’ve spent here.

When exploring new places, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of it all, and quite easy to miss the little things passing you by. My father once told me that when you’re traveling you should stop for a minute or two, and soak in the little things. Listen to the sounds filling the atmosphere, watch the people dancing on the sidewalks, smell the air that you are immersed in. When you do these things, I promise that you will have a new appreciation for the places you travel to. Go out and join those who are dancing, find out what that sweet smell wafting around the corner is! When you take yourself out of your comfort zone, true colors of the human spirit begin to break through. Also, when travelling; either nationally or internationally, carry yourself with a sense of respect.

When you treat people with a true sense of respect, they will do the same for you. This is true for any situation. They may not trust you, or even like you, but they will give you the respect that you have given to them. These last few weeks I have learned new perspectives, and used them to shape mine into a more understanding one; and it’s because of the people I’ve spent my time with. From our drivers to my group members, everyone has taught me something whether they know it or not. Everything from how Leopard tracks differ from Cheetah tracks to how life works in rural Alaska, and everything in between. To me, life is about learning. Traveling is one of the best forms of education, if you carry yourself with a sense of respect and take in the little things. When you combine those two you will see more, hear more and even remember more about the place that you have visited. You will also carry a new perspective on life, one that you may have never even thought possible. I have gotten the pleasure of meeting and talking with many brilliant people because of this philosophy.

So, I say, go and smell the roses because you never know what you will stumble on or who you could meet. Walk the Earth enjoying the little things, carry a sense of respect, and you will unlock things that you truly never thought possible.

Natalie Miller