It is said that home is where the heart is. But to some degree it is also what you’re used to and all that you know.
This is why the hubby and I like to go off the familiar trodden path when it comes to travelling. It broadens ones mental and spiritual bandwidth, and makes life more enriching.
It does another important thing, too. Something that I wasn’t consciously aware of until our recent trip to Sri Lanka (the hubby’s birth country).
Reflecting back, it became obvious that it happened after our trip to Cuba a couple of years ago, and after Kenya and Tanzania a year before that.
What was that thing? I returned home brimming with gratitude.
In between trips (usually a span of a year or more) I get into a rut of the daily routine, staying within the confines of what I know and do. This can make life mundane, and me less tolerant and appreciative. I notice the good stuff less, and complain more.
Travelling to countries with differing living conditions and facilities to what I’m used to makes me appreciate my life more.
So while my trip to Sri Lanka did broaden the bandwidth — being immersed in the local culture, observing the country’s people, trekking and bike riding in nature, and taking in the beautiful scenery and historical sites — it also made me aware of all that I take for granted back home.
- being able to drink water out of the tap
- clean, spacious and safe roads with foot paths
- the variety of food delicious foods and cuisines at my disposal (and not having to be worried about getting sick from eating out)
- the change of seasons — everyday, it’s hot, hot and hot (and muggy) in Sri Lanka
- clean toilets with toilet paper
- lack of mosquitoes (in Melbourne) and the diseases they spread (malaria is not much of a problem in Sri Lanka anymore, but dengue fever can be)
- I have every material thing I need and more to make my life comfortable — a beautiful home, car, gadgets, nice clothes
- the freedom to make certain choices about my life, more so than many others in the world — and to have those choices available to me (from where to eat, shop and do yoga to which hobbies, activities, and work I undertake).
Travel does indeed deliver more than meets the eye. It goes deep, and speaks to the soul. I just hope I don’t find myself in a rut before I get the itch to stretch beyond my little world, and grow. The big question is: where to next?