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10 reasons to travel the world, Essex Central Magazine - May 2016

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list,” said one traveller. That’s the right attitude. Adventures remind us what it is to be alive, in so many ways... 1) EXPERIENCE THE EXTRAORDINARY The natural, cultural and man-made wonders of the world have enough for a lifetime’s travel on their own. The headliners are obvious: the pyramids of Giza, Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China. Then come landmarks like Uluru (Ayers Rock), the national parks of the USA, or the Northern Lights. Our list is far from comprehensive, but we bet you already have at least one wondrous location on your wish list.

2) CHASE THE SUN The rising and setting of the sun can sear itself into memory. It’s all about location. Seeing it wake above the Taj Mahal is life-enhancing, while a Zanzibar sunset sets the sky ablaze in orange. Monument Valley, Cambodia and Santorini are equally glorious spots to watch the light fade and, of course, catch a tan too.

3) CHALLENGE YOURSELF You can supersize this one - perhaps climb a mountain or something equally heroic, but challenge comes in many sizes. It may involve hiking a glacier in South America or Canada, exploring the Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania, pedalling in Poland, painting in Crete or sailing in Kos.

4) SEE NATURE’S MAJESTY Safari and wildlife travel is booming as many people get to indulge their inner Attenborough. Instead of being caged in a zoo, you get the chance to see everything, from pandas in China and Antarctic penguins to African game animals and South American jungle fauna roaming their natural habitat.

5) FEEL MORE ALIVE Trump your friends for the best dinner party story. Our recent bookings include cage diving with sharks in South Africa, off-piste skiing in the French Alps and zip-lining through the jungle canopy in Monteverde. That sense of adventure or overcoming adversity will give some of the greatest joys of all.

6) EAT THE WORLD We had a bad time with food, growing up. Most Sunday roasts were distinctly Cypriot: half turkey, half grease. Which is why we envy the range of food-themed trips on the market. France and Sicily offer some formidable culinary getaways, with the option to get busy in the kitchen too. If you favour wine, you can pitch up at the annual wine festival in Stellenbosch, tour the wineries of Porto or experience the genius of California’s Napa Valley.

7) WITNESS THE GREAT RELIGIONS You don’t need to be devout to experience the faiths of the world. You will never forget the morning you wake up to a Muslim call to prayer, hear the early morning bells of the Vatican, see the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem or spend time in Tibet learning about Buddhism.

8) ENJOY THE EDUCATION Seeing the world gives you a source of learning that surpasses any schooling. The school of travel allows you to learn languages, broaden the mind, gain self-confidence and get a first-hand knowledge of those topics - economics, politics, history, geography and sociology - at work in real life.

9) TAKE A DIGITAL DETOX Unplug the laptop, find somewhere with no reception and liberate yourself from the status updates and selfies. This will give you a profound and enviable chance to enjoy the here and now and reconnect with mind, body and soul. Traveling gives a breathing space that is often lost in our usual day-to-day existence.

10) ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO TRAVEL Spread the word. Travelling with family or friends can make it even more fun. Happiness is infectious and travel is easier than you think. Embrace it! Finally, don’t forget your travel checklist: passport validity, currencies, vaccinations and more.

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