For me it’s about exploring new places, the adventure and wanting to learn more...
We’ve been driving for 10hrs through remote villages, along cliff edge roads, kids running along the dirt tracks to chase us down, big smiles beaming across their face as they climb the mountains making their way to school. Ruins from Inca tribes and even more recent abandoned homes with just the clay-like-shells remaining. Women shepherds climbing the rock face, herding their pigs and sheep in traditional clothing, bright multi coloured scarves filled with all sorts, from babies to fruits and even young lambs, adorned with huge alpaca skirts, dusty but perfectly shaped bowler hats and their trusted walking sticks.
As we descend from 3800m through the baron land we arrive into Manu National Park, an extremely important buffer zone into the Amazon. The vegetation gets thicker, multitudes of green fill the land scape, covering steep rock faces as the humidity rises and before we know it we’re sitting on a cable cart 10ft above a roaring river to settle into our rustic, but homely, wooden lodge for the night. The river still flowing in the distance, the rain hitting the corrugated roof, numerous birds calling all around as our hosts prepare dinner and our fellow travellers sit down and pull out a pack of cards.
I try to write as soon as I arrive so that I remember every little detail, the sounds and smells: like the fresh corn popping away in the back ground (a staple food in these parts, which has now become an accompaniment to our movie nights in); the diverse birds calls, seeking mates and warning others about any dangers; the insects getting ready for dusk as they take over the jungle, and the distant sound of Latino music echoing out from the radio, as the travellers converse and get to know each other more.
When we travel, we begin to understand just how big the planet is, something I’ve always questioned from an early age. We see different cultures, how different communities live, the amazing food they eat and the incredible ways they prepare it. Naturally, we compare it to what we know but by seeing new things we learn more, we adapt, we develop and we create a passion to explore further. We push our boundaries and evolve, by learning new skills, and grow an appreciation for other cultures. We discover the things we like, and the things we don’t, which can help with career pathways and decision-making. We usually have time to think and relax, something that can be easily lost in our regular routines, and it's during these times that we can re-define our values and priorities.
These are just a few of the reasons as to why I believe travel is so important!