In addition to the gorgeous scenery, pampering spa, exotic cultures, I believe it’s also because of the fresh feeling of “suspending my life” for just a few days.
Last night, I heard a good writer David Ignatius articulate the situation in Egypt. That, strangely enough, reminded me of travel.
“In January, there was a feeling of euphoria. All of a sudden, the common people felt that they were living a different life; it was exhilarating in Tahrir Square. You could now take risks that you normally wouldn’t; everything was possible. Two months later, the square was littered with trash. The euphoria was gone. Life returned to normal. I am still jobless, and there is no police, crime’s going up.”
It struck me that travel was just like a mini version of the Egyptian revolution in January 2011, regardless of where I go.
One of my favorite things to do back in China was to go back to Yunnan, find a little village like Shaxi. Check into a little lodge, take my camera and wander around. Take a walk along the beautiful stream running through the village; roll up my sleeves and offer to help the farmer planting rice in the paddy fields; sit down for a cup of tea in an old horseman’s house and learn about the traditions of the tea and horse caravan road; hike up the mountain to examine the fine figurines of Jianchuan Shibaoshan Grottoes.
In doing so, I relax, I smile, I get into a zone of “travel high”.
The question is why? Yes fresh air helps. More importantly, it’s because I put my daily duties of running a business, being a mom on hold. I forgot to fuss over how many people commented on my facebook posting. I stop to worry whether I weighed half a pound more or less than yesterday.
It was my mini-revolution. I could now, at this very moment, imagine being a photographer, a historian, a writer, an anthropologist, an explorer, an artist. Basically being in all the professions that I’ve always wanted to be, but couldn’t be. Oh, there are many reasons why I couldn’t. I don’t have the talent; these professions don’t make money; or because I went to Harvard Business School.
So, I return to my normal life after a week, return to the routine of school pickups/dropoffs, running business, savoring the euphoria of travel.
A few weeks later, I take off again, for another mini revolution. This time with kids and family. This time, I would suspend my daily life as a “do-your-homework-now” mom, and change for a week, into a loving, all-attentive, let-mommy-rub-some-sunblock-on-you-sweetie mom.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my daily routine, I have a great family and a great job. Travel is simply additive.