Luxury Travel

Oh The Places

an essay on travel by Bard Sullenger

This whimsical book from Dr. Seuss on enjoying life's journey, speaks to the possibilities that lay ahead for our young friend in the book, but indeed for all of us as well. "Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to great places! You're off and away!

Travelers may take these words as inspiration for a journey of their own or as an impetus to take that trip so often put off. Visiting foreign lands is one of the best ways to expand your horizons, step beyond everyday activities and discover the great things that exist within our reach.

Though perhaps less given to whim and fancy than Dr. Seuss, it is infinitely more exciting to look upon our leisure travel in terms of a journey of discovery, pleasure and perhaps  one of transformation.  For who wouldn't be transformed by the wonderful sights, smells and sounds of everyday life in Rome as you sit on the Spanish Steps, sipping your cafe, watching the world go by.   This is just one of my favorite moments, yet when I consider the places I've yet to visit and the sights I've yet to see, I feel passionately that time should not go to waste and I wonder where to go next.

 "Travel has a way of stretching the mind. The stretch comes not from travelís immediate rewards, the inevitable myriad new sights, smells and sounds, but with experiencing firsthand how others do differently what we believed to be the right and only way"

Ralph Crawshaw

This is a question many of us puzzle over as there is so much out there to see and experience for the traveler with an open mind. Every country harbours distinct regions and fascinating cities that should not be missed -- the vibrant countryside of Tuscany, the quaint villages of England's Cotswolds, the sun drenched colors of Provence in the south of France, Amsterdam, Prague, Madrid, and the list goes on. 

Our destinations have the power to elicit an enormous amount of excitement and anticipation.  My wife and I, and our three small children, went on holiday to the island of Corsica last September, and for the months preceding the trip it was all we could think about.  We poured over books and pictures and maps, drawing the kids into our adventure which was about to unfold.  Indeed, Corsica lived up to all that our imaginations could conjure up, and more! Our reasons for this trip were pure pleasure and relaxation mixed with a desire to see and experience this mysterious, rugged island that we had heard so much about.

Your own reasons for embarking on a trip may reflect the smallest detail that arouses your passion; your desire to see the works of Michelangelo, your dream of tasting truffles in Provence, the longing to hike mountainous trails in Switzerland.  Your eagerness and anticipation for a forthcoming trip will make all the difference in its enjoyment and outcome. Hang your choice on a personal note and your trip will take on a life of its own.  Read all you can on the destination, speak with friends who have been there or take a few language lessons so that you can get that much more from your visit. Learning a few simple words can truly enhance your enjoyment and will likely get you that coveted window seat in a restaurant or a ready smile with helpful hints and directions.

Once you arrive its time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your research and hard earned dollars, and make the most of your time in foreign lands. Gaze in awe at centuries old paintings and sculptures in the world's finest museums, sip a Campari in a Parisian cafe, peruse local markets for fresh white asparagus in springtime or relax and listen to the gleeful sounds of children as they push model sailboats in the fountains of the Jardins des Tuileries.  Feel the energy of the people and places that make the world come to life.  For it is savoring moments such as these that bring joy for years to come.