Traveling is the most amazing thing. You meet new people, you see new places, you open yourself to new perspectives and more often than not come back inspired by what you have seen.
My first traveling experience was at about ten years old, when I went to London with my mum and my sister to meet my dad who was doing a training course there. Stepping out of my tropical island into an end of winter London was a shock to my system, and right there I had a very new and priceless experience. Needless to say, I still keep cherished memories of these holidays.
Each of my travel experiences to Reunion island, South Africa, Australia or Rodrigues island has brought me different but amazing memories.
But what if you can’t afford to travel all that much…
It does happen though that at times, it’s not that easy to travel. Sometimes finances are the issue and other times work or family obligations. For other people it might be their age or their health that prevents them from going abroad. Whatever the reason, there are times where we are not able to travel that easily.
Does that mean that we can’t see new places, meet new people and open ourselves to new perspectives? Hell no!
When I met my husband, about twelve years ago, one of my dreams was to be able to travel at least once every two years. That was my goal. Unfortunately, life caught up with me, and I wasn’t able to follow that plan. I got married, we had a loan to repay, then started a family… All this didn’t allow us to travel all that much.
I missed it though. A lot.
This is when the idea of discovering, and re-discovering, places close to me started to take shape.
I love my island. I’ve always been completely fond of all it has to offer. However, I noticed that I didn’t pay enough attention to all these beautiful places surrounding me. Being trapped in our daily routine often doesn’t allow us to appreciate what we have right on our doorstep.
This is when I decided that this needed to change and that I needed to make a plan to see new places, meet new people and open my perspectives right here and right now.
Therefore in December 2011, right on new year’s eve, I made a commitment to myself for a whole lot of new discoveries in the upcoming year and to share my discoveries with others online. That was so much fun that I never stopped!
Here are 3 things I learned while discovering my island:
1. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Once I started to view my island through the lens of a camera, taking photos during all our different visits, I started changing my own point of view about the landscape around me. Now I don’t need my camera anymore to appreciate a beautiful lighting on the sugar cane fields or the cliffs of a mountain. I notice little details that would not have had me stop before. I always knew there was beautiful landscape around me, however I didn’t appreciate them as often nor to the same extent as I do now.
2. You don’t have to go very far to feel in a completely different world
Mauritius is not very big. So small in fact that it doesn’t even appear on most maps. However, there are so many very different things to see in these 1865km2, that you can feel in a completely different world. From the sunny beaches on one side to the wilderness of the mountains, or the tiny villages full of vegetable plantations to the cities and their tall buildings.
3. Creating connections with people sharing the same passion is always heart warming
I didn’t foresee meeting so many new people and creating so many connections along the way. This was for me the cherry on the top. Whether it is fellow mauritians, foreigners who came the time of a holiday who fell in love with the island or those who left the island a long time ago to establish themselves elsewhere. These encounters, the time of a comment on facebook, a cup of tea or a friendly walk, are always a rich sharing experience for me and I really do cherish them.
To travel or not to travel… that is the question!
Traveling then, is not always about going far far away to some unknown and new place. And if you do love traveling, my advice for you today is, while you are planning your next trip, don’t just fall back into your daily routine. Explore your surroundings and be amazed about all the wonderful things that surrounds you.