Travel Writing, Good For The Soul, Good For The World

Travel is one of my true loves. I caught the travel bug when travel became a part of my career. My first overseas assignment was a week in Thailand. This trip can only be described by the word “whirlwind”. 13 hour days at the office, followed up by dinner engagements every night. I didn’t get to see Bangkok at all so I decided to take the following Monday off work and stay for the long weekend. Those three days changed my life. Suddenly I was hooked on seeing new places.

Since then I have been lucky enough to travel a lot. Africa, Europe, Asia, I’ve spent significant amounts of time in all continents. The Americas are still on my list, but the more I travel, the longer my list gets. We have such a short life, there is so much to see.

In my youth, quite often I lacked foresight. I failed to do the things I should have to make life better as I went along. Not so with my travel experiences. I always remembered to pack my cameras, a travel diary and a pen. Travel became the inspiration for my art. Now I have a wondrous array of photos adorning my walls and literature packing my bookshelves. All remind me of the wonderful experiences I’ve had and the tremendous personal growth that resulted.

When reminiscing, I realise that it was in seeing the diversity the world has to offer, that my mind has been opened. I understand now that there is often no right or wrong, there is just different. And different isn’t bad, it is there to be respected, it is there to create thought, it is there to be enjoyed.

Then there are the people I’ve met on the way. In accepting their hospitality, their customs and generosity, my heart has been opened. Sure, they may have a different way of doing things, a different way of interpreting events, they are just people though, people like you and I. In learning to accept them without prejudice, my capacity for love and tolerance increased immensely.

I know I have grown as a person as I traveled. I know I will keep doing so, so long as I continue to travel. However I also know that there are many, many people who do not have the opportunity or luxury to see the world as I have. That is why I publish the things I have written, my insights, my lessons and experiences. Hopefully others, not as fortunate as I, can at least share some of the joys of travel through reading.

It is in this way that the travels which have been so good for my soul, may also be good for the world.

Damian Papworth always reserves his Broadbeach accommodation in advance. He likes to shack up in holiday apartments

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