According to Cambridge University, travelling means that “the activity of making journeys” In contemporary world, travelling is not only a hobby or a luxury, but it has become a necessity as well. Travelling is an activity which enriches a person’s knowledge and her personality.
Travelling not only fulfills our desire to seek adventure and explore new worlds, but also gives us experience and practical knowledge that reading or studying alone cannot.
Throughout the centuries, human have travelled for many reasons. Some travel for sight- seeing and refreshment, some travel to seek the thrill of adventure and discover and conquer the unknown and the unexplored. Some travel to places that are far and wide to seek knowledge and experience.
Others travel to seek better prospects for their future, to trade and prosper. Whatever the reason might be, one fact is evident. To change one’s life and fate, travelling becomes important.
Many travel for the pursuit of knowledge. Educational hubs attract the seekers of wisdom from lands that are far away. In ancient times, India was one such centre of learning. There were various schools of thought that resulted in many debates and discussions in ancient India.
Many wise men such as Aryabhata, Kautilya, Manu, etc. lived in India and contributed to India’s popularity as a place of not only prosperity but also scholarly learning. Scholars and travellers from all over the world travelled to India in pursuit of the wealth of knowledge. They wanted to understand the mystery that was India. Such was the allure of India.
These travellers who came to India wrote many books and memoirs containing the accounts of their travel. They wrote extensively about their experiences in India. One such traveller was the Italian merchant Marco Polo. He was extremely impressed by India and her charms and wrote about his encounter with the country in his writings.
These writings of Marco Polo later inspired the Europeans to find the Indies. They were very fascinated with the country that Marco Polo was so impressed with. I
t is in pursuit of India, that European traveller Columbus accidentally discovered the sea route to the Americas. Later, Portuguese traveller Vasco de Gama discovered the sea route to the prosperous land of India. The discovery of these two routes changed the fate of the world forever.
Such is the importance of travelling. Through travelling, people came to know about new lands and cultures which they wrote about. Their writings later inspired many people to travel to these places in hopes of better prospects.
Through this, they amassed great wealth both in terms of knowledge and material possessions. Europeans were quick to understand the importance of travelling. They travelled and explored the world and gained knowledge. This knowledge helped them conquer the world. At a point of time, European power England had conquered more than half the world.
Travelling not only contributed in trade, spreading of knowledge and conquests, it was crucial in other areas as well. Travelling was also a key contributory factor in the spread of religion. Buddhism was born in India. Today,
Buddhism has become one of the most practiced religions in the world and is practiced on a larger scale outside than in India! This is all due to travelling.
The great Emperor Ashoka sent people far and wide to spread Buddhism. The same is true with Christianity. Christian priests travelled to different parts of the world to spread Christianity as they considered it the mandate of God.
Thus, travelling helped in the spread of knowledge, religion, goods, information, etc. Work of different philosophers in the areas of mathematics, science, philosophy, etc., were translated and made available in different parts of the world through travelling. Thus it would be not wrong to say that travelling became a crucial factor that contributed to prosperity of a nation.
Travelling is also a recreational activity which satisfies a person’s thrill to seek new adventures and her curiosity about the world. There are many wonders in this world, both natural and man- made that attract travellers that want to have a glimpse of its beauty.
Many tourists from all over the world travel to visit the monuments that stand tall as a witness to the history of human- kind. Others travel to climb the ever-growing Mount Everest, to see the beauty of the Niagara Falls, and other wonders of nature.
Travelling thus gives people a breath of fresh air. Life nowadays is hectic. People make time from their busy schedules to get away from the troubles of their life and take a break through travelling.
When they return to their lives, they not only have new memories that will be there with them for all their lives, but they can also return with fresh minds, to face life with a refreshed attitude. Thus, travelling can even be therapeutic.
Travelling has great educational value. People not only learn about various subjects such as science, arts, etc., they also learn about life itself. A student may read extensively about the Taj Mahal and its history but he/she will not be able to fully understand and comprehend its beauty but through travelling they will appreciate it more.
Travelling also enhances the personality of an individual. Through travelling, we encounter new cultures, new places, new traditions, etc. We meet and interact with people that lead a different life than ours. These people often teach us values and things that we cannot learn through books.
Life cannot be learnt through books alone. Practical knowledge teaches us how to deal with our problems. When we meet with new situations and new people we learn things that we did not before. Through travelling we also create memories that stay with us for a lifetime. In the end, it is only the happy memories that matter, does it not?
Travelling forms an important part of our lives. Lord Rama had to travel to confront Emperor Ravana and save Goddess Sita. Along the way, he met the mighty Hanuman who helped him defeat his enemy. Throughout his journey, he gained allies who helped him throughout his travels.
Alexander the Great travelled throughout the world with his army to raid and to conquer different parts of the world. Before starting his movements that shook India, Mahatma Gandhi travelled extensively throughout India to know the conditions of the poor. Such is the importance of traveling.
In our daily lives, we travel for various reasons. With the advent of time, travelling has become simpler and more convenient. Because of this, the world has become more integrated. There are very few places in the world that are completely isolated. Perhaps there are none.
Travelling has thus brought us closer together. We all have become global citizens. No area is too far now. All cultures are independent yet closer together. When we travel, we come to understand the ways of lives of the people that lead a different life from ours.
Through travelling, we come to sympathies and empathize with them. When a person who lives in the city travels to a village, she comes to understand the ways of life in a village. She understands the hardships, yet the strength that a person living in a village has. Thus, travelling brings people of different spheres of life closer together.
British essayist T. S. Elliot said that it is not the destination that matters, it is the journey. Perhaps he was right. Sometimes we get so invested in the goal that we do not stop to think what we have earned along the way. Travelling, perhaps is a way of life in itself.
The importance of travelling, be it for recreation or for searching better prospects, cannot be denied. Travelling teaches us what books cannot. Thus, travelling is a breath of fresh air in a human’s life that rejuvenates her and makes her life better.