By Nefeli Markou (B class)
Ever since the era of nomads people have travelled to almost every part of our planet no matter what their purpose had been. The aim of travelling in those days was mainly for survival whereas nowadays it is mainly for fun and to give ourselves the pleasure of having new experiences.
It’s these new experiences that can make one broaden his mind and change his outlook on life that are sought by travellers. How on earth can someone get in touch with lifestyles and traditions different from his own if he doesn’t abandon his set ways for a while and indulge into a whole new experience of different cultures? No amount of mere reading of travel books or watching documentaries can be compared with the force of images of someone who has actually been there himself and not via TV or books.
On the other hand, it is often said that travelling has become a big business and therefore its creative and educational characteristics mentioned above have faded away due to the attempt to see the lighter side of travelling only such as drinking fancy cocktails next to a pool or getting suntanned on a tropical island which serves the purpose of relaxation only. Such travellers can’t be said to broaden their minds since they are restrained in a hotel lounge without contacting the customs and the cultures of the place visited.
So the mental benefits of travel depend on the individual. Travelling can’t be viewed on its own as anything more than an opportunity. How this opportunity will be milked and whether travelling is not just a break but an opportunity to cultivate our minds depends on us.