Columns 14.1.2017 09:45 am

Go somewhere this year

Dustin Jordan | Image: Supplied

Dustin Jordan | Image: Supplied

Each week Dustin Jordan, who is currently living abroad, talks about his travel experiences. This week he talks about the one resolution everyone should have.

Your local fitness establishment being packed to the rafters means only one thing: it’s a new year and everyone is trying to stick to their resolution, which in most cases will only last for a month or two.

We all have lofty ambitions for the year that is.

Along with that six pack, quitting some vice and landing a new job or promotion, I think it’s vitally important to throw travel in the mix.

Those memes on your Facebook or Instagram feed will tell you none the different.

Travel is important. It’s the one thing that will cause growth in some aspect of your life. Be it on your values, your beliefs or even just on your taste in food and fashion. Nothing is able to stretch you in the way that travel does.

I don’t believe for one moment that anybody was meant to just remain in their general vicinity for the entirety of their lives.

Animals migrate and our forefathers were hunter-gatherers who travelled for their survival.

I think we’re hardwired to search out new places and experiences because that is one of life’s little pleasures. By urging you to add travel to your list of resolutions I’m not saying you need to go overseas or break the bank on some lofty trip.

Go somewhere new in your local area. There are so many people who have never visited the places that tourists flock to because they think it will always be there and don’t make it a priority. This time make it one.

Challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone.

Life is short and one of the saddest things that can happen is spending most of it at work, saving to travel one day – only to find that you can’t because of different circumstances or your body not having the energy or ability in your twilight years.

My great-grandmother spent her life savings to travel and when she eventually felt ready she couldn’t because her brain was sharp but her body just didn’t allow her to.

On a recent island jaunt I had the pleasure of randomly meeting an Egyptian man in his late 60s who had spent the last eight years travelling the world. Judging by his plentiful energy and youthfulness you would never guess his age.

He was happy to live in hostels and speak to people of any age. He said his impetus to travel came when the company he had worked at for 35 years went bankrupt and he lost his job. “Losing my job was the best thing that ever happened to me,” he said.

“Finally I could stop putting my travel ambitions on the backburners and do it.”

As I watched him drive off on his motorbike to his next adventure I realised he was right. That material thing that will seem so important to your life at the moment will soon lose its lustre. Visiting a new place won’t.

So, even if you must put just a little bit of that take away or shopping money aside for a new experience, do it. Spend your money on experiences, not things as the clichéd meme goes.

There really has never been a truer word spoken. Make travel of any kind a resolution you stick to this year. It’s essential for your well-being and to break the monotony.

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