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Why travelling is the greatest thing for me

Updated: Mar 25, 2023

#travelblog Number 1

Travelling. I'm addicted to it, unfortunately, even if it costs a lot and I don't have the time to do it that I would like.

People who don't like to travel, who prefer to stay at home, who don't like to leave their everyday environment, the couch potatoes and those who run around their block, often can't understand the fascination that travel has for my wife and me. It's similar to tattooing: Many who get inked more than once will do it again and again, even if others cannot understand this "addiction".

Holiday or travel?

"Four weeks? You're on holiday for quite a long time." Statements like this make me smile subtly. On the one hand, I still find four weeks far too short to travel to a foreign country, inhale unknown smells, get to know new tastes and interesting people. In four weeks I have just arrived. Unfortunately, it has never been possible to travel for more than four to five weeks for professional reasons. Our family goal is to spend at least half a year on the road. On the other hand, we rarely go on "holiday". The dictionary describes a holiday as "time off work, off duty", "which someone receives for the purpose of recreation". A holiday means spending a week or two in the same hotel, usually on the same beach, doing nothing. Once in a while you go on an excursion and every evening you visit the local promenade with thousands of others after having filled up your belly at the hotel buffet. Not that we would never do that, it has its charm. But travelling is not.

We travel

The difference to a holiday is striking: Travelling is not primarily for relaxation. It is exhausting to travel from one accommodation to the next and to stay nowhere longer than three or four nights. It takes energy to repeatedly pack and unpack your suitcases or backpacks. Especially with children, it is a challenge. But it is deeply satisfying and the more often you do it, the more often and longer you want to repeat it. At least my wife and I feel that way and our 11-year-old son is already infected too. We are travel zombies and would love to see the whole world while we still can. We are not getting any younger either.

The true preciousness of travel

"When a man travels, he can tell a tale. Therefore I would take my stick and hat and choose to travel." The German poet Matthias Claudius (1740 - 1815) was absolutely right, and that is what travelling is all about. The great treasure that remains after a journey is not the rest or the fiftieth authentic souvenir "Made in China". It is the mixture of memory and experience that no one can take away from you as long as your brain still functions halfway. It's the anticipation you have when you've booked the trip. It is the nervousness that rises and rises as the departure draws near. It's the excitement of walking up the gangway and getting on the plane. It's the curiosity about the unknown, about the good and not so good experiences one will have in the place of longing. It's just too good!

The journey begins at home

For my wife, our son and me (our daughter is still too young), every journey begins with an idea, or rather with the search for it. Where do we want to go next year, we ask ourselves before the New Year. Then the big "make a wish" phase begins. Ideas come and go until we finally agree on something. One thing is fixed: everyone has to agree. I love even this part of the planning, it is already part of the journey for me. Then the research begins:

- What is the best time to travel to this destination?

- How long does the journey take and how much does the flight cost?

- Is the country even a reasonably safe destination?

- How long should the trip actually take?

Questions upon questions that first have to be researched. The internet is a great help. We scour countless websites, read through blogs like this one, search through comparison portals and - in my opinion the best tip - register in specialised travel forums. It is the people who are already waiting there or have emigrated there who have the very best tips. Last but not least, we always get a thick travel guide in book form. Leafing through it together and reading out new information is simply part of it.

Here in Barcelona: The pigeon apparently wanted to be in the photo. Very successful!

The disadvantages of travelling

I know that flying is bad for the environment. Unfortunately, the most exciting destinations are in places that are impossible or extremely inconvenient to reach by land.

We have had a lot of discussions about whether it is still in keeping with the times and have come to the decision that we would rather do without other things. Travelling is a huge benefit not only for us, but also for our children, and we are aware that every trip is an incredible luxury. We are trying to limit ourselves in other ways. We have moved from an old house in the country to a flat on the outskirts of town. We now only have one car and drive about 40,000 kilometres less per year than we did two years ago. We heat more environmentally friendly, eat no meat and very few animal products and try to save electricity wherever possible. Travelling was simply too important for us to do without it completely.

3, 2, 1, go!

Once the flights are booked, the counting down begins. I feed my holiday countdown app with the new dates and write the remaining days in the calendar. We've already had countdowns that started with 250 days. A long time when you are waiting for something. We bridge this phase with intensive research about the country and its people, flora and fauna. Not only our children learn a lot in the process! We start to think about a possible itinerary. What do we want to see and what are the distances between these points? We search the guidebook and the web for affordable accommodation. We got into the habit of booking a colourful mix of hotels and bed & bredfasts of different categories. Important: Since the route can always change at short notice, the rooms must be cancellable up to the last day before arrival. is a good tip for this. When we were younger and travelling with a backpack, we often stopped in low-budget accommodation. In the meantime, we are older and more comfortable, we travel with children and a hotel or guesthouse has to have at least a certain standard. Every now and then, we treat ourselves to a five-star hotel and enjoy what the heck it has to offer.

We love to plan our trip and enjoy every second of it before we leave. I would like to tell you what happens next in my next blog. If you have any questions or would like to tell me something, I would be happy to receive your comments.

We look forward to your feedback and are open to a lively exchange. You also want to travel, like to travel often and have a question, just write us and comment.

Kind regards,

Steffi, Max and the kids

(Author of this blog: Max)


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