Benefits of Travel…Why Travel with AZAD
Roberta “Bert” DeVries
AZAD Travel Committee Chair and Docent, Philadelphia Zoo
Travel; what is it about that word that conjures up a whole vista of possibilities?
Could you imagine what your life would be like without travel? Is it possible to not travel? Whatever you do and whatever your reason, traveling is a part of most people’s lives. For centuries people have been traveling, not just locally, but around the world. The reasons over the centuries have been different and yet remain the same, just in a
different context. Our forefathers traveled. New worlds, different civilizations and cultures were discovered. Their reasons for travel were vastly different and yet remain the same; to explore and conquer. We all travel in one way or another.
The benefits of travel are vital to your mental, physical, and spiritual health. Travel is necessary to help us cope with life and get a break from all the responsibility a hectic life places on us. You deserve to get away; you must get away! The euphoria, excitement, and freedom you feel when you step away from your daily living are
priceless. The photos will capture the setting in time, but even more, the memories, smells, sights and sounds will stay with you forever.
- The stress relief benefits of traveling are amazing. Traveling frees the mind and put the body at rest. Travel is a positive stress, not the kind of anxiety caused by work or tension related to home life.
- Traveling gets the blood flowing because it requires you to be active. You’re more likely to be outside instead of being trapped in your house or office. Unless you want to rest at all times you will likely do more walking than you would at home.
- When you travel, the tasty new food, breathtaking new sights, excitement, and different sounds will help create new memories. Your photos will capture the setting in time, but even more, the memories, smells, sights and sounds will stay with you forever.
- Traveling provides opportunities to share our happiness and experiences with friends and families. It is indeed a joyful thing to share the experience of a special trip with those we love. Goods have a limited life span, whereas memories last forever.
Reverend Ashira Goddard says, “Traveling is an adventure waiting to come alive. It provides us with tremendous opportunities for fun, adventure, and discovery. It allows us to indulge in curiosity and take in new wonders and new facets of life that we never knew existed.” Remember you only live once so passing up a chance to travel is
paramount to passing up a life-altering experience. “Stick out your head” and go for it.
When you think of travel, think of going with AZAD, committed to providing exciting travel opportunities, combined with unsurpassed educational experiences and programs designed to provide a better understanding and appreciation of the beauty and wonder of our natural world. All of our AZAD trips include these special
- Travel in the company of like –minded people….people that are curious and enjoy life and treasure the natural world.
- Be part of something unique. Because we focus on wildlife and natural history, our trips aren’t available from any travel agent, aren’t for the mass-consumer market and aren’t something you’ll see every Sunday in your newspapers.
- Travel in small groups of no more than 20 participants – GUARANTEED. Our small group size brings you much closer to nature and wildlife – to the very edge of thundering Victoria Falls or eye to eye with a giant tortoise in the Galapagos Islands. Try some unique and fun ways of traveling. Hop aboard a tuk tuk in Thailand or Cambodia or travel on a giant tundra buggy in Churchill. And since we’re not restricted to the main roads like the big tour buses, we can veer off the well-traveled paths for spontaneous discoveries.
- Learn from expert guides, naturalists, field researchers, and biologists. Go home not only with snapshots and souvenirs, but also with knowledge and understanding and valuable experiences.
If you’re ready to enjoy some truly life-changing adventures and experiences, just visit Travel with AZAD on www.AZADocents.org and let your imagination soar. We try to offer new destinations each year, though occasionally we will repeat a destination.
Ideas for new trips develop from our tour operators but mostly from you. We get ideas on where our AZAD members want to go from the travel surveys members you send us.
While you should be in reasonable good health you don’t have to be a thrill seeker, marathoner, or mountain climber to enjoy one of AZAD’s adventures. You can expect accommodations that are pleasant and comfortable, food that is good and meeting people beyond the hotel staff and merchants. And the free time that we’ve woven into our itineraries allows you time to and opportunities for independent exploration. You can shop, unwind, perhaps linger at a sidewalk café, or explore a street or path that caught your eye earlier.
A frequently asked question is, “What are the most important things to take on an AZAD trip?” In my opinion there are three musts: curiosity, a sense of humor, and a good pair of binoculars. Travel can be fun and adventurous, and at the same time, safe, healthful, flexible and tasty. The more members we involve in AZAD travel, the more we all will learn about the world and each other. Remember to never stop exploring and learning about the incredible world in which we live.
AZAD travelers have gone to all corners of the world from the first trip to Alaska to the trip following this conference to Hawaii. We have been up close to the real Alaska; to the inner heart of Denali, and alongside a calving glacier. We’ve seen the domain of elk and buffalo herds and, of course, bears and wolves in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. We have watched whimsical and the awe-aspiring polar bears in Churchill playing, interacting, and entertaining us just a few feet from our tundra buggy windows.
AZAD has explored the wonders tucked into the tiny countries of Belize and Panama, and visited the Galapagos Islands where lizards, penguins and blue-footed boobies share the beaches, unconcerned by human presence. We saw Namibia with its sunbaked plains of dried mud dotted with grass and thorn bush and watering holes, which
are the source of life in the stark Etosha salt pan. We have safaried in Kenya with its herds of elephants, prides of lions, the stripes and spots of zebras and giraffes and cheetahs. We explored China’s historic and natural treasures and got “up close and personal” to the endangered giant panda. We toured Vietnam with its breathtaking
natural beauty, abiding traditions, and profoundly hospital people and discovered the amazing temples and statuary at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. We have seen what probably is the number one location to have seen once in your life – the Great Pyramid of Giza, the last existing of the Seven Wonders of the World. In 2013 AZAD will be
going to Cuba and South Africa and Botswana and in 2014 to Singapore and Borneo.
Edward Readicker-Henderson wrote, “Whoever created the world went to a lot of trouble. It would be downright rude not to go out and see as much of it as possible.”
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready to go. As Mark Twain so aptly put it, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off your bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”