I have practically lived out of a suitcase since 2011. Life on the road can be frustrating and tiring, but it is also fascinating and rewarding in a way nothing else is. Kayaking in Lapland, horseback riding in the Namib desert, ice climbing in Svalbard, tracking gorillas in Congo, surfing in Australia or swimming at the edge of Victoria Falls – these are all life-changing experiences that I must constantly remind myself not to take for granted.
But travel is more than highlight reels. It is also about small, seemingly insignificant moments that turn out to be anything but that: quiet moments, smiles from strangers, conversations with new friends. Big or small, these moments help define who we are, and they create memories that last for a lifetime.
Travel is also a vehicle for change. By choosing where we go, who we go with, and what we do when we get there we can influence policy, encourage conservation and support pro-poor initiatives. And hopefully the conversations and interactions we have with the people we meet will have as much of an impact on them as it undoubtedly does on us.