‘The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.’
This week, I have been in the ancient city of Rome. With Jake in Belize, Helen in the Bahamas and thousands of athletes and supporters descending on the Olympics in London, my mind turned to the consequences of travel.
Certainly for me, travelling has always given me new perspective. Taking yourself out of your own environment and submerging instead in a different culture, environment and climate reawakens the senses. It gives a grounding, a change of viewpoint, an understanding.
In this wonderful age, it is so easy to connect with the world from our computers, so we must remember the value of physical travel, and to get out and interact if in the next town, or the next continent.
Last week I also heard of Gunther Holtorf for the first time. This man is probably the most epic traveller of our time. Since 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, Gunther and his wife Christine set out on a trip which they planned to be an 18 month tour of Africa….but Gunther is still going. With the blessing of his late wife, he is adding everyday to the 500,000 miles already travelled, every mile in the same Mercedes Benz G Wagon called ‘Otto’. Recently David Lemke (a canadian photographer) joined Gunther in Vietnam and there is a short video describing Gunther’s epic travels on the BBC news magazine site or if you are travelling and on a mobile device, find it on YouTube here.