(MENAFN -Khaleej Times) Travelling is not only about going to new places; it?s also about opening a window to a new way of life that is all around us.
Travelling has always been a big part of my life. Since I was young, I was fond of visiting new places. I grew up in a middle class home in Mumbai with a wonderful family. My father could not afford to take us on exotic holidays and so we visited my grandmother often in a small village in Gujarat. We would travel by train, passing through unknown places, meeting new people and eating home-made snacks along the way.
The entire holiday was spent reading classic literature and eating mangoes during the hot summer months. In those days life was simple and needs were few. Over the years my father took us to many places within India; from the Taj Mahal to small villages in the foothills of the Himalayas. Every trip was special and carefully planned. The joy of going to these new places always took over and it never crossed my mind that we were staying in small inexpensive hotels.
My love for travelling did not die down but only grew stronger with time. When I shared my secret desire of traveling the world with my family, they were encouraging and allowed me to take up a job in Hong Kong at an early age. In many ways it was my family who gave me wings to fly.
Since then I have been to many countries and learnt to try different types of cuisines. And yet I get excited like a child when planning my next trip, even if it is to a wild life sanctuary in the UAE. In this age of price rise and mounting expenses, not all of us can plan to go on expensive holidays. In fact some of us barely manage to make it back home once a year. So what can we do to make life more interesting for ourselves and our children?
There are so many places to visit in the UAE, from the mountains of Fujairah to the lovely beaches of Jumeirah. There is so much to do, from bird watching to kayaking. There are drama workshops, lovely book libraries. All we need to do is open our little window and soak in what’s around us to make our lives more fulfilling. I have enjoyed many evenings with friends in beautiful family parks of Abu Dhabi and attended plays put up by local drama groups in Dubai.
Sometimes you don’t need to travel to far off places for a holiday. If you get a walking map of your city, you will be amazed at how many places you can visit within your city. Travelling is not only about going to new places; it’s also about opening a window to a new way of life that is all around us.
Shivani Adalja is a Dubai-based well-being expert. She runs the Alignment Insitute which offers effective solutions that focus on stress management and overall wellbeing. Email