Travel and Culture

A Different Kind of Travel Closer to Home

The fear of catching the coronavirus has made many people think twice about travelling, particularly overseas. I have friends who were planning to travel to Asia but have reconsidered and they’re not making any travel bookings right now. They intend to wait to see how the situation develops and I bet many of you are thinking and doing the same.

In the meantime, many of us need to look at other options. In the past we have talked about stay-cations or holidaying at home. Sometimes the best things are the simplest. New Zealand has such wonderful, varied places to explore. I have good friends who live in Rhode Island in the States and they love New Zealand for that reason. They told me that one doesn’t have to travel far in New Zealand to see such different scenery from snow covered mountain ranges to bubbling hot pools, unlike the States where one has to travel huge distances (mind you they have the roads for that).

One of the best, simplest, easiest ways to travel is to go for walks. Even if you have no money for petrol to go exploring for places to walk, you can still walk close to home. I have two favourite places near where I live.

One walk is through the local cemetery and into a small block of native bush set in the middle of housing and busy roads. The cemetery gives me perspective. Why worry about every single little thing? All the people buried here probably did the same and what difference did it make? The block of native trees is fabulous. When I enter this block, even though I can still hear the cars being driven along the surrounding roads, I feel the calming effect of nature. I smell the trees and earth. I see and hear the birds above and around me. Lovely.

The other walk is around the local inlet. It’s very tidal and even though it’s still interesting when the tide is out and the mudflats catch the interest of herons looking for crabs and other tasty goodies, it’s when the tide is up that appeals the most to me. The walk takes me along a quiet path which is edged with verdant trees. I can see the water lapping through the trees, almost as though it is breathing. It truly lifts my spirits.

Do you have favourite walks close to your home?

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”  – John Muir, (Scottish-American naturalist and author).



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