If you could re-live one day of travel in your life, which would it be? 6 adventurers answer the question
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“If you could re-live one day of travel in your life, which would it be, and why?”
I was recently asked this question by an old friend, and it piqued my curiosity. A single day. I thought back through all my travel experiences. How could I possibly pick one day? There were so many notable ones, but which one stood out of the crowd?
I realised that this was such a simple question, but by asking it you can learn so much about a person, and in turn, get a glimpse into the power of travel to inspire, educate, and transform.
I’ve started asking all of my friends this question, even strangers, and the responses have been heart-warming, inspiring, and entertaining. Here are six responses (including my own) to encourage your wanderlust this year.
"I did Camp America last summer and I had one particularly testing week while I was at a camp in Virginia. I was tired and homesick when one evening the kids asked if we could go down to the lake to look at the stars. There was nothing I wanted less, but I agreed anyway.
"When we got to the lake we laid down on a bridge that went over it. The stars were breath-taking. We were in the middle of nowhere, with no lights to distract from the stars, so they were incredibly bright, almost mesmerising. One of the little girls took my hand, looked at me, and said, “This is a moment I know I will never forget.”
"It was times like these that made my Camp America experience so unforgettable; knowing you’re making experiences not just for yourself, but for the people around you as well."
"Many years ago my family and I went on a camping tour of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, Australia. I remember getting in and out of the tour van, stopping in locations that all sort of blur together in a haze of heat, and the sweet relief of the air conditioning in between. I
was reading the Lioness Quartet series of books for the first time and I had them all with me. Bookworm that I am, when I wasn’t in the van I was itching to go back and find out what happened next, and when I was getting out of the van I was excited to see where we were going, whether it was giant termite mounds or one of an almost endless trail of billabongs. Some of them had crocodiles. Some of them we could swim in. One day we actually swam near crocodiles. It felt a bit like I was in my own story, the perfect blend of literary adventure with the real-life kind!"
"If I could relive one day of travel it would be, undoubtedly, my only full day in Prague. We had arrived late the night before as part of an Interrail trip and, in all honesty, Prague had only ever been a stop-over between Berlin and Budapest on a month long, 11-city tour of Europe.
"I remember heading to our hostel in the dark of night and not thinking much of the city at all, only to then wake up to what stands today as the most beautiful place I have ever seen.
"We were lucky enough to stay in a great hostel in the center of Prague, situated two-minute walk from the Charles bridge, and from there we could explore the historic town.
"The bridge speaks for itself, with its series of statues that alone would be captivating, but together a 15th century masterpiece. From there we headed to the water (having become obsessed with boat tours during our fleeting city visits).
"Truly, though, the city was best explored on foot. Every street presents another picture-perfect scene, every tourist spot postcard-ready. Prague stands alone as the very best of the best for a European city break for me, but it would be criminal to discuss it without mentioning how much cheaper it is than its other capital-counterparts. Two words: 50p pints."
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"When I look back at the places I have travelled to, there are many moments in which I would like to re-live. I think there are many reasons why, mainly the impact they have made on my life and the decisions they have influenced, especially in my graphic design career.
"Probably the one that has made the most impact, and the day I would like to re-live most, would be my very first day on a long trip to Denver, Colorado. That first day arriving in Colorado, the complete immersion in a new environment and culture, made me want to expand my horizons, both personally and physically, and do something amazing. I think it was on that day that I truly realised my life doesn’t have to be dictated by anyone but me."
"Without a doubt the travel day I would want to relive the most was the 27th October, 2016. I was in Venice travelling on my own, and the mist that had been resting over the island since I arrived two days earlier had finally lifted.
"I took a ferry to Burano island, enjoying my first taste of Italian sun. The town of Burano, with its famous colourful homes, was stunning in the beautiful weather. I wandered the streets and after circling the island I came to a wooden bridge by the docks. Nobody was headed in that direction so I followed my curiosity and explored the fields on the other side. A tall tower caught my eye and when I arrived at its base I found I had stumbled across a beautiful vineyard, turning golden in the Italian autumn and dancing in the breeze. I was the only one there. In that moment I felt so free, I let go of every negative thought. I knew then that travel was what I needed to do to fulfill my dreams… nothing beats that feeling!"
And the writer's own story...
The day of travel I would like to re-live the most would be the day I hiked the Grand Canyon, during a five-month road trip across the US. My travelling companion and I had talked to a ranger the day before to ask get advice on a hike; he recommended that we do what he called a ‘relatively challenging, but easily manageable day hike’.
We started off the next morning at 3am so we could see the sun rise. It was absolutely stunning, and because we started so early we had the whole trail to ourselves.
The hike down Kaibab and along the canyon on tonto was long but not difficult - our spirits were up and we were absorbed in the scenery around us. We reached the bright angel trail earlier than expected, and after a quick lunch we started the long trek upward. The ranger had told us it would take twice as long to get up as it did to get down, so we were prepared for a trek, but we didn’t realise what was in store for us. It was on our way up, talking to fellow hikers, that we found out 3 things.
1. We’d hiked three quarters of the way down the canyon, not half
2. Just the hike from where we met the Bright Angel trail to the top was a journey that took most people an entire day (whereas we’d already hiked eight or so miles)
3. The hike we would complete was around 12-15 miles, not nine.
It was very good we didn’t see that ranger again. The ascent was endless, and after almost three hours of pushing upwards we made it to the top, so exhausted and in pain that we felt physically ill.
The next morning I woke up, and to this day I have never been in so much pain, I felt like I had the flu and had been hit by a truck at the same time, every small movement was painful.
You are probably thinking that this sounds like the worst day ever, but it was the exact opposite. To this day it is the most challenging thing I have ever done, both mentally and physically, and despite all the pain I loved it because it showed me how strong I really am. I loved it equally because I was surrounded by the most breath-taking scenery I have ever experienced. I have never been so in awe of nature. I will always remember the beauty and overwhelming magnitude, walking down into the canyon at sunrise, the cliffs a startling red against the glow of the sky, or the amazing silence when we were standing in the valley, surrounded by tall cacti, the canyon walls looming high above us, colossal as giants. That is without a doubt, the most incredible day of travel in my life (so far).
I would love to hear your favourite day of travel, so feel free to comment!