Boy walking down back streets of Ubud in Bali

Walking a different path. Travel … one of the best things we can do for both ourselves and our children. As a family we travelled … a lot. I changed schools every two or three years and after a while you make friends like a traveller makes friends … knowing that it's a temporary thing … one or other of you will be gone soon. You don't put down roots, they'll only be torn up in a couple of years. You learn to be compact and self-reliant. On the other hand you get to see things other people do not. Countries that no longer exist. Ways of life that have disappeared forever. I remember seeing Chinese junks in Penang and Singapore harbours. Orchard Road with wooden shops before it became high-rise. Islands before they became the footprint for mega-resorts. It wasn't that long ago either.

I remember returning to Australia, to a new school again after one of these trips and finding people simply didn't believe that I'd been overseas … that I was making it all up … that everywhere was simply the same as it was here. How I longed to be able to teleport them  to walk along one of those streets, or to the center of an asian market where you chose the chicken you wanted for dinner, went away and returned to find it newly converted into fresh-plucked chicken … still vitally warm … or you could stay and watch. That would learn them … maybe.

I believe it's vitally important to walk down another street. A place you've never been … surrounded by people living a life completely different to yours (albeit superficially … I mean we're all essentially looking for love and warmth and food) to see how people live. It changes the way you view the world and your place within it … at times if only to realise just how lucky you are to have the things you have and often take for granted.

I took the picture above on a recent family trip to Ubud in Bali. I liked that it showed that essential nature of travel … walking a different path.

Do you travel? Have you walked another path?

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