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Sometimes we are required to travel (in the case of business travel, for example), but sometimes we choose to travel as a leisure activity.  As a vacation travel consultant, I’m usually in the midst of preparing for my next journey. One of my latest trips was unforgettable! I traveled to Machu Picchu, Peru, where I found the Peruvian culture to be amazingly warmhearted and authentic. Machu Picchu was definitely the highlight, as it is archaeologically and visually breathtaking.

As I was preparing for my trip to Peru and managing my clients’ travel, it made me wonder what motivates a person to travel? Travel takes you away from the normalcy of everyday life, routines, and responsibilities. When you travel, you place yourself in an environment where you are unfamiliar with the surroundings. You maneuver your way through airports, hire local transportation, and find accommodations. You manage through climate, time zone, currency, and cultural differences. Travel takes you away from your element, but we all know it is definitely worthwhile. The new experiences and amazing adventures we encounter enrich our lives.

We arrange vacations to beautiful beaches and exciting cities. We choose to participate in activities we would never consider at home, such as taking a helicopter ride over a volcanic island such as Hilo, Hawaii, or maybe photographing the Big Five while on safari. We zipline though tropical Costa Rica, or parasail on famous beaches. Our travels may urge us to learn some of the local language, traditions, and rituals, or to study up on amazing wines.

Leisure travel is healthy; it de-stresses you. Travel allows you to be in the present moment, fully immersed in the new landscape, colorful cultures, history, and welcoming locals. I believe when you travel you become a richer person; you are more accepting and understanding of other cultures and people. I believe that when you travel you gain confidence. From the moment you touch down at your destination, you are interacting and connecting with the locals. You are faced with the unfamiliar, navigating your way through your destination, and having a marvelous adventure.

Everyone travels for different reasons. This is a big world and there are many ways to experience it. When you next get a break from corporate travel, and want to use up some of those vacation days, I hope you will contact me to arrange your next travel adventure!

Doreen Lopez is a travel advisor for Christopherson Business Travel’s leisure division, Andavo Travel.

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