Philosophers from different faiths seem to have one thing in common—they all recommend travelling.
In ancient China, Confucius told us, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart”, while across the border in Nepal, Buddha advised that “It is better to travel well than to arrive”. A little closer to our own time, around 400 AD, Christian Saint Augustine chipped in with, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”.
So I feel it’s pretty clear that we are meant to travel, and travel expert Peter Cleave agrees. He says that travel is a vital element in our lives.
By day, Peter is The Salvation Army’s Development Manager (Special Projects), which includes specialising in taking people on treks—especially the famous Kokoda treks—which raise money for the Salvos.
Peter in Srilanka
In addition to his work trekking, Peter’s idea of a great holiday is an active one which allows him to leave the stresses of city life and work behind.
But Peter also says that the concept of a holiday can be a flexible one.
“Travel doesn’t need to be a big expensive adventure. Recently I have been doing 24-hour getaways, which often involve a bike, and a tent or a back pack, some food and a stove,” he explains.
“Twenty-four hours away in the wilderness with a phone, and admiring God’s creation, with just the noise of nature, is a great way to unwind and to put life into perspective—24 hours can seem like three to four days and you come back refreshed.”
Overseas travel also has its attractions for Peter, as with his wife he recently cycled from London to Paris.
“It was such a wonderful trip. Rural England and France are so pretty and the locals are lovely—such a contrast to the big European cities,” he says.
So now that Peter has you primed to travel, what tips can he offer to maximise the joy and minimise the stress?
If you are setting off on a trek, he says, it’s important to take snacks, multiple thin layers of clothing, especially Merino wool, a first aid kit, a good pair of walking shoes and a camera with a small tripod.
If your trek is of the Kokoda variety, he adds waterproof outer clothing, trekking sandals for creek crossings, a lightweight towel and antifungal powder to put on your feet at night to dry them and reduce the chance of blisters.
Peter says that the biggest mistake people make is packing too much—clothes can be washed on your travels so you should take lightweight quick-drying options.
Add books and a Bible on your e-reader or phone, and you are set.
But if you are travelling overseas, is there anything you definitely shouldn’t take?
“Yes! Don’t put the Vegemite in your carry-on baggage because it will be confiscated by Customs as it is deemed a liquid,” he advises.