I “heart” travel!

Scottish_Bagpipers_by_QFSE Media

Caught in the hustle and bustle of traffic, waiting for my turn at the supermarket check-out or sitting at the computer waiting for inspiration, my heart turns to making my great escape. Stories on television, articles in magazines, even photos on billboards towering above me fuel my desire to pull out my credit cards and book my next trip.

I know people who spend months (sometimes years) planning their next holiday. One of my friends researches every element of a destination and anticipates every moment of every day before reaching for her credit card. Not me. I heart travel!

As soon as I know I can take a break from work and claim a week or two all to myself, I’m on the computer booking flights to at least one of the places on my long list of places to see. To make that list, a destination not only has to catch my eye, it has to catch my heart.

It’s not the Opera House or the Sydney Harbour Bridge that appeals to me in Australia, it’s the wildlife and the wide open spaces. When I see pictures of beached whales on long white beaches with everyday Australians pouring buckets of water to soothe the parched skin of nature’s giants, I want to be there. I don’t need a five star hotel and a restaurant with food to die for to make me happy if I get the chance to stand knee deep in the ocean making my own private effort to save a whale.

Food and restaurants are the last thing on my mind when I travel. I wouldn’t make a trip to Scotland to eat haggis or blood pudding, but I’d be in Scotland in a heart beat to stand on a street corner in Edinburgh watching a busker in a kilt, immersed in the sound from his bagpipes. The image of cobblestones beneath my feet, old stone buildings in my gaze and bagpipe music penetrating my entire being is irresistible.

The pyramids in Egypt remind me of geometry classes in school so they don’t hold much appeal, but the romance of riding on a camel across the sands alongside the pyramids is a moment I would really enjoy. I’m told that Egyptians with camels are as common as buskers with bagpipes in their part of the world. For me that’s one good reason to head Cairo.

Sometimes the most heart-felt travel is to the distant home of family or friends who live beyond our reach. When your heart swells and that lump in your throat makes breathing difficult every time you think of seeing those you love, you know it is time to make the trip home. Start packing.

Travelling is not about photos of famous landmarks, although of course I like to be photographed in popular places as much as anyone so I wouldn’t miss the opportunity for a few happy snaps if I am near Buckingham Palace or the Statue of Liberty. But I wouldn’t choose a holiday just to see man-made structures. Heart travel is more about the experience, the romance and the adventure a destination promises. It’s a spontaneous reaction to an image that stirs you.

Credit cards such as the American Express Cathay Pacific credit card stand at the ready for such moments.  Earning Asia miles to speed up my next holiday are the best qualities of such a card. I heart travel, do you?


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