• Monday, September 26, 2022

Column

The healing power of travel

Eiffel Tower

By: Priya Mulji

I WRITE this column as I sit at the Gard Du Nord train station in Paris, which is like a magical
portal that transports you from the grey skies of the UK to the beautiful city of Paris.

My bestie Bharti and I have just spent three wonderful days exploring the beautiful
city steeped in rich history. We have been stunned by the culture, architecture, and chilled vibe of a city which like many is recovering after the awful pandemic. We took in the views of the iconic Eiffel Tower by day and the twinkling lights that breathe life into the city at night.

We roamed the pretty streets, sampled the cuisine, and became complete tourists, which is something so many of us took for granted and missed during lockdown. I must confess that this trip was meant to be one I had planned in 2020 with now ex, desi Mr Big, but I can’t deny that the last few days were better than I had imagined they would be.

Lockdown reminded me how much I love to travel and experience new cultures because
I missed it so much. Like for so many, travel brings me immense joy and is like therapy. Whether it is a beach holiday or a city break, exploring a new part of the world feeds my soul. Every time I visit somewhere new, I just want to leave my boring British life behind and make the new city I have fallen in love with my new home. The three specific places that have made me feel this way are Valencia, New York and now Paris. I had even started looking at jobs in the Big Apple and apartments, but quickly realised it was easier said than done.

I’m talking about travel because the world is opening up again post-pandemic and it is a perfect way to re-energise yourself after the awful time we have spent trapped indoors. With airlines trying to attract customers, there are affordable options available and plenty of safety precautions.

Divisive politics, being in lockdown and fear of the unknown has isolated so many of us, and travel is a great way to re-join the world we have all become disconnected from. You don’t need to travel in a big group. It can be with a best friend, or you can travel alone, which is something I have done in the past. Yes, you have to fill in extra forms and take a few tests, but it is worth it.

So, if you are feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted start planning that next trip. Immerse yourself in another world, open your mind to interesting experiences,
have new adventures and create beautiful new memories. If you can’t go abroad, explore a picturesque new place in the UK. Have stories to tell your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends. Paris isn’t a bad place to start. In just a few days it captured my heart and as I get ready to go home, I know I will return.

Follow Priya Mulji on www.twitter.com/priyamulji or log onto www.priyamulji.com

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