Chris Koney’s Column: Why you must travel


For some, travel is a way of life, especially those born into a travel-obsessed family and had already lived on different continents in their early years in life. They are given their greatest gift: the gift of travel.

  1. Travel to leave our world a better place

I have been fortunate to work and travel with & BEYOND for more than 13 years now, and what inspires me most is our company ethos and unwavering commitment to care for the land, wildlife and people. Travelling with &BEYOND has given me the rare privilege to actively take part in so many unforgettable and truly meaningful experiences, such as witnessing endangered rhino being safely translocated; observing an elephant and cow being collared for research and monitoring purposes; helping to relocate a vulnerable nest laid by an enormous and highly endangered sea turtle; spending a night in a traditional Maasai manyatta (homestead); and so much more. &BEYOND’s authentic, experiential travel not only enables travellers to participate, engage and learn, but it also allows them to travel with purpose and to help leave our world a better place.

  1. Travel to meet different cultures

Travel exposes us to different cultures and ancient traditions; and through these authentic encounters, we learn to embrace and celebrate both our similarities and our differences. Travel teaches us about humanity and gives us an appreciation, understanding and respect for different points of view and ways of life.

  1. Travel to learn

Not all classrooms have four walls and travel is the best way to immerse yourself in geography, history, culture, gastronomy, languages, biology … you name it. Travel enriches the mind and educates us far beyond any textbook or travel guide. Not only do curious travellers learn about different landscapes, languages and lifestyles; glean fascinating facts while observing wild animals in their natural habitat; delve into a region’s history and taste the local flavours; but they also learn about themselves – and others – along the way.

  1. Travel to escape reality

We all need to fall off the radar and escape reality every once in a while. Travel allows us to enjoy complete anonymity in new and unexplored territories. It gives us absolute freedom to live in the moment and it allows us to be anyone, to go anywhere and to do anything. The best part of my six-month trip around the world, way back then, was the freedom of being able to just wake up and pick a spot anywhere on the map and find a way to get there. Travel enables us to be spontaneous and seek new experiences.

  1. Travel to relax

Our lives are time-starved and technology-driven and, let’s be honest, it’s not often that we actually take the necessary time to de-stress and truly switch off. Travel allows us to escape life’s daily demands, dramas and deadlines, and enables us to clear our minds. It encourages us to recharge our batteries and to truly disconnect – from our phones, Wi-Fi, emails, laptops, social media, etc. – in order to reconnect – with ourselves, one another, and the natural environment.

  1. Travel to explore

Travel takes us out of our comfort zones and inspires us to see, taste and try new things. It constantly challenges us not only to adapt to and explore new surroundings, but also to engage with different people, to embrace adventures as they come, and to share new and meaningful experiences with friends and loved ones. Whether you seek adrenaline and non-stop activity, or unapologetic siestas and ultimate relaxation, travel gives us the opportunity to explore with an open heart and an open mind.

  1. Travel to be transformed

Don’t just travel for travel’s sake. Travel to seek adventure and feel alive. Take part in authentic experiences that will not only change the way you see the world, but that will also encourage self-reflection, environmental awareness and global action to help protect and conserve our planet.

Leave a Reply