The Art of Travelling
As students here in Pietermaritzburg, we aren’t blessed with a vast amount of things to do and places to see. When we travel, it’s always to another city with the intention to find something better to do. People travel to get to a destination; to get to something or somewhere; or to get to some place they have to be. Travelling has becomes a means to an end rather than an end itself.
When was the last time anybody just jumped into their car and went for an afternoon drive? How can one love their vehicle if they use it just to take themselves from one point to another everyday? Driving has become so mundane and routine that many people have lost the thrill and the feeling of freedom when they jump into their cars or onto their bikes. I challenge that mentality. Travelling should be a passion: it should be an escape and a journey within itself.
Why not travel to nowhere? Just hop into your car one Sunday afternoon and get out of the city. Get away from the traffic lights, the direction signs, the speed bumps, and the traffic. On the outskirts of town lies a little piece of quiet driving heaven made just for you; all you have to do is find it. Turn off your cell phone and the radio; open up the window instead. Listen to the sound of the tyres as they rush over the tar. Listen to the sound of the engine: it’s the heartbeat of the car. Stick your hand out the window and feel the wind gush over the palms of your hand. Let your hair out and let it fly freely in the wind. Don’t abide to the time on your watch; let the sun on the horizon be your guide. Chase the birds that soar above you instead of the deadlines that plague you everyday. Travelling isn’t just driving to get where you need to be; it’s the freedom to choose where you want to be.
There are plenty of places right in our own backyard to find this feeling: the Old Greytown Road towards Albert Falls; the Umbumbulu road to Durban; the old road to Ixopo; and the back roads to the Drakensberg just to name a few. Stay off the highways because they’re too restricting. Get friends to start up their cars and join you. It’s the most fun you’ll have on the road. Spend your time chasing the sun on the horizon and only stop when you see something that takes your breath away. That’s how travelling should be; that is how it used to be. Whatever happened to the days of road trips and driving sprees? Have we become too caught up in the routine of the city life to enjoy the finer things that life has to offer? A simple thing like travelling has become a task and not a pleasure.
Travel and explore the world around you. Do it in the only machine that allows you to have full control. Put your hands on that steering wheel and take your car to its limits. Bring back the passion in travelling before it’s too late and the fuel price becomes more expensive than the car you drive. The world was meant to be explored…and the best way to do it is behind the wheel of a car.