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by Jim Humberd

Some people are born with a gift to travel, others acquire their love for travel during a trip they enjoyed beyond their wildest expectation. Travel-lovers feel the urge to explore - to know what is over the horizon, or just around the corner. Before you leave home, write to the tourist offices of the countries you may visit and request brochures and maps of specific places, and information about items of general interest.

A "pleasure trip" does not mean you will spend all your time on the beach, or in each famous bar and restaurant in the area, or even attending cultural events and every museum listed in the guide book. It can mean visiting the countryside and the market place, exploring towns and cities, and talking to cab-drivers, farmers, gardeners, shopkeepers, and your seat mate on the bus or train.

Have your purpose, budget, and overall schedule well in mind. Once you decide what it is you want to see and do and what your schedule and budget will permit, donĀ¹t make changes without a good reason and then come home disappointed that your initial purpose was forgotten. Sometimes your plans will be changed by factors outside your control. Early closing hours, exhibits and buildings closed for repairs, holidays can appear at the most inconvenient time and place, and who knows, it may rain for a week straight.

Breathes there a man with soul so dead that he is not gratified by another's appreciation of his home, his city, and his country. He may grumble in private over the plumbing, the taxes, and his government, but he loves to have the visitor find his surroundings beautiful and interesting. Curiosity as to how people live and work is just as intelligent as the curiosity that leads to study of the contents of an art museum, a cathedral, a concert, or an archaeological ruin. You come home with a "feel" for the country.

The good traveler is one who can adapt to necessary changes in plans, and to unfamiliar and unexpected conditions, who tries to remain courteous and keep his sense of humor when cold, hungry or tired, and who is grateful for the good fortune of being able to travel in the first place.

In short, he has A Gift for Travel!


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