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Has it ever happened to you that you've travelled, moving from your own city to a new one, perhaps a better one, in a different country, and felt different about yourself, empowered, full of powerful new sensations?

That's what happens when you change the "state" of your own reality, that is, when you happen to go to a place where they live differently and life is expressed differently, removing yourself from a situation of habit and mental stasis, an everyday situation which you're used to and have been moulded into.

And this could involve, for example, taking a plane from an Italian town to a city in America, a Cuban beach or an Amazonian forest.

People are dressed "strangely", have different rules, different ways of presenting themselves. They'll seem like movie actors on a cinema screen.

Leaving a familiar environment for a new place in the world is really to land in a different world.

A world where everything works differently to ours.

And taking the plunge means discovering all at once what we would never have imagined if we had never visited the place.

It is a remarkable sensation to wake up in the morning in a place that is different and far away from your everyday home, open your eyes and, lying in bed, turn your mind round to a different way of thinking. 

By doing so, we grow. Strong and powerful sensations help us understand who we are and who others are.

Being thrown into a different reality, seeing how we too could be if we were everyday inhabitants of that reality, pushes us to understand and recognise easily the positive and negative aspects of our own reality, as we grow internally immediately and with great results.

Travelling sharpens the intellect, stimulates all the senses and injects our lives with novelty.

The essence of man's spirit lies in new experiences.

An awakening of consciousness so rapid and powerful is deeply thrilling, it makes us love life more, it makes us more secure and genuine in our relationships with others as it makes us communicate more, and better, it makes us drop our inhibitions, it "awakens" us, making us enter in to a deep communication with ourselves and others, making us absorb with ease all that the new world around us has to offer.

Travelling is therefore a fruitful and powerful means of self-improvement. Travelling is an investment for our future, and for who we are and will be in life.

It is also easy to realise clearly and easily things like Italy's reality, unfortunately recently on the decline, permeated with a barrier of rudeness and discourtesy which often inhibits reason, the chaotic traffic of its cities, the degradation of a society fallen pray to an unspecified haste to "do", to go, to achieve, to get ahead...

But get ahead of what? Such pointless "wellbeing" is slightly saddening. 

Respect for others truly exists in places in the world and life is good, serene and lived with joyous abandon.

To hear respect for your neighbour taught early on as an inherent value is a beautiful thing.

Imagine a place that takes care of its own clean streets. With no obscene billboards. Where no-one shouts their business across public places. Where everyone respects road signs, without overtaking, honking, or revving the engine on purpose? Where no-one hazards dangerous manoeuvres in the middle of the night? A place where no-one feels they have the right to raise an overly high fence between them and their neighbour, to park on your steps or block the way of others? A place where no-one feels the need to flaunt their success? Without the confused imposition of private demands and interests? A place where you can go on foot from one area to another, no matter which, and where pedestrian precincts take first priority. Streets that are full of cars, and yet quiet. With traffic tidily coming to a respectful standstill as the soon as the red light comes on? Or a place where nothing but the noise of water, wind, animals and nature is heard for kilometres and kilometres?

Often what we lack in Italy and Europe is altruism: in caring for the happiness of others, altruism becomes a necessary condition for the realisation of our own.

In brief, travelling improves our lives to great effect and with great efficiency.

The world is a book, and he who does not travel reads only part of it (Saint Augustine).

It is the voyage, and not so much the destination, that is important.

"Memorising feelings is much more important than remembering single facts or sights. It is through feelings that a journey changes us and is perhaps the main reason for travelling: not just to enrich an encyclopedia of notions which will inevitably cloud with time, but instead to experiment with the richness of new values, which cannot always be found in everyday life. And so travelling can become a great adventure, a strong... and unforgettable moment in our lives." (Giovanni Gazzaneo, author).

And even more so, when you've come back home, it is one of the most peculiar sensations to be in your own room, conscious that, for example, at a distance of ten thousand kilometres there is another reality you have just left behind, flowing at its own pace in its own way.

Remembering those who live happily without technology, without the latest model of mobile phone in their pocket, without that freshly branded pair of shoes, without the engraved watch to flash around the restaurant, perhaps even without democracy despite what may be claimed; remembering that smiling boy who worked as a dancer in a tourist village for a living, so happy to have a "Western" friend and full of sadness when he had to return to his own country.

Living in other places helps us understand so much about life, about others' lives and our own.

And certainly it makes us take in more of the place where we live, without accepting it with passivity and the stupid assumption that this is the only possible "world". 

It must never be forgotten that the world is full of variety and "worlds" of different realities, where the quality of life is also different.

The mere thought of this widens our vision of the world, at least of our own world into which we are thrown from day to day, no longer the "only", "finite" world, but many different worlds under the same sky. 

It is exactly this concept of "diversity" which one who's travelled little or not at all fails to grasp, imagining all the world in the end to be more or less similar to his own: that's not how it is!

Only by travelling can we realise this extraordinary truth which easily escapes the comprehension of anyone who has always lived in their own habitat. 

Solely the realisation of this multidude of ways of living, passing the time, and forging a path for ourselves brings us to a wide and vivid vision of reality, increasing our life's potential, letting us each express our own life, and distancing us from every kind of depression.*

We need to be curious about the immense cultural diversity of the world where we live. Do not let yourself stop. Spend your money travelling!

Live where you like, but make a sustained effort to absorb the country's culture.

And yes...travelling in the world is notably beneficial for mental and physical health, travelling can change your life for ever, for life is in the end a journey... 

And it is indeed through this journey that each of us develops our knowledge, contacts and respect for others.

Giuseppe W Pellegrino

"The true journey of discovery consists not in searching for new lands but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

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