Travel, Lifestyle, Firefighting - CRACKYL MAGAZINE
By John McKenzie

Traveling can be fun but planning and booking a trip can be even better for your mind, body and soul because it releases endorphins, builds your relationship and gives you something to look forward to.  

Many people think it’s important to “see what’s out there.” But why? When countless photos of the Eiffel Tower are just a click away, why not stay home? Yet even in the internet age, the urge to travel persists. Given its benefits, it’s easy to see why. Travel is a rich way of getting to know people. And, as a people-facing profession, firefighters ought to be very interested in how travel can help us improve.

Travel provides perspective and insight into the lives of others and how they live. Consider cuisine. Experiencing the relationship between people, local foods, meal preparation and how they’re shared reinforces commonalities and differences between people the world over, and it is a starting point for deeper cultural learning: history, geography, politics, even religion. Nothing brings people together like a good meal and exciting new flavours are sure to satisfy your palate.

Similarly, is language. Learning a few key words and phrases, the roots of effective communication, is a huge confidence boost. Like food, it’s also a basic ingredient in forming meaningful relationships while trotting the globe, and thanks to social media, these are easier than ever to maintain upon your return.

Building meaningful relationships is perhaps the most satisfying quality of travel. Perhaps you reconnect with someone; perhaps you meet someone new. Either way, you gain a new appreciation of differences in perspective and newly revealed similarities. You also come away with a library of new stories to share, which is good because, as a storytelling species, we find both great wisdom and entertainment in the telling of (tall) tales.

Travel also provides perspective and insight into yourself. How? Well, it’s a method and practice of self-development that re-acquaints you with your comfort zone, allowing you to confirm and critique it through exposure to new experiences. And, let’s face it: there’s nothing like exotic cuisine to give you perspective on that tempting but sad TV dinner. There’s nothing like knowing that the best way to describe something is with a foreign word. There’s nothing like asking a friend on the other side of the planet for advice. There’s nothing like learning that you’re capable of surviving in a new place; heck, there’s nothing like learning in general. If a rut is the disease, travel is the cure, urging you to recognize it, take action and escape with a new direction. Apart from the dopamine hit that comes from snapping the perfect image, witnessing a natural wonder or standing in an exotic locale, travel scratches the itch of adventure and challenge, a rich and profound experience that resonates with the spirit of exploration and discovery hidden within.

Firefighters face people at least as much as we face fire. Therefore, a broader and deeper understanding of people can only help by informing our own outlook and encouraging growth as people and therefore as professionals.

Photo By Philipp Kammerer