Travel is good for lots of things, but it can also increase mental well-being – and not just in the short-term.
Whether you’re traveling for business or leisure, experience a sense of well-being and start building your self-confidence, breaking routine and meet new people.
Guest FarmI decided to try staying at a guest farm near the town where I was going to do some business presentations.
South Africa is blessed with lots of sun and is characterized by its open spaces, friendly people, rich history and unique cultural diversity. I was used to going straight to my room and switching on TV or getting Laptop out.
My first visit saw me put on walking shoes and strolled over to where the animals were. Us town fellows forget how the simple things like the stare of the inquisitive cow is or the grunting of pigs bumping into each other. I even took a deep breath and thought to myself these farmers have got it made!
I made off along a track, feeling perfectly safe, and went up a hill where I got a sense of the open spaces surrounded by a deafening silence. Made a mental note of a dam in the distance and set it up as my target for a jog in the morning.
Such a pleasant surprise to be woken by the incessant and busy birds. Put on my running shoes and set off for the dam. A pleasant, but safe, jog across some uneven terrain cleared the mind and was impressed by some multi-processing of mentally planning the day ahead and avoiding stones and holes.
I noticed quite a few risings in the water and thought I would enquire if I could loan or hire some fishing tackle for that afternoon. No problem with the owner and even threw in a few worms.
The rule was catch and release and I was happy with that.
Went out that afternoon and was teased unmercifully by fish with little bite but no luck. Anyway went back to my cottage thinking if only I could catch I would be most happy to release.
I always have my bird, mammal and reptile books in the car with me. I am an amateur at all three but one thing I noticed when I had brief overseas trips to a few countries the obvious lack of birds.
South Africa has approximately 850 recorded bird species in the country and around 725 of these are resident birds or, at least, annual visitors.
I sat on my patio with binoculars, braai going, and was thoroughly entertained by quite a number of different birds around the cottage.
I could hear the plaintive cry of jackals in the distance. It reminded me of seeing some rabbits scurrying off into the bush on my way home. I had picked up an article on the table about the plight of the riverine rabbits that are critically endangered and found in dense patches of riverine bush along seasonal rivers of the semi-arid central Karoo with only around 500 living adults, and 1500 overall.
Not long after its discovery in 1902, the riverine rabbit was known as the ‘pondhaas’ because Captain G.C. Shortridge, the curator of the Amathole Museum in King William’s Town, offered a pound for each rabbit brought to him.
There were some mountain bikes for hire, so I went off for a ride down the farm roads. Still very safe, especially lack of traffic and away from those taxis that consider emergency and cycle lanes as their very own.
One gets a sense of what farms do in the way of crops and animals.
One thing for sure, everybody waves back and grins ..even the animals
I feel happy when I’m gaining new experiences and insights and challenging my boundaries. Travel is the perfect catalyst for happiness, as it has allowed me to experience the natural, cultural and wonders of South Africa.
Destination with Dignity for Everyone