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The happiness of travel: It's a two way thing

By Alice B-B


My godfather, the late and great explorer, author and ardent conservationist Mark Shand, gave me wondrous gifts. My excited little fingers would unwrap pearls from India or treasures from Bali. But the best presents of all, were his stories. Having disappeared for months, Mark would return with thrilling tales of man-eating dragons in Komodo, a narrow escape from headhunters up the Irian Jaya; or the new Indian lady-love in his life…


An elephant called Tara. She became the subject of his bestselling book Travels On My Elephant and the inspiration for his charity, Elephant Family, protecting these magnificent beasts and safeguarding essential migratory corridors in India. Better than any fairytale, Mark filled my head with dreams, my pockets with travel money and my heart with longing for adventures of my own.When it comes to creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere inside your home, one element is often overlooked: the scent. The aromas inside your home can affect your mood from the moment you walk through the front door – whether you are giving a warm friendly welcome to guests, or you are returning to relax in solitude after a long day.


There are several effective ways to add fragrance to your home that go beyond releasing a preferred scent. The question to ask is, which is the better option for creating an overall atmosphere?

There’s the excitement of visiting somewhere new, meeting different people, exploring unfamiliar cultures, smelling unusual smells, tasting exotic food, pushing myself to do things out of my comfort zone.

Every chapter of a new quest brings me happiness: from plotting a trip – whether it’s to the Cotswolds in Oxfordshire or the empty quarter in Oman, finding somewhere unusual to stay, buying the gear needed to escape urban life and be in the wild, and knowing that I’ll have the chance to reconnect with nature and rediscover the intuition to trust the earth and her ancient ways. Then there’s the buzz in the moment: of being somewhere new, meeting different people, exploring unfamiliar cultures, crazy smells, exotic food, pushing me out of my comfort zone. (It’s proven that doing new things opens up neural pathways that keep our minds young, fresh and active – tick!) and once home, the after-effect: a bank of experiences that can be plugged in, to replay the wonder, adrenaline or peace of travels past. Some of my ‘greatest hits’ include cruising over the Wadi Rum in a hot air balloon at sunrise, spotting pink dolphins in the Colombian amazon at sunset, night diving with manta rays in the Maldives.

It’s been proven that doing new things opens up the neural pathways that keep our minds young, fresh and active.

Every chapter of a new quest brings me happiness: from plotting a trip – whether it’s to the Cotswolds in Oxfordshire or the empty quarter in Oman, finding somewhere unusual to stay, buying the gear needed to escape urban life and be in the wild, and knowing that I’ll have the chance to reconnect with nature and rediscover the intuition to trust the earth and her ancient ways. Then there’s the buzz in the moment: of being somewhere new, meeting different people, exploring unfamiliar cultures, crazy smells, exotic food, pushing me out of my comfort zone. (It’s proven that doing new things opens up neural pathways that keep our minds young, fresh and active – tick!) and once home, the after-effect: a bank of experiences that can be plugged in, to replay the wonder, adrenaline or peace of travels past. Some of my ‘greatest hits’ include cruising over the Wadi Rum in a hot air balloon at sunrise, spotting pink dolphins in the Colombian amazon at sunset, night diving with manta rays in the Maldives.

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