I’ve written a few of these end-of-year pieces now. And every year has its big thing that either highlights the value of travel and the travel industry, or brings us all together in support of something bigger and more important than ourselves.
This year is no different.
Earlier this year I travelled on a Malaysia Airlines flight after the loss of MH370 and then a few weeks later was in a simulated flight crash care of the folk at Emirates in Dubai. I experienced shaken by the latter in both body and spirit and suddenly remembered Montano, the gentle and attentive member of the Malaysia Airlines cabin crew who had treated us so well just a few weeks earlier. And then MH17 happened. And I had a face for the cabin crew onboard and an idea of what they would have done in an emergency if they’d had the chance.
A lot will change in the coming years that will impact the way we travel.
But while we’ve heard talk of planes with no windows, driverless cars, virtual assistants and holographic guides, the one thing that will stay the same is our drive to travel and the people who make travel happen: it’s the travel agent who goes the extra mile, the thing you’ve packed because you always pack it, the tears when you kiss your mum goodbye at the gate, the cup of tea the cabin crew brings over just because you look like you need it, the porter at the hotel who draws you a map to his favourite street food, the guide who shares a secret that not even her parents know, the stranger who suddenly isn’t, the sight of thing you’d only seen pictured that is now under your feet, the taste of pasta made in Italy, pho made in Vietnam, norimake rolled in Japan, and the hugs you receive at Arrivals. Especially the hugs at Arrivals.
This is the joy of travelling. It is what we need to remember when we gripe about legroom, worry about terrorism and argue over the bill. It is the one future of travel of which we can be truly sure.
So to all our readers, may 2015 be a year of peace and love, and may this holiday season be a safe one for you and yours.
Should you have some free time over the break, enter our competition to win a trip for two New Zealand, because no matter what you think of the new year or the one that just passed, a free holiday is always a winner!
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