Sitting in the travel agent’s office, I listened attentively to his various recommendations of the many interesting and exciting places to go. However, most of his recommendations were tourist cities, so I insisted on more destinations.  After showing me about fifty places he got tired of offering suggestions, and he finally asked in his exhausted voice, what is your dream destination?  He looked at me rather sarcastically. Well, I thought for a minute and looked at him and said, “Yes! I have a dream destination but I don’t know if you can help me find that place.” Then I thought to myself, ‘Should I really tell him about my dream destination?’

 “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

My dream destination is far from the hustle and bustle of towns and cities; I want to travel to a remote place. I like to just look out of my window and appreciate the scenic beauty of the place. I admire the huge lush mountains, steep hills and the emerald green pastures surrounding them. I look up at the blue sky as the bright sun shines rays fall over the mountains and hills.

The magic will begin when I see huge mountains looming above the cloud cover and surrounded by a vast countryside, where barley fields sit next to a broad river and white massifs guard the distant horizon.

I want to see the mountains; I want to feel the breeze blowing through the mountains and touching my cheeks. I want to hear the birds chirping, the wind blowing through the trees, and the water crashing on the rocks at points, while the birds singing is music to the ears. I want to see trees that are like beautiful fans across the landscape, their leaves swaying in the cool air and their scents are calming. They offer cover like an umbrella when it rains. Wherever I go, I want to smell and admire the beautiful and vividly colored flowers blooming everywhere.

The lake is renowned for the bluish-green water as I ride the boat in the crystal clear waters and feel the soft water gently pushing the boat away from the coast. I feel the wilderness and am enchanted by the lush vegetation in the surrounding land, the silence and quietness of the place, where the nature is clean and the air is so pure.

When I pick the fresh fruits from the trees, they taste delicious and smell divine because it is natural and organic, away from pesticides and chemical spray. I can pick up the food from the trees and the farms and eat it; I don’t bother about cleaning and cooking it.

I watch the sun go down as bright colors fade to pitch dark night only to be filled with twinkling bright stars, that is like the thousand electrifying lights and they brightly light the dark.  I easily get carried away counting them.  Oh my dream destination!! …

The sight, the smell, the feel, the sound, surrounding environment affects us in many ways. According to current research, being in nature reduces anger, fear, depression and stress and increases pleasant feelings. It not only makes one feel better emotionally. It also contributes to one’s overall physical wellbeing by reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones.

In conclusion, travel destinations do not just provide pleasures such as sightseeing, but they can have an overall impact on physical and mental health as well, where they calm the senses and relax the mind.





By Kaneez Iqbal

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