There’s no getting away from the fact that the last 18 months have been dominated by negative emotions: sadness, anxiety, anger, guilt, loneliness, fear and even, at times, despair. As the world begins to open up again, we’re big believers that well planned and well executed travel is the antidote to the struggles of the past year and the best way imaginable to trigger positive emotions. That puts Original Travel in a hugely privileged position: we have your happiness in our hands. It’s a responsibility we relish and we’re loving being back in the saddle, organising thoughtful tailor-made trips full of wonderful experiences in special places, both in 2021 and beyond. Read on for a roundup of the key positive emotions (as identified in a 2009 study by eminent psychologist Professor Barbara Fredrickson, no less), all of which tailor-made travel can stimulate…
‘A feeling of great pleasure and happiness’
The sheer pleasure of feeling like a foreigner again will be delicious, but in terms of specifics, there are few things more joyful than breaking bread with friends and family in a dreamy destination. It certainly beats Deliveroo three times a week. We can help you explore a world full of flavour, from Italy’s under-the-radar foodie region of Emilia-Romagna (birthplace of parmesan, Parma ham, balsamic vinegar, ragu bolognese and more) to private food blogger-guided trawls of the streetfood stalls of Hoi An and other gastronomic cities in Vietnam. Of course, other fun and non-nourishment-centric experiences are available, and we can help plan them too.
‘The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something’
Travel moves us, both literally and emotionally, and there are few more inspiring experiences than seeing a well-run conservation programme in action, and knowing you helped to fund it. The coronavirus crisis has left many tourism-reliant conservation areas at risk from poaching (particularly in East Africa) or illegal fishing and reef destruction (as in Indonesia). Visit one of these glorious destinations and you are not just doing your bit financially to help protect our planet but can witness these hugely inspiring programmes with your own eyes.
‘The enjoyment of entertainment’
Travel should be a force for good, but it should also be a source of fun. After months of restrictions and curfews, the prospect of being able to explore a new destination and meet new people again has us giddy with glee. Naturally our clued-up consultants and Concierges (all of whom are locals) know the best places to indulge in a spot of unashamed hedonism, whether that’s in a city’s best-kept-secret speakeasy bar accessed through a phone booth, or at a fun, under-the-radar local festival.
‘The state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled’
Sometimes you need to answer the siren call of adventure, with its promise of thrills, spills and spontaneity, but at other times a stint of serenity fits the bill better. If you’re ready for calm and peace (who isn’t?), then ditch the troubles back home for a while and head off to a remote island for sun, sea and sand; or drink from the well of wellness in a paradise location where you can focus on birdsong and gathering your thoughts. And breathe…
‘A feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen’
The travel industry sometimes comes in for justifiable criticism for promoting ‘overtourism’, and increased carbon emissions from flights. Our ‘Travel Less, Travel Better’ ethos aims to offer more hopeful ways of seeing our beautiful planet by making sure travel is a force for good. With Original Travel you can visit Europe by train or car rather than plane; choose to put money into the economies of down-on-their-luck destinations from our Philantourism portfolio, and fly with a clear conscience because we off-set every ounce of your carbon emission. In addition, a percentage from every booking goes to our Foundation, which provides hope for those in developing countries by funding humanitarian programmes.
‘A feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements’
Many of us rediscovered the pleasure of learning skills during lockdown, and now seek that sense of pride and achievement further afield. Tough but non-technical climbs such as Mount Toubkal in Morocco (North Africa’s tallest peak) await those who enjoy physical challenges in spectacular scenery; Norway and Romania have time-stood-still villages where you can learn ancient skills from cider-making to foraging; and some of our favourite safari destinations in Africa run junior ranger programmes to teach the next generation animal tracking and survival skills.
‘The feeling of wanting to know or learn about something or someone’
Travel is the ultimate fulfilment for the curious of mind, and after such a lengthy period stuck in one place, we’re ready and raring to explore new places and dive deep into different cultures. On a trip like this, a world-class guide should be the cherry on top, adding invaluable context to an already fascinating holiday. We only work with the very best specialist guides across the globe, including in history-drenched Egypt while cruising the Nile aboard the enchanting Steam Ship Sudan, or when exploring secret jungle-bound Khmer cities in Cambodia.
‘A feeling of reverential respect mixed with wonder’
Sticking with the psychological theme, a recent study from Trinity College Dublin found that a regular dose of awe conjures an ‘awareness of something vastly larger than the self and not immediately understandable’. This, in turn, helps boost other healthy emotions such as compassion and gratitude. Being surrounded by nature can really help put things into perspective and provide that all-important awe. That could be while observing extraordinary wildlife in its natural habitat - both on land, or below the waves with Original Diving - or simply savouring a spectacular natural phenomenon such as the Northern Lights in Lapland.
‘An intense feeling of deep affection; a great interest and pleasure in something (or someone)’
After months of only seeing each other virtually, what better way to reconnect with loved ones than on a family getaway organised by the family travel experts? Alongside some seriously original trips to far-flung destinations, we’ve mastered the trickier 3G (three generational) getaway where the whole clan from grandma to grandkids is kept happy. For these, a private villa or lodge is the way forward, and we can recommend the best destinations, whether you’re after a ‘bush and beach’ combo in Kenya or Tanzania; or a stay on an idyllic island in Greece.