Travel makes us happy. It is the rainbow on a few months or even a year of monotonous living, of sardine-like commutes, or even mind-numbing boredom. The ultimate travel is that which also makes others happy – when your tourism rupee helps a flagging economy to get back on its feet, and destinations across the world are recognising that Indians spend a good amount of money when they travel. In this special issue on reasons to travel, we have five destinations that deserve your attention – Kerala and Odisha, both welcoming visitors again after the big floods last year, Turkey, whose sites and sights transcend all threat of terrorism, Nepal, where your tourism spend will be much appreciated after the 2015 earthquake, and Sri Lanka. I recently met with Ms Chamari Rodrigo, the Consul General of Sri Lanka, and she mentioned that our little neighbour to the South is so glad that Indians were among the first to resume visitation after the Easter attacks. Let us be travellers, then, that countries want to welcome, and let us spend our money responsibly, supporting local businesses and eateries, and buying locally-made products to bring home.
We know you also love islands, so we have a whole archipelago of options that you can pick from according to your inclination, and, as the icing, a wonderful word-led story on Hawaii. For music lovers, there is a list of Indian music festivals to choose from, as well as reasons to visit Vienna, Havana and Seville, and the biggie you might not otherwise consider: Dakar in Senegal. If you’re looking for a wild encounter, we have those too. And, if cities ring your bell, our feature on Madrid – reimagined, renewed – will urge you on to urban explorations anew. More reasons to travel can be found throughout this issue, but the greatest one for all of us might be, should be: to find happiness, to bring happiness.
Happy travels to all of us!
– Primrose Monteiro-D’Souza