Mother Nature has certainly shown New Zealanders the power she can wield of late. Just when we had officially welcomed Spring and were heading into daylight saving with the promise of Summer was looming – wham! Earthquakes, more snow and a storm the size of Australia swoop down upon us.
What I discovered was Kiwi tenacity pulling together in tough times. No sooner had news of the Christchurch earthquake hit the media than offers of assistance were pouring in from all over the country and around the World.
Facebook pages were set up to rally for Telethons, donations of clothes and food abounded, and even offers of shelter from total strangers. The hospitality industry, already hard hit by a global financial crisis, also came to the fore, offering discounts for Christchurch residents who had to, or simply wanted to, head out of town.
Thankfully, there was no loss of life. Whilst the infrastructure took a battering and there will be long months of hardship ahead for many, there is, thankfully, a return to some sort of normality for others.
On the subject of disruption – a recent trip to Thailand saw me spending five nights in Bangkok and I can report that at no time did I feel uneasy there, even when walking around tourist spots such as Victory Monument. I didn’t notice anything untoward and the Thais were their usual warm selves in all respects. So, while all looks normal, I can only point out what most savvy travellers will already know – no matter where you are, be aware of your personal safety at all times. Don’t walk around with rose-tinted glasses on – always maintain an awareness of who and what is around you.
While Thailand hit the news because of the Red Shirt protests, there is upheaval and strife the world over these days. Few countries or territories are immune. Does it mean that we should travel less? Hell no!
But I do believe that we need to be more cautious, more aware and more prepared.
On a lighter note, Let’s Travel Magazine recently released our digital version of the magazine. It was so exciting seeing it all come together. If you haven’t already experienced it, make sure you head over to our website and have a look! Let’s Travel E-Mag will enable us to reach a far greater offshore audience, and of course will have added benefits such as embedded video clips. You’ll be able to read your favourite travel magazine on your laptop, at the office, on the beach o at the bach!
I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly ready for Summer to arrive – let’s hope she does so with huge fanfare and spreads her warmth and love far and wide. I’m sure you’ll discover many treats in the pages of this issue to get you packing those travel bags this summer … we got itchy feet ourselves while putting it all together.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
(1871 – 1922)