An excuse for my wanderlust.

My favorite travel writer is Rick Steves.

Maybe that’s because he focuses on Europe, my second home.  Maybe I like him because he really does think outside the border.

In his latest post, he tosses out an interesting theory.  Makes sense to me.  If I don’t go somewhere new each year, I end up driving my family crazy.

Read Rick’s post below.  See what you think.

===================================================

Dear Traveler,

Happy 2016! We’re another year older and another year slower…or, maybe not. I’ve long noticed that many travelers seem younger than average in their appearance, attitudes, and energy levels. And I have a theory that explains it.

Perhaps travel actually functions — physiologically — as a kind of fountain of youth. We’ve evolved into our sedentary, climate-controlled, modern lives faster than our physical bodies can keep up. In other words, in 10 or 20 generations we’ve gone from the wilderness to the office park, but our cells are still geared toward the hunter-gatherer struggle for survival. As long as we are dynamic — hunting in the summer and hibernating in the winter — our cells regenerate. When we quash any need for that struggle, our cells don’t regenerate so vigorously. That’s when we start to physiologically run out of steam, and we age.

My annual routine of activities matches that old primordial hunter-gatherer cycle: actively struggle in the summer (travel, learn about new places, cope and thrive in the face of new challenges), then hibernate in the winter (dial back to a more sedentary, predictable work and home life). Consequently, by sticking with this cycle, my cells still think I’m youthful and vital — out there in the elements, fighting to survive and thrive. And they forget to age.

Sure, it may be scientifically laughable. But you have to admit, something makes us travelers a bit more frisky. (And, floating a theory like that sure is an innovative way to sell Rick Steves tours!)

In this month’s Travel News we’ll crank up the ever-youthful mischief, with articles on getting giddy on Tuscan wines; fusing Greek eating, drinking, and dancing; and getting the haggis scared out of us in my favorite bits of haunted Britain. My co-author Cameron Hewitt describes his recent Thanksgiving gourmet getaway at an Italian agriturismo, readers share their favorite stinky-cheese stories, and you can watch my newest promo video, designed to help you choose light-packing luggage that best suits your style of travel.

Here’s to a frolicking 2016 of travel thrills — unpredictable, youthful, and filled with serendipity.

Happy travels,

Rick

Original article here: https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/travel-news/january-2016/hi-from-rick