Hans Christian Anderson once wrote “To move, to breathe, to fly, to float. To gain all while you give, to roam the roads of lands remote. To travel is to live.”
It is in the spirit of Anderson’s poignant words that we, as Americans, recognize National Travel and Tourism Week each year during the first full week of May. This year’s celebration will take place from Sunday, May 2, through Saturday, May 8.
So then, what exactly is National Travel and Tourism Week?
As explained by the United States Travel Association, “National Travel and Tourism Week is an annual tradition for the U.S. travel community. It’s a time when travel and tourism professionals across the country unite to celebrate the value travel holds for our economy, businesses and personal well-being.”
Established through a congressional-resolution in 1983, this year marks the 38th annual celebration of NTTW. And now, in 2021, after a year of lockdowns and restrictions imposed upon the citizens of the world by a global pandemic, National Travel and Tourism Week is more important than ever before.
As French novelist Gustave Flaubert said some 150 years ago, “Travel makes one Modest. You see what tiny place you occupy in the world.”
We have all occupied that “tiny place” for long enough. The time has come “to move, to breathe, to fly, to float.”
The theme for this year’s NTTW will be the “Power of Travel”.
An informational video produced by the United States Travel Association sums it up perfectly.
“Last National Travel and Tourism Week, we celebrated our resiliency. This year, we will celebrate our role in recovery.”
The U.S. Travel Association adds that 2021 will be all about “the industry’s role in bringing back our vibrant communities, restoring the U.S. economy, rebuilding our workforce and reconnecting America.”
Reconnecting America…what better way to do that than by traveling the country roads of Old Dominion and the Mountain State? From the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the Shenandoah River.
To where the moon has soothed the sky…
For, as Peter Hoag so accurately stated, “Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions.”
Truer words have never been spoken. When we travel, when we explore new places, when we embark upon new adventures…our smiles are wider. Our laughter is deeper. Our spirits are nurtured, and our contentment is made…complete.
It was the great traveler Freya Stark who taught us, “Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.”
Simply put, after what we have all endured over the past year, the whole world needs a vacation.
And if this hasn’t yet been enough to convince you, take to heart the words of the great Winnie the Pooh…
“Our footprints always follow us on days when it’s been snowing. They always show us where we’ve been, but never where we’re going.”
Spring has come, and it has stopped snowing. Isn’t it about time to go somewhere?