With each new year, we set ourselves goals for what we want to achieve over the coming months. It is a time for reflection, for change, and for promises to ourselves.
However, your wish to improve your life, be it a diet and exercise regime, or learning a new skill or hobby, is all about charting a meaningful course for the year ahead.
Whether you committed on January 1st, or you’ve realized the days are passing by in a blur towards 2019, it’s never too late to set yourself goals for the year.
While travel tops many people’s ultimate “to do” lists, it can so often seem out of reach and it’s easy to put it off for years at a time in favour of more achievable goals. International holidays, especially, are not only very expensive, but also involve a lot of time and energy for planning purposes.
With this in mind, it’s time that South Africans look closer to home and start exploring their own backyard.
Why should you add domestic travel to your 2018 bucket list?
The clear majority of South Africans only travel domestically if it’s to visit relatives or friends in another part of the country.
And yet every year millions of tourists choose our country as their travel destination of choice – describing sites and attractions as “incredible”, “spectacular”, “fascinating”, and “life-changing”.
When you go to another country, you try to see as much as possible in a limited timeframe. So why is it that, with weekends and holidays here throughout the year, locals don’t do the same at home?
There’s so much to see right here, even if you just explore something new in your home town or head an hour or two out of the city to see what’s out there.
What are the benefits of domestic tourism?
If you’re not already a frequent domestic traveller, and you just started scouring the internet for weekend destinations (don’t forget the long weekends coming in March and April!), you should consider domestic travel now.
Here’s why: Firstly, it’s great for the economy. In fact, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) issued a report in September stating that expenditure on domestic overnight trips rose to R63billion in 2016 from R62billion in 2015. And around R23billion was spent on day trips alone in the same year.
Money aside, exploring your country’s heritage is also good for the soul. There’s something special about learning new facts about the streets you’ve walked your whole life, discovering exciting treasures in your area, or tasting something delicious that you’ve never tried before.
This is why we offer immersive packages to provide locals with experiences to get them out of their comfort zones. Soul Traveller Tours focuses on group travel - to reduce the anxiety of travelling alone, and to provide people with packages that explore the different, and widely varied, aspects of our country.
Where should you be going?
There are so many places to explore across South Africa’s nine provinces. Some of them you might pass by on your way to other destinations – very much within reach of the beaten track. Others, you might have to go out of your way to find, but it is often so worth the extra hours on the road.
When you’re updating your bucket list in 2018, consider local day trips, weekend getaways, tours and road trips in South Africa – you never know what you might discover. Just remember to stop and look at the quirky shops, sample the local delicacies, dance to the music you hear along the way, and enjoy it all with a sense of adventure.
About Soul Traveller Tours
Soul Traveller Tours is the first group travel tour operator in South Africa to embrace ‘immersive tourism’, exposing local and international travellers to the beauty, majesty and intimacy of South Africa’s landscapes, culture, history and its people.
Soul Traveller Tours is a member of Thebe Tourism Group, a 100%-owned subsidiary of Thebe Investment Corporation. For more information about the routes and how to book your first trip, visit www.soultraveller.co.za