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Class 1 why do people travel? unit I

Before you read:

1. Do you like travelling?

2. Do you often travel? Where to?

3. When and where did you last go on holidays?

A famous writer once said: “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move”.

Why do people travel?

  1. Read the text Adventure Is Necessary and identify different aims of travelling. Do you agree with the author? Give your grounds using the topical vocabulary from the box.

Adventure is necessary

Adventure is necessary for us all. It keeps us from growing stale and old; it develops our imagination, it gives us that movement and change which are necessary to our life.

One of the aims of travel is to go in search of beauty. The beauty spots of the world are magnets which attract travelers year after year. Yet even more valuable to the traveler is the knowledge which he gets of his fellow men by going among people of different character and different ways of life. The proverbs says, “So many countries, so many customs.”

And then there is for the traveler the great joy of coming home again. When his curiosity for new scenes is satisfied he turns his thought toward home where all the things are most familiar, and he loves them. So the traveler, besides the delight of travel, has the warmest feeling of returning home.

to keep smb. from growing stale and old

to develop one’s imagination

to give smb. that movement and change which are necessary to one’s life

to go in search of beauty

to get some knowledge

the great joy of coming home again

to satisfy one’s curiosity for new scenes

the warmest feeling of returning home

2. Work with your partner. Have you ever travelled for any of these reasons? Tell your partner.

  • to escape from an uncomfortable situation with his/her girlfriend/boyfriend

  • to escape boredom

  • to run away from a broken heart

  • to broaden your experience of the world

  • to learn languages

  • to get a suntan

  • to live out your dreams

  • to take a break from your career

  • to visit historical sites/to travel along a historical route

  • to raise money for charity

Can you think of any other reasons to go travelling? Make a list of reasons you think people have for planning a trip. Discuss these reasons in class and decide which are more (less) important.

3. Read the article from The Times and find the key idea expressed by the author.

Why did the couple go on this sort of holiday?

Goodbye comfort, hello adventure

The Times

June 17, 2006

Rebecca Mellotte swaps the corridors of Whitehall for a 4wd journey to the heart of Africa

Life constantly presents us with invitations to change our routine and occasionally the spark ignites our imagination and we respond. Such a moment came last Christmas when, out of the blue and arising from a casual conversation, my boyfriend Roger and I decided to drive from London to South Africa.

We both had fulfilling jobs (I was working as diary secretary for the Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron, and had worked for Michael Howard) but agreed that the days were passing so quickly that we were missing out on the essence of life. We were in our early forties, had no responsibilities and enough money saved. The timing was perfect.

Roger, an experienced traveller and mechanic, bought an eight-year-old Range Rover V8 with a 4-litre engine found in Auto Trader. None of our friends believed the car would survive the journey, but we were to prove them wrong and, apart from one puncture, drove through 15 countries, witnessed a solar eclipse and covered 16,000km (10,000 miles) of extreme terrain from snow-covered Europe to the deserts of Africa.

Our first footsteps on African soil were in Tunisia with its Mediterranean north and the Star Wars lunar landscapes of the south. From there to Libya, dominated by posters of Colonel Gaddafi, deserts, camels and oil refineries. The people were friendly and welcoming, petrol was cheaper than water, and plastic flowers were in great abundance. We visited spectacular Roman and Greek ruins and spent time reflecting in the war cemeteries of Tobruk, touching the shrapnel and barbed wire still resting in the stony earth.

We followed the mighty Nile, the lifeline of Africa, through Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. Egypt was disappointing. Commercialism has tainted what was one of the greatest civilisations and the volume of tourists made sight-seeing an empty experience. Our first glimpse of the Pyramids was marred by pollution overhanging Cairo’s urban sprawl and the view of McDonald’s through Luxor temple’s grand pillars would make the pharaohs turn in their tombs.

The highlight of the trip was Sudan. It took nine days to traverse, beginning with a freezing overnight ferry crossing from Aswan to Wadi Halfa. The latter consisted of a few buildings, dust and rock. The primitive simplicity of having everything with nothing was totally fulfilling. We slept in a room with a sand floor, the sky as a roof and washed by pouring jugs of water over ourselves. While we waited for the car to arrive by barge, kind Nubians looked after us; we ate bread and beans with our fingers and drank sweet black tea from tiny glasses.

It took four days to cross the vast northern Sahara Desert to Khartoum. There was no specific road, just a general direction over the sand, rocks and shale. The sun bore down relentlessly, the sky was cloudless and it was 40C (104F) in the shade. Occasionally, we would round a corner and catch sight of the elusive Nile winding its way south, edged with burnished soil and a narrow strip of fertile land. At night we camped by the river under a jet black sky studded with diamonds, listening to the ghostly wind. After the tranquillity of the Sahara the noise and neon lights of Khartoum baffled us, but the warmth of the people softened the culture shock.

We said goodbye to Arab culture when we entered Ethiopia. Suddenly, there were Western-dressed children demanding money and shops selling beer. On our way south we passed highlands, rocky escarpments, terrifying ravines and lakes. The wooden houses were well built and the fields green. It was always rush hour on the roads with people, fat cattle and donkeys striding out purposefully, the women carrying umbrellas and the men AK47s.

Kenya’s roads were by far the worst, but we persevered and, rattling over the corrugation, finally crossed the Equator, a milestone in our journey. Southern Tanzania was glorious, with majestic mountains, streams and valleys. Malawi was a magical paradise and the first sighting of the sapphire lake left us breathless. Unspoilt villages and lush tropical vegetation edged the surrounding beach. How glorious to live there and wake up to such a view every morning.

Zambia was wild and rugged, filled with rolling hills and Jehovah Witness Kingdom Halls. Victoria Falls, one of nature’s most dramatic creations, was magnificent. We watched the powerful water cascading down, heard the roaring noise and became drenched by the pure cold spray as it launched upwards and outwards, showering onlookers. After so much water Botswana seemed dry and flat and the foot-and- mouth borders delayed our final leg into Johannesburg, a city of suburbs, shopping malls and compounds and a million miles from our North African journey.

On our trip we stayed in every type of accommodation possible, including our car, tent and hotels. It really had to be our tent or a five-star hotel, as anything else was basic with disappointingly cold showers.

The success of our trip was down to proper planning and not leaving anything to chance. Most important of all, we had a car that never let us down.

It was the journey of a lifetime. We took the risk and embraced the unknown. We have precious memories of people we met along the way, cultures we experienced and landscapes we crossed. There is nothing more we could have wished for.

Speak about their itinerary.

Would you go on such a journey? Why//Why not?

Comment on the following ideas from the article:

1. Life constantly presents us with invitations to change our routine and occasionally the spark ignites our imagination and we respond.

2. The timing was perfect.

3. Egypt was disappointing.

4. The highlight of the trip was Sudan.

6. The success of our trip was down to proper planning and not leaving anything to chance.

7. It was the journey of a lifetime.

8. We have precious memories of people we met along the way, cultures we experienced and landscapes we crossed. There is nothing more we could have wished for.

3. Read the text Why Be a Tourist?, then comment on it. Say whether you agree with the opinion which is expressed in the text. What is your point of view on tourism and sightseeing?

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