Why do we travel?

What is travel? The Cambridge online dictionary explains “to make a journey, usually over a long distance”.  If you ask many of us what’s the one thing you wish you could do more of, many would say travel. But has any of us actually thought about our reason to travel. What exactly do you get out of it? What makes it so special? Why does it mean so much to you?

Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time…(ok I’m joking stay with me now). I was in a store nearby my house one day when I overheard the store workers and a friend talking. He was speaking pretty loud so anyone could easily hear what he was saying. He was talking about the middle east, Egypt to be exact and how much he wanted to see the pyramids. But the greatest fear was all the things that went on there that we would normally hear in the news. It was a huge concern for him and his travel plans. It got me to thinking about my fears and reason to travel.

Positives and Negatives

I weighed the pros and cons in my head. Why am I so interested in going to a country or area I knew very little about. Despite all the “what ifs” that went through my head, the pros always exceeded the cons and I continue to overcome those fears. I knew that travelling opens the mind to so many cultures, this beautiful earth, amazing people to meet, friends to make and experiences to be had. Getting out of your comfort zone is not always easy but sometimes  it’s what we need.

It was through fear that I found the answers to the question “why travel”. I know we don’t really need a reason to do anything in our lives. We can act out of a whim and sometimes this whim leads us to more understanding than we could imagine. It brings value and purpose to our lives that we may have never experience before. I have read the stories of many travelers who fell in love with travel this way. They ended up in it unexpectedly.

I began my love affair with travel right out of school at age 5. I couldn’t miss a school trip. I would literally beg my dad to go and he would never refuse. I loved that they took us to parts of the country that we wouldn’t normally see or hear of. My mom has also been a big influence for me. Whenever she would come home, I would gaze through all the stamps in her passport. I’d imagine that the passport was mine and each stamp represented the different countries I visited and the adventures I had. And so my spirit of wanderlust was born.

What’s your why to travel?

Whether it’s a long time dream or an unexpected thing, all of us have a reason to travel. It drives our wanderlust, a need to explore a new place and see what adventure to be had. It clears our doubts, quiets our fear and fuels our dreams. But honestly, it doesn’t matter what reasons we have. It matters to us because it brings some meaning to why we do what we do and who we are. We’re explorers, wanderers, adventure seekers and nomads at it’s finest. We travel not because we search for the “why” but because we ARE the “why”.

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