Exploring the reasons we travel the globe
Working with some great travel writers at the travel website My Destination means I have the privilege to hear some fantastic stories, and share some of my own. But talking about travel everyday gets you thinking. Why do people decide to travel in the first place? Where does the motivation to pack a suitcase and board a plane destined half way across the world come from?
One of the most common reasons people travel to get away from a lifestyle they disliked or to get themselves out of a rut they were unhappy about. This is a hugely emotional decision to leave a place, and one that doesn’t always pay off, the grass is always greener of course. A fresh start can motivate people to change the way they lead their lives, and find new skills and talents that they would never have been able to do if they had stayed put.
Did you ever wander off, far away from the house as a child, simply because you were curious of what was out there? This was certainly not me as a child, but I admire people who have always been this way. Nowadays, I do find myself struck with a strange urge to go down an unknown path, or most recently a country road that lead to nothing for miles, simply because I had never been down that route before. Wanderlust must be appeased if you are to have any peace and serenity in your old age, plus some killer stories.
Many people have families that they try to visit as often as they can, but live on the other side of the earth. Almost every taxi driver I have ever drunkenly had the pleasure to chat with has told me how they travel back to the country they once lived to see their family, send them money and take care of them. Knowing that your family, and therefore in a sense a part of you, is in another country far away is something I have never experienced; and could not possibly imagine.
Ever dreamed of swimming with a great white, hearing the roar of a lion or climbing the highest peak in the world? The desire to experience something unique, to be part of something bigger than yourself drives people from their homes and on planes. From the Arctic explorer to the jungle scientist, the opportunity to really witness life on this planet and see the world from a new perspective is something not to be missed. If I was offered anyone of these incredible experiences there would be a man shaped hole in my bedroom wall leading straight to the airport. Life is based around these fantastic chances to see the world up close, and find out who you really are in the process.
From the wide-eyed gap year guys to the disciplined foreign students one of the most rewarding reasons to travel is to learn. Immersing yourself in another culture is widely considered the easiest way to learn a language, but it can also teach you a lot about how that society works. Studying abroad for a year during university is also a great way to get some travelling in while completing your course, giving you a broader spectrum of knowledge in the process. Learning, of course, goes hand in hand with teaching, which is one of the finest ways to both give back to the community you are living in, and keeping yourself financially stable while travelling.
Personally, I feel that we were born to travel. Mankind as a race doesn’t just settle, we move, even to the farthest reaches of the globe, to barely hospitable locations. We wander, explore, all urged on by the need to know what lies beyond. I travel because the feeling of being somewhere I have never been excites me. The knowledge that I can look back with pride on all the foolish adventures I end up in, calms something deep inside me. Whatever your reason for travel, there is no doubt that it can play an important role in shaping who you are, and who you want to be.