Why I Travel
There are numerous reasons why any one person would travel, and the reasons one might take one trip might be different from why one would take a completely different trip. Then, there are those who choose not to travel or feel it is a waste of time or money. These are the top 5 reasons why I travel:
1. To get away from my life. This may sound dramatic, but I believe that everyone needs some time away from the realities of everyday living. This might mean a 16 day-jaunt through Europe, a week’s vacation on the beach doing absolutely nothing, an extended weekend to a location just a few hours away, or simply a day trip with the family. Taking a break from our regular schedules allows us to return from a trip renewed and feeling good about going back to our lives.
2. To enjoy time with my family. I know a lot of people like to vacation with friends and extended family. While I don’t necessarily think this is a bad idea, I tend to view travel as a great time to spend quality time with my immediate family. While at home, it is easy to get caught up in drama in almost every area of life, whether it concerns work, family, or friends, and this affects interactions within our immediate family. Getting away from all of that allows us to spend time doing things we enjoy without having to worry about any of that. For example, one of my favorite things about going to another country is that we are not very easily reachable by phone. Of course, we are sure to contact family frequently so no one worries, but there is something nice about being able to turn off our phones for a week or two to focus on our own interests without any interruptions.
3. To learn about the history and culture of another part of the world or country. One of the things I like best about travelling is imagining what my life would be like if I lived in another place. This is especially evident when we travel to Europe or to the Caribbean where life is really different from where we live in the US. However, there is still evidence of differences in living even in other parts of the US. I was never all that interested in history or social studies class when I was in school, but getting to actually see things in person makes all the difference.
4. To appreciate our lives a little more. While it is nice to fantasize about living somewhere on an island in the Caribbean or moving to a flat in London, ultimately, travelling helps me to appreciate what we have here at home. Of course, there are always people who have more, but there are also people who have considerably less than we do. For example, there are some great things about Jamaica (the worry-free attitude, the warm weather, sandy beaches, etc.), but a life there would be very different from the life we live here. Of course, this is not to say that there is nothing to be learned from the lifestyle and attitude of the people living there. Ideally, one would be able to take back the carefree attitude of the people and apply it appropriately to one’s life at home. It kind of puts things in perspective to see how other people can be perfectly happy living in a completely different way.
5. To learn more about myself. There is something about travel that is almost like soul-searching in a way. One can learn more about how she deals with unexpected turns of events or how she deals with being in a new place where there may or may not be different social norms. I know that when we travel out of the country, specifically to Europe, it gives us great pride to be able to navigate our way around an unknown city, especially in a country where we do not speak the language. I usually return home feeling good about our problem-solving skills and how we dealt with things that came up.
There are a million other reasons why one would choose to travel. Why do you travel?