So here’s the question, the big one. The only real question you even need to ask. Why? Why do you travel? Why do I travel? If you have to ask then chances are you don’t understand, but to be honest, I’ve never pinned it down.
I mean, I know why I shouldn’t travel, because it doesn’t make you any money, it makes you rich in your soul, but not in the ‘affording to eat’ way. I know that I would love to make a living from travelling. But then, who wouldn’t? It just isn’t the reality for most people.
It doesn’t make my parents happy, in fact it is the exact opposite, sure they want me to experience life, but they worry like crazy about me when I’m gone. My Mum fears the worst like all Mothers do, and I’m pretty certain my Dad is jealous that he isn’t there too (Mum has a slight
massive fear of flying that has only got worse as I’ve grown up, and so hasn’t flown anywhere in the past 5 years). And more than anything, I know they miss me (and I them).
It doesn’t move my career forward. I am not a writer, I am not an artist that could set up anywhere, I am a teacher. Or at least training to be. Which means that I will get some pretty epic holiday time, but you can’t go away for more than a month (which I know is a really long summer holiday for most) – but you know if you travel, that you need months. Preferably forever. I guess I could always teach abroad, but then I’ll be stuck in one place for 6 months, it could be worse, but equally, it’s not travelling.
So, if there are these negatives, why do I travel?
I travel because I have to, because I can’t not. Because the world is full of history, and culture, and stories, and people, and sights, and beauty, and life. Because the sky above me is the sky above you, wherever you are, and I want to see there too. Because I only get one chance in life and I’m going to experience as much as I possibly can.
So, I don’t know where the money for my next meal will come from; but more importantly, I don’t know where I will be eating it. I travel because there is something in me that compels me to go. To see something new, to escape, to learn, to understand, to experience.
I want to laugh and cry and just stop and be. I want to try new food, and speak new languages, and meet new people, and experience their lives.
What it ultimately comes down to though, is when I look back on my life, I want to know that I’ve loved every second. I want to know that it is full and beautiful. And I want to know that my soul is rich from the sights, sounds, smells and stories. I want to know that I have lived.
So, that’s why I travel.
I posed this question to my friends and their responses were far more philosophical than mine, so here are a few:
- I travel because: the world is my playground, I’m only here once and I want to have some fun.
- I travel because: the world is my oyster and I don’t want to stagnate.
- I travel because: I want to experience a different reality.
- I travel because: life needs adventure.
Why do you travel? Let me know in the comments below.