What inspires you to travel? Or do you even like to travel? If you don’t, read on, maybe you’ll end up with a different outlook on what traveling can do for you.
There are many reasons to travel. Work and pleasure may be the two that come to mind first. There are others, although I doubt that anyone at the immigration counter would be interested to hear you offer a third option to their two choice question. Kind of like when you find an error on a test and you know that none of the available answers really do it justice and you just roll your eyes and give the answer you know they want.
Perhaps you’re inspired by a need to conquer some personal demons or maybe you’re searching for answers to some deep personal questions. I would venture to say, more likely than not, that neither of these would be considered by the traveler to be for pleasure. But it doesn’t diminish the importance of the trip. If anything it increases its importance. There have been countless books written where people go on journeys to ‘find themselves’. One of them was even turned into a film recently, Wild. Though I’ve never set out on my travels with these sort of goals, I do often discover things about myself. More about that later.
Perhaps you’re inspired to travel because you just need to get away from the daily grind. We all know people who use their time off to alleviate some burnout. I count myself among them. What does it say about each of us that we need time away from our work? My guess would be for many that there is a less than ideal balance between work and life. Or perhaps that our ‘work’, is just that. It’s work, not life. It’s working and not living. Now, before you assume I’m just rambling on trying to get my word count up like I’m writing a paper for class that must be at least one thousand words, (if you are doing this, it would behoove you to write out long numbers instead of using numerals,) what I really mean is this. If what you do for work doesn’t inspire you on a very personal level, is it really the best you can do?
Please don’t take this idea and go in to work tomorrow and tell your boss where they can take your job and what to do with it. Take your circumstance into account, since most of us do still have bills to pay whether we love our job or hate it. But if this question resonates with you, take some time and think on it. I’ve done some of this recently and I’m quite happy with what that time has done for me. It’s one of the biggest reasons that I’m sitting here right now, putting my thoughts in print.
What really makes us want to go where we go? Maybe you like the weather. Maybe you like the food. Maybe you like having someone else make your bed. My point is there are probably specific things that you could extract from your reason for traveling, something even you may not have realized before. While my family and I often travel to ‘get away’ from our normal routine and recharge, choosing where we go can be a struggle. Not because there aren’t a million wonderful places, but because we can’t go to them all.
When I was growing up, traveling while on breaks from school was no guarantee. But it was always on my mind and I am thankful for the trips I was able to take. I remember thinking at one point that I wanted to go to every country on Earth. And if I’m honest, I’m not opposed to the idea even now, I’m just a lot more practical and aware of global events. So while I may not visit all of the countries of the world, I still hope to visit many of them.
So why do I travel? To experience the world, to marvel at the beauty of creation, to grow closer to my family, and whenever we can, enjoy some delicious local food! But I also enjoy being out in nature and having the time to learn not only about the place I’m in, but about myself and my place in the world.
The next time you think about traveling, ask yourself, why do I go to these places? What do I gain from being in them? And if you’re feeling yourself a deep thinker, how does my experience in these places change the world?