Why do you travel?
I get this a lot lately, especially after everyone learns about my back-to-back jet setting locally and internationally these past months. After hearing a friend posed this question for the first time, I laughed and answered sarcastically, “Why won’t you travel?” The answer seems so obvious to me at the time, but it later made me pause and consider an accurate response.
After looking back to my trips and examining myself, I have compiled a list of my top eight reasons why I travel and will keep doing it in the future.
1. I travel to escape and feel alive.
Traveling can bring new and refreshing perspectives on things, making me feel alive. It helps to free me from worries back home and therefore provides escape from the daily life I have. Whenever I feel I need a breather, I check my travel bucket list, get tickets spontaneously, pack my bags, and go.
2. I travel to see and experience.
Traveling gives me an opportunity to see beautiful, picture-worthy landscapes; witness colorful festivals; appreciate both world-renowned and unique art and architecture; and live the life of a local. It offers the experience I can only gain just by being there and understanding the place and its culture in the flesh.
3. I travel to understand the world.
Traveling gives me a new lens to see the world. It opens my eyes to see differently – that sometimes how I look at the world at large may not be the same way everybody sees it. There may be instances that what I think or how I understand things are on the opposite end of the spectrum compared to how it should be. I want to expand my vision and understanding of the diversity and uniqueness of each place, history, culture, and people.
4. I travel to know more about myself.
Leaving the comfort of my hometown, I travel to know myself. When presented with challenges and opportunities, I get to know how far I can push myself to the limit and how consistent I am with my values and principles. I always feel amazed when I did something I couldn’t imagine accomplishing back then or when I realized that I shared the same sentiment with the people from the place I visited. I discover skills I didn’t know I have and develop new ones along the way. It makes me grateful that I get to know myself everyday as I travel.
5. I travel to learn.
It may not be an accredited institution, but traveling is the best school there is. It has taught me a lot of important lessons in life. Traveling made me humble and appreciate what I have. I learned to live my life alive – that I should live for the moment without any regrets and appreciate each day as it is my last. Appreciating the beauty of a place is important, but I should know when to leave and move on. Culture shock will be there when I travel, but it affects me positively and became a well-rounded person. At the end of the day, I always feel grateful to benefit from traveling and realize that I should do something to give back.
6. I travel to create more meaningful relationships.
Some people I met on the road became part of my inner circle of friends. Nationalities, race, color, language, and religion do not matter to us. Even though most of us are on different parts of the globe, I value and appreciate these folks. We live thousand miles away from each other and have different time, but we keep contact and hope that we will bump into each other at least once again.
7. I travel to fulfill [and create] my dreams.
Living the dream sounds like something glamorous and unreachable that you can only see in the big screen or read in a New York Times bestseller, but traveling inspires me to dream big yet feasible, plan ahead and make my way to achieve it. It encourages me to reach what others can only dream about. I learned that nothing in this world is impossible to someone who has a goal and aspiration to get it.
8. I travel to satisfy my insatiable curiosity about different cultures and people.
There is always this never-ending desire to explore every inch, nook and cranny of my country and the world. Every place’s history, language, culture, art and food – I want to experience all of them and live to share it to my family, friends, acquaintances, and to everyone who is willing to listen.
So there you have it, my top eight reasons why I travel. There are many other whys and wherefores but these are the general themes I came up to after considering my friend’s question. If you find yourself nodding or smiling while reading this list, it seems we have same reasons to love traveling! I am giving you a virtual high five to celebrate. 🙂
If you have also been bitten by a travel bug or planning to explore soon, I am going to ask you the same thing: Why do you travel? Please let me know your reasons and let’s grow this list together. Enjoy traveling!