If you ask someone why they travel, you will likely get an answer like ‘it is fun’, or ‘I like culture’… But when you really dig into the why, travelers have a truly unique story. They have a passion that runs deeper than blood, a sense of adventure that pushes them beyond their boundaries, and a reason for dropping everything to get away and not look back.
I’ve never traveled and not come back a new person. I have not gotten on a plane and come back feeling the same as when I left. I’ve never experienced a new way of life and thought ‘now I can go back to mine as it always has been’. Every trip is more than a learning experience – it is a growing experience. And the 3 root reasons for why I travel are:
At first it looks like 2 of those are negative, but only 1 is. While loss is something we all face and often a reason for people to ‘get gone’, regret is far different. This is not a regret that I am trying to overcome or run away from, it is a regret I am refusing to take over. It is wanting to live life to the fullest so I have no regret, so I can look back at my life and know I was here and I loved it and I truly lived – no matter what else happens around that. So here’s what those mean to me.
I travel to feel Joy
I sit here drinking my lemon water, eating the same thing I ate yesterday, staring out the window wondering what else is out there? And I know what is out there. It’s Culture! Adventure! Experiences! Fun! Adrenaline! History! Knowledge! Friends!… LIFE.
I know that in order to live that life you need a means to survive, usually in the form of monetary wealth. So I work, and I meet, and I write, and I edit, and I repeat. And I build up a bank account that I know will pay off. Because money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy the opportunity to try for it. And with each dollar and each day I feel closer.
And then I get there. It’s booked. It’s here. It’s paid for. And I’m off.
And that day to day life that I thought was consuming me turns into a gift. And my entire world opens up. And I feel like I can breathe and I feel freshness on my face and wind in my hair. And cliches are only experiences, and no experience is cliche.
And I remember. I remember that when I travel, because travel is my thing, I experience a Joy that has been hidden inside since I last touched down. I feel a new breath of life sweep through my lungs, and a pulse of energy ripple through my veins.
I look around completely lost and finally feel completely found.
I travel because I’ve lost
I smile and my heart is dark.
I smile and my eyes never twinkle.
I smile and the only thing I feel is the lifting of my cheeks.
So I question.
I question, why us?
I question, why now?
I question, why her?
I answer ‘I’m fine’
I answer ‘maybe tomorrow’
I answer with silence
So I travel.
I travel to forget
I travel to cope
I travel to distract
So I travel
I fly to feel lifted
I drive to feel free
I sail to feel weightless
So I travel
I travel to feel
I travel to hope
I travel to learn
So I travel
I answer ‘yes’
I answer ‘for joy’
I answer ‘because she’d want me to’
I question, when?
I question, with who?
I question, how long?
And I smile
I smile and I’m lifted
I smile and I’m free
I smile and I’m weightless
Because I traveled
I travel for life (not for regret)!
Why would there be so much diversity if we were not meant to see it all? Why would we build a routine and a mundane life around 1 tiny place with 1 shallow purpose when there is opportunity to thrive and grow every single day.
There is just so much more to life than breathing and surviving!
This video rocks me to my core every time I watch it, and I hope it has the same impact on you.
And that’s it! That is why I travel. Why do you?
Love it. Breathe it. Live it.