From the good old book of words, traveling or to travel is to go from one place to another, as on a trip; a journey. However, we have different reasons, reactions, expectations and experiences when it comes to traveling. In this article, I will neither write about favorite beach getaways nor about rich historical sites. No, there are plenty more opportunities for those. Instead, in this article, I will write about traveling itself. And perhaps one of the most basic questions anyone would ever ask is, “Why travel?”
When I was younger, I’ve always thought of traveling as a privilege few can afford. Even before high school, I had already visited Japan, Hong Kong and other exotic and historical islands that form part of my country (Of course, I was a self-centered, frilly-dress wearing brat then). As I grew up, I began to form a more mature trail of thought about things. Not just about traveling. I’ve long since gotten rid of the idea that traveling is just a cool way of showing off at a grander scale and letting everyone know (in a subtle but sure way) where your family went off to for the summer.
Hopping across different blogs and simply talking to different people, I have learned and gathered numerous answers and reactions. Some of the most interesting and outstanding are listed below:
“Sometimes I have felt aimless when traveling. Maybe I have traveled so much to fill a void. I look at it as I have an insatiable desire to know everything! Ask any of my friends and they will tell you how incredibly annoying this is. Maybe it’s annoying for them, but it is endless for me! So the answer is both. I have wandered aimlessly and in pursuit of something. Traveling is like peeling an onion. There are so many layers to discover.” –Jer
“I realized that what I treasured most about travel was not that it gave me a chance to see novel things. Travel gave me a chance to look with new eyes on familiar things. Windows to the World was one thing; but windows to death, littering, the right to remain silent, and the right to travel were others. I was returning home a different person—not Indian or Chinese, but a wiser and changed American because of them.” – Amy Huberman
“I travel to wander, which allows a sense of freedom. Generally, I fly to one airport, then drive to another a distance away and take off to go back home from there… so it’s a road-trip, too! Travel also keeps me open-minded and more accepting of other cultures and beliefs (as it is with anybody, I would think).” -dempather
Traveling is and will always be a journey of self-discovery. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, there is always something new to learn, something new to see or perhaps, something to remember about ourselves. Whether we travel for business, enjoyment or for other personal quests, I do believe that every experience is littered with a whole bunch of lessons just waiting to be stumbled upon.
My own reasons for traveling have greatly evolved from my childish ideas almost ten years ago. I see traveling as an opportunity to learn, to get myself in sticky situations and eventually crawl out of them and to enjoy the beauty in every grain of sand or busy market street that I encounter. It’s a way of forging strong relationships with other people and creating very wonderful memories.