There are hundreds of reasons why people travel and a quick Google search will provide you with little reasons and lofty reasons…but they are all personal reasons and will be different from person to person. Travel for me has always been a necessity and I’ve never really stopped to ponder why. As such, this was a little bit of a self-reflective exercise. And it turns out that I have many reasons on why I travel. Here are five of them in no particular order:
1. The Great Cubicle Escape: My tag line has me claiming that I’m a cubicle escape artist. Being stuck in a cubicle daily reminds me how I find the routine of settled life (house, career) usually is boring despite my efforts to change things up by trying new things locally (my newest is Krav Maga). Travel allows me to have a change of scenery, to mess up my perspective on the world yet again, gives me challenges me in a way that only the unfamiliar can, and provides me with a chance to see or experience something new every day.
2. Excuse to Research: I’m a research addict. Especially when it comes to travel, I love researching the crap out things. For me, learning about a place (history, sights, foods, scams, etc) is half the fun of travel, even if I’m not actually at the place yet. It is also a chance to acquire a bit of a new language, to learn about a culture’s customs, and to figure out random things like how a particular port’s cruise ship schedule would impact my sightseeing. When I get back home, the research sometimes doesn’t stop which is how I find out about things I missed the first time around (or new things that developed since my trip). A Camino example is that I used the Camino Forum before I went but I found out about the Caminopedia site after I came back: so next time I go, I will have two important sources of information!
3. Feeling Alive: Everyone gets their thrills in different ways but mine comes from travel. I’m not much of a talker but give me a travel related topic and after a while, I have to actively remind myself that not everyone wants to talk travel for hours on end. I feel more alive when I’m out there experiencing and learning random things that come with travel. For example on the Camino Frances, I became very proficient at taking off my jacket while wearing a giant backpack and my camera bouncing across my chest, walking and talking to someone…all at the same time. Dunno ‘bout you but I’m ready for the Zombie Apocalypse! I’ve got skillz! And boots!
4. Passport Stamps Collection: One thing that gives me joy in life is seeing my passport fill up with stamps. I’m weird like that. I was very upset when Cuba did not stamp my passport but in contrast, I was excited when I received a very unique – a green three-leaf clover from Montserrat. And I got stamps to my heart’s content while walking the Camino Frances, of course. Passport stamps are awesome.
5. Me Photo, You Photo: As you can probably tell by now in this blog, I love photography. My favourites are landscapes, macro, and contemplative/abstract. I am very bad at carving out time for my hobby when I am at home but when I’m on the road, my camera is practically glued to my face. Some people say photography prevents you from being in the moment but for me, it grounds me in the moment and makes me appreciate what it is I’m seeing and experiencing. So in my mind, long live the camera!
Question: So, why do YOU travel? What is your favorite passport stamp so far?