Why We Travel
(Photo by Anya Hudyncia- Ponte Vecchio, FLorence)
It’s 4:45pm. Your connecting flight leaves at 5 and you’re sitting on the runway with no evidence of de-planing anytime soon. What will you do? Will the airline give you another flight? Will you be stranded in New Jersey forever? Are you sinking further into the depths of the plane seat with thoughts of demise from airport food being the only means of survival? Where is the closest bar, you wonder...
Between delayed flights, extreme traffic, bad weather and changed routines - why do we travel? Why do we venture out of the comfort of our own homes with the jacuzzi bathtub and open floor-plans to deal with burnt hotel coffee and bad directions?
Some say traveling is a religious experience, some go to escape, and some make it a lifestyle. Our roots are deeply entwined with a gypsy-style, nomad culture so it’s no surprise when we venture back to those roots from time to time. However, modern western society has built up the “American Dream” so much so that we seem to have forgotten what it’s like outside the white picket fence.
Sabrina Maddeaux of the National Post explains,
“Residing at a permanent fixed address, sentimentally dubbed “home,” has been a pillar of modern Western society. We obsess over being able to own property and dismiss those who rotate through a series of public shelters and underpasses as transients. We define ourselves, in part, by what neighbourhood we live in, how we decorate our enclaves and maintain our lawns...
However, a growing number of people are choosing to reject this centuries-old idea altogether. They see fixed addresses as limiting, even archaic, and instead choose to hop from place to place. These constant travellers self-identify as “nomads,” conjuring up images of prehistoric humans roaming the Earth to find new fields of animals to hunt and plants to gather. While many of these people are digitally-savvy entrepreneurs, part of the “digital nomad” subculture, nomads also encompass ridiculously wealthy trust-fund kids, jobless wanderers and even senior citizens.”
(Interested in reading more of Maddeaux’s article? Here it is!)
So there you have it. Anyone can be a nomad and everyone is becoming one! But that still leaves us with the question of “why?”
(Photo by Anya Hudyncia- Italian City Streets)
We like the challenge!
“You might feel like you’re stuck in a rut in your daily life. Or you’re yearning for something exciting and different. You’re craving new experiences and new challenges. Travel is the ideal place to test yourself. It pushes people to their limits and gets them outside their comfort zone”.
You will soon realize how good you are at charades when you desperately need pizza and don’t speak the native language. A reminder of your resourcefulness is never a bad thing, though. Remember how fearless you were as a kid? Step into those shoes again and see the world a new way. You never know what you might learn! Which brings me to the next reason…
(Photo by Anya Hudyncia- Street Advert)
We like to learn!
You guessed it! Even though we complained the entire way through our high school or college years, we love to learn, and we will always keep finding ways to do it. Not only is learning fun, but it helps us grow in many ways.
For example, the more you know the more money you could potentially make. Simply put, learning helps develop skills that make you better at life. Being able to quickly adapt and thrive in foreign situations with ease and efficiently is often more valuable than an Associates Degree in Communications. The best way to learn that is to travel!
Can’t convince your boss to give you time off? Tell them that Virtuoso also reports
“HR managers believe employees who take vacations perform better and are more satisfied on the job than others. 77% believe that employees who use most or all of their vacation time are more productive than those who take less vacation. 78% associate taking advantage of vacation time with higher employee job satisfaction”.
If that isn’t convincing enough then you may need to find a new job ;)
“I truly believe that your true death begins as soon as your education ends. Curiosity and fascination rejuvenates the soul. Keep searching for new ideas, it will keep you filled with excitement and passion. Striving is what human beings are designed for. A continual learning process will allow you to transcend time. You will never truly grow old”. (Read more about the 8 Reasons You Should Learn to Love Learning here!)
(Photo by Anya Hudyncia- Pino’s, Florence)
We like to appreciate what we have!
Traveling to foreign countries or even down the road from what you are used to can be quite the reality check. I remember the first time I couldn’t find my favorite hot sauce… the sauce I use on everything. How could I survive without my sauce? My day could not possibly go right without it. I cursed myself for going to a different grocery store than usual and stomped out in a raging fury. But let me tell you, when I finally got more of that stuff I loved it more than ever.
Happify Daily urges us to, “think of something you own that you might take for granted—your slightly (or very) dirty 2002 Camry, the trusty laptop you carry around with you every day. Now talk to someone who doesn't have that thing. What's life like for them? What difficulties do they face without the thing you don't think twice about having? Research shows that connecting with people different from us broadens our compassion and awareness and deepens our sense of community—and when we get to know people who don't have the things we take for granted, it gives us an even deeper appreciation for what we do have”.
*cough, cough* travel more…
(Photo by Anya Hudyncia- Castlewellan, Northern Ireland)
We like adventure, relaxation and celebration
Last, but not least, and likely the most obvious… we like to adventure! We like to relax! We like to celebrate!
People travel for many reasons including a change of scenery, freedom to do anything without judgement, to slow down, or experience something completely new and unattainable in the daily life setting. All of these things help relieve massive amounts of stress that build up over time. Sick of your 9 to 5? Feeling stuck in a failing relationship or unhappily single? Taking a break from these things can help clear the mind and make space for new possibilities.
Maybe you have a glorious life and no problems at all? TransAmerica Center reports that 86% of travelers believe it improves their mood and overall outlook of life. Can you even imagine your already perfect life getting better?!
Now that you remember all the great things about travel, go ahead and book a trip! What fun reasons drive you to travel? Tell us more!