Top 8 reasons why people travel
In this little thing that we call life, we have many things available to us, especially in the western world. Food, water, and all the latest technology is within easy reach. However, the one commodity everybody on this planet doesn't have is TIME.
It's our most precious commodity.
We live by the famous saying "life's too short", yet the majority of us live life as if we have forever. Why are we all so willing to waste time? Are we even aware we're doing it?
Travel is a real opportunity to grab hold of the present in every way. It allows you to focus on what’s in front of you; sights, sounds, smells; all invigorating and intoxicating, enabling you to really be “in the moment”.
So what are you waiting for? Travel is one of the best ways that you can live your life to the fullest, and really find meaning and purpose in helping others, as you take to the skies/seas/roads to explore the differences, between countries & cultures, and to appreciate your life in every way.
Take a look at the top 8 reasons why people travel and what their motivations are for venturing into the unknown. Which one resonates with you? For me. It’s all of them.
1. To be free from routine
Whether you live in a big city or a small town, life is full of routine. Waking up, brushing your teeth, getting ready, going to work, coming home, having dinner - the list goes on. After a while it gets very samey and quite boring for a lot of us that seek more adventure and excitement in our lives. Travelling is all about spontaneity, adaptability, and there is no mention of the word "routine" anywhere. People that travel or want to travel have a real thirst for the absence of a "specific" day. Knowing that on waking up the opportunities are endless in terms of what you will see, where you will go or who you will meet is the number 1 reason why so many people travel the world.
2. To educate themselves about the world we live in
For almost all of our childhood, teenage and early adult years we are thrust into the education system. School and university takes up predominantly all of our time, and we are educated in a way that our countries school systems allow. When people travel they want to be educated in a different way. This education piece is all about the education of life and the world. Learning about a countries history, not by just reading a book but by actually seeing it with our own eyes. Travelling across and through these countries, learning and picking up parts of the language. Engaging with local people that have lived their lives there and observing the differences in daily life.
Education continues outside of the classroom, and what better way to do it then to travel the world.
3. To explore and adventure
Travellers are made with a spirit that seeks out new adventures. They thrive on the unknown. The excitement and imagination adopted by travellers means that they will always wonder what is over the horizon, and do everything in their power to experience it in the right way. Travellers are very different to tourists, who may just take a trip to stay within the confines of their cruise liner, or the walls of their hotel. And that's fine, for them, but for travellers they want to feel the buzz of exploring off the beaten track and discovering new experiences for themselves.
4. To meet people, they perhaps never would have met in everyday life
When we visit a new country we are met with new faces, new forms of body language and new words. A stranger smiles at you in the street, and if you come from a city such as London, Paris or New York (etc) that may seem strange to you, but it is the way of the world. Smiles are the first step to meeting new people and building new relationships when you travel. The people that you'll meet, whether it's in a hostel, guest house, cafe, or on the beach could become life long travel friends. English may not be their first language, but you bond and mesh together anyway. They might have different hair colour, eye colour and skin colour. A different smell, different clothes or a different view on the world. Nevertheless the one thing that you have in common with each other is travel. Endless conversation topics about the places you've travelled to and the experiences that you've had. True life engagement, and that will mean that you have had the opportunity to meet some pretty incredible people.
Travellers and people that travel are the best people in the world, there is no doubt about that.
5. To step outside of their comfort zone and challenge themselves
Daily life can be a bit of a chore, and it may feel like you're stuck in a rut, living groundhog day every day. This is another reason why people travel, not necessarily just on holiday but long term travel, so 6 - 12 months plus. Travelling really challenges you as a person, especially if you do it solo. You find out who you really are, and how strong you are too. Stepping outside of your comfort zone means learning so many new skills on the road, such as being organised, adaptable, intuitive, courageous and brave amongst others. People run marathons and do extreme sports for the very same reason that people choose to travel, and choose for it to be their passion. It's a challenge. It's not easy and it's not always fun. It's actually bloody hard at times. You're crossing countries & oceans, navigating yourselves around big cities all whilst keeping yourself safe, meeting new people and enjoying the experience at the same time. Travelling isn't all roses and sunshine, and if anybody tells you different their lying. But this is what makes it so incredible. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and challenging yourself is an incredibly brave thing to do. And with bravery always comes great reward.
6. To broaden their minds and hearts
To have an open mind is one of the greatest qualities that any person can have. It allows you to see that there is no one way to live your life, and everybody is on a different journey. Some people get married young and have babies, others travel and explore. Society can dictate to us how we should all live our lives, but if you have an open mind and an open perspective than you will choose to live your life the way YOU want to, and not the way others do. When travelling your mind and heart become more open because you see the world through different eyes. New cultures, new foods, different clothes, different religions, just different. Everything. And being a traveller will mean that you will embrace the differences and will be more emotionally intelligent and wise than anybody that you left behind in your home town.
7. To find themselves
This is probably a question that many travellers have been asked. "Did you FIND yourself?" whilst travelling the world. It's an important question as most people that choose travel as their passion, and indulge in it regularly, will know that it's not a case of finding yourself, but more for developing yourself and continuing to grow as a person, on this journey that we call life. The world that we live in today can be very hard. There is a lot of negativity, and people as a result experience difficult times. That said when you travel you see that there is so much good in the world, so much positivity. You realise how you can be a part of it, and how you can become a better person as a result. It gives you so much time to reflect and really puts everything into perspective, because you are truly appreciative of life and of living in the present. When you travel you are your purest self, so it's not really a case of finding yourself, but remembering who you were all along.
8. To appreciate life
One of the big learns from travel for most people will be that feeling of appreciation for the place that you left behind. Your home. Travelling allows you to find that new appreciation, and really see your city, or home town for the amazing place that it is and the reasons behind why it has kept you there for so long. Because it's awesome! As Dorothy said in The Wizard of Oz, "Theres no place like home", and she was right. Travelling the world, whilst difficult at times gives you so much time to wander, to reflect, to find peace and perspective and to see everything about life in an excitable, positive and grateful way. When you're travelling from place to place, that feeling of waking up in the morning is one of sheer excitement. What has the day got in store for you?
That feeling of gratitude when you meet a new friend or try a delicious new cuisine for the first time. Taking on a new hobby with new buddies that you've met, or seeing a natural wonder of the world right in front of you. It's that feeling of, "How lucky am I?". Whether you choose to return home or live your life travelling and settling in a new country, you will always feel love and gratitude for your home, because "home" is where your story began.