Why travel?, is a question I have been asked many a time.
But for me, it wasn’t a question until I set out to travel for a duration much longer than my usual vacation.
As I started to plan out my South East Asia backpacking itinerary, I started questioning myself on what I would get by traveling at this point. I have traveled before, including few solo trips too. On a normal day I would be clear on why I want to travel and on a philosophical day I would question my intentions. How will me going out, improve my current world, let alone the world around?!
When I asked this question to few other extensive solo travelers. I realized they go through the same questions at some point or the other. And like every other argument point, ‘Why travel’ is also a two-sided coin.
So let’s go heads first :
$ To awe at the beauty of a place itself, it could be nature’s beauty or human created marvels. It’s different from home and it could be serene, beautiful, jaw dropping and what not! Whatever it is, it rejuvenates you.
$ It changes you as a person. The more type of people you meet the more you change for better. You get perspectives from people whom you wouldn’t have met if you were to go to a mall in your city!
$ You get more confident when you can get around an unknown place filled with strangers. And the feeling of getting comfortable with a place in a little while gives an unexplained pleasure. Am sure its the same pleasure that explorers get when they discover a new island. OK! Alright! That’s going a little overboard may be. But yes, it makes us happy.
$ Sometimes the little time (spent in each place) could be hours and sometime it could be days. And then, we move on to the next location. We learn to let go of belonging to a place and letting go of people. It’s a lesson that some travelers consciously learn and those busy ticking off the bucket list may miss.
$ To enter a zone away from the hustle and bustle of daily routine. You get to breathe stress free air and you get to connect with yourself. An unexplained disconnect from worries of ‘yesterday or tomorrow’. You get all the time to listen to yourself or connect with the universe, its like meditation. And, if you wish, you can just go thoughtless! Peace!
You did probably say there are enough blogs about the benefit of traveling and probably the same lessons are taught even by routine life with our common struggles. Well, life is your main stage. If you perform just one act then how are your experiences to differ? If you expose yourself to more people, places and situations then you will have more experiences and you would be able to handle yourself better in routine too. That is, if only, if at all you go back into a routine 😉
Being nomadic was our inherent nature when the human race started. We were hunting for food and would move based on the natural resources. Appears our current generation is missing that, and are going back in time! Quitting jobs and enjoying nomad-ism in a new way. Be it digital nomads, travel bloggers or travelers doing frequent job hopping for the love of travel. Appears we are going back to the era of not belonging anywhere.
There are many types of travelers. And each traveler moves from one type to another at different points in his/her life.
1. Travel seekers : The ones who travel for smaller duration varying for 2 days to 4 weeks just for the fun and experience of traveling. They are busy ticking places on their bucket lists. Having a job that is of no interest but fat pay packages.
2. Fun nomads : The ones who travel long-term for 2 months to a year, for fun and to see places based on top things to do. They may earn their travel expenses on the go or end up spending their savings, earned when they were in #1 category. They have it decided in advance, to go back into #1 category after a fixed duration.
3. Self explorers : The ones who have a sudden realization that they are not where they want to be. A traveler created out of questioning self-worth, sets out soul-searching, quitting routine without any purpose. They may either find more meaningful work or end up realizing otherwise 😉
4. The explorers : Travelers who set out to explore and are sure of nomad-ism. These folks choose travel with some meaningful work along the way. They could also move back to #1 after a period in time.
Along the way many Travelers work as volunteers in different countries and do their part to find meaning in travel. These are the #4 and sometimes the #3.
That’s a full circle of a traveler. Traveling for a break to breaking the routine, to only travel!
The other side of the coin, tails –
Why should one not, only travel? :
In wanderlust if you travel forever, then wandering will become your routine and traveling could just end up being another task! Then what? Well, routine can kill!! You may have to find a new passion to live for.
At some point you will reach the self questioning mode and take yourself back to how your current job or situation felt, before you took off to travel.
Nevertheless, as you see, everyone is a traveler in one way or the other.
And my coin is still flipping heads! So, I have set out for travel, across few countries in South East Asia. I am a type 3 traveler as of now, let’s see which type I end up in! 🙂