Life, Love & the Pursuit of Why Travel Matters  

It’s simple: travel is necessary.  Take a trip and let it inspire you.  Or awe you.  Or change you fundamentally.  Or go away to lose yourself.  Or maybe to find/redefine yourself.  Or to learn your strengths and/or weaknesses.  Or to have beliefs challenged or validated.  To be exposed to a world that is so different from yours and find out that it’s not so scary after all.  Maybe it will be a combination or all of these things.   Then come back and tell me how travel IS necessary.  I won’t even care if you remember to tell me how I am so right because I want you to see it for yourself.  Travel matters.

OK let me start by stating that I absolutely detest the distinction people try to make between traveler and tourist.  Ugh gag me. Aren’t we all traveling and tourists in some way?  And don’t get me started on the whole backpacking off the beaten trail is the only way to go bit. There is no right and wrong way to travel and don’t let others’ judgements deter you from how you want to spend your time away.  I would argue that you should strive to be a good global citizen but that’s another post for another day.  Today I urge you to just go ~ the first step is easy but the second step asks a bit more of you.

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I’ve heard the refrain that so many places are too ‘touristic’ and crowded but I say that people want to see them for a reason. Here are the four Seven New Wonders of the World I’ve seen and interestingly enough, they happen to mark important milestones in my life. TL: A snow covered Great Wall of China TR: I was so proud to get this llama in front of Machu Picchu shot in Peru BL: So of course I couldn’t resist the camels in front of Petra, Jordan BR: Colosseum in Rome, Italy

So not all travel has to be profound in the same way that not all books are deep, meaningful novels. Sometimes we just need a beach holiday with the latest trashy read and that type of travel is important for our well being as well.  But for the type of travel that I’m talking about?   You HAVE to get out of your comfort zone and only you can define what exactly that means.  Maybe it’s taking a solo jaunt in your home country or going on an international trip or joining a tour somewhere exotic or not making plans because you’re a Type A personality…this can be difficult but its a necessary step.

For me, how did I get out of my comfort zone? I went on a solo trip to South America.  I had never traveled by myself anywhere and I was going for three months to a place that I never been before and really didn’t know what to expect ~ this is from Playa Blanca near Cartagena, Colombia at the beginning of my trip. Amazing how that turned into so many more months away from home traveling a wide path across the globe…

Perhaps we are willing to risk a little (or a lot) more when are outside of what is familiar and known?   And that allows us to be more open ~ to the world, to the possibilities, to everything.  So allow yourself to be as awestruck, excited and curious as a child when seeing the creations of an ancient civilization or marveling man’s ingenuity.  So eat what looks amazing or try something completely new or dance with abandon.  Or stop allowing fear to hold you back and do that thing you have always wanted to do.  Or talk to strangers and let them tell you their interesting stories and share yours.  And discover the ties that unite rather than separate us.

One of my favorite parts of traveling is that I get to satisfy my infinite curiosity and learn about people, places, culture, etc. I look back fondly on my time in Tanzania especially climbing Kilimanjaro with this incredible crew. They taught us Swahili, shared stories and laughs with us, told us about the flora, fauna, mountain, their tribe, sang songs and danced with us and became part of the amazing experience!

Lastly, I urge you to surrender yourself completely to the moments.  To become overwhelmed with emotions or wonder.  To live in the present and be grateful for what you are experiencing/seeing/doing.  To be humbled enough to acknowledge your strengths/weaknesses.  To become more accepting ~ of yourself, of the world.

People talk about travel being life-changing but that only happens if you allow it to be.  You’ll come home and maybe you won’t know exactly how you are changed ~ you just know that you are.   Travel to mourn.  Travel to celebrate.  Travel to mend your broken heart.  Travel to go see someplace that has been haunting your dreams.  Travel for whatever reason compels you. Travel because you can ~ it’s a privilege  that not everyone has.   But take that trip ~ and don’t forget to let me know when you see why travel matters.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Great post and very true. Thanks for liking mine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And you have some beautiful photos on your blog

      Like

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