Now, this is going to be a quite serious post. I’m sitting in my kitchen, where a huge world map dominates the wall in front of me. Every time I look at it I start drawing imaginary lines for travels and feel some strange emotion deep inside of me. What is it and why do I feel this way?
I often run into travel blogs posts about people’s reasons to travel, and this made me think about the big question:
why do I travel?
It seemed hard finding a real answer at the beginning, but then many reasons started to occur. It’s almost an infinite list, but I’ll try to sum up at least the main ones.
- Do it before you’re forced to stay home. Circumstances beyond one’s control can happen all the time. I know this sounds a little pessimistic and sad, but one day my parents will get older and may need assistance, and I want to be with them when they need me.
- There’s too much out there to see. How can I say I know the world, if I don’t see all of it first? Even watching the best National Geographic is never the same as being there, feeling the atmosphere, the sounds, the smell of the actual place. I love being struck by cultural shock. I want to see it all!
- Where do I buy a house? I just turned 27 and the idea of buying a house has never touched me. Or, to be more exact, sometimes I thought about it, but how can I buy a house if I still have to decide where I’m going to live? As far as I know, I could fall in love with, say, the Philippines and want to spend the rest of my life there. But how can I know that if I don’t visit the place first?
- Acquaintances. I’ve traveled enough to know that everywhere in the world there are great people I’ll get along with very well, and are just waiting to meet me! Seriously, I’ve met so many great people abroad, and this makes me even more optimistic about traveling, even solo.
- Great stories. Every trip will be the source for great stories and memories, and even when I’ll be old and back home, I’ll have all these beautiful things to think and write about forever. I’ll never regret any trip, even the toughest one, because at least I lived my life.
- Inspiration. I don’t know why, but as long as I’m home I can’t get any inspiration at all. I mean, I live in a beautiful place and I’m not denying it, but I think it’s quite common to take it for granted. I want to see what’s out there, and I often found this made me appreciate my hometown even more when I come back. Not because other places are “worse” than this, but just coz I get the chance of seeing my hometown from an external point of view.
- I can’t get enough. If there’s a wanderer soul inside you, once you start traveling, you’ll be fucked. I can’t get enough. I’m moving to Egypt on September and I’ll be spending 8/9 months there – I want to visit Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel in the meantime – and I’m already thinking about next year’s South America project. Isn’t this a drug?
- No schemes. I hate routine, I hate the idea of having a job I don’t like, a house mortgage, an infinite series of identical days to live until the end of my life. I just don’t get it. I want to be free from these schemes as long as I can.
- Give a sense to life. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I came to the conclusion that travel is the only reason I live. It’s the only thing that makes me feel alive. One day there will be love, family, who knows? But at the moment this is all I want to do, really. Even if it costs me some sacrifice (i.e. not much shopping, not seeing my family and friends for long times, etc. Luckily, I have internet and I can keep in touch with people when I’m away). Nothing else than traveling could make me really happy.
- You’re not the crazy one. I had prove of what I’m saying here when I spent a month on my own in Cairo, Egypt. Back home everybody was telling me (or silently thinking) I was crazy. Someone even asked me “But you have a job here, why do you go there?” – ha ha ha. Not even worth answering. But in Cairo I met many other people from all over the world and I didn’t have to explain the whys and wherefores. We just had so much in common without even speaking. I was not the crazy one anymore. Loved it.
- Photography. I love photography. I can’t say I’m a photographer for 2 reasons: (1) I still have a lot to learn and (2) I can’t buy too much equipment with my budget. So it’s going to be a slow process. I attended a 3 months course in New York City last year and loved it. I plan to attend another one in Cairo in the next months. A good excuse to travel, uh? And also, as I told you before, I get inspired by travels and this leads to great shots.
- Need to move. I’d like to know if you guys feel the same, but I can’t stay in the same place for more than a couple of months. I can’t really explain it, but after, say, 3/6 months I feel like I want to move on and see something completely different. It’s almost a physical, painful sensation. Then, maybe, I’ll feel I want to go back to that place so bad, when I feel I missed something. Ugh!
- (this is an “extra” reason… kinda personal) Problems at home. Without having to spell things out, I don’t have the “perfect family” and this kinda hurts. I try to stay away from this as much as I can. This way, when I’m away I “deny the worst memories, and recall the best thoughts”.
Having said that, I’m curious to know what you guys think. What are your reasons, is there anything else I forgot? It’s hard to explain why one wants to travel forever, the only answer is “because”. Full stop.