An intense love of travel has inspired me to start this blog, so I can think of nothing more appropriate as the subject of my first blog post than a simple question: why in the world do we love to travel so much?
Let’s face it. Our beds at home are pretty comfortable and time zones are pretty significant. And who really likes airports anyway?
I get sick within thirty seconds of smelling jet-fuel. I always forget my perfume. And every day on vacation is a bad hair day because I never have enough space to pack all my curly hair products.
But somehow, I magically forget all of these complications, not just once in a while, but every time I travel. Because if I didn’t forget these things, if I am any semblance of a rational person, I would probably never travel again.
Ok, maybe this is an exaggeration. But definitely don’t ask me about my future travel plans the next time I am on a bus at 6am to the Ryanair airport in the middle of nowhere with two hour’s sleep and a paper due at noon.
Being that you are reading this post, I can only assume that we share a passion for travel in common. And being that we are both human, I am also assuming that you have your fair share of gripes with your own travel experiences. I would love to hear some of them in the comments of this blog, so please share.
So, then this brings us back to my original question – why? Why do we travel? Why do we give up our nice, warm, comfy beds in exchange for potential disaster, or at the very least some scratchy sheets?
I can only speak for myself. And honestly, it has taken me a really really long time to figure this out. I travel because I want to connect with people. This may sound a little strange. I will try to explain.
I don’t mean “connect” in a literal sense, like I am going on singles tours to meet my future husband. I mean, I travel to satisfy an ever-clamoring (sometimes annoying) voice deep down that wants to understand people, everywhere. Where they live, how they live. What they do for fun, what they do for work. I want to understand everything, from their routines to their extremes, to their history. I am fascinated.
When I come home from my latest exploration, I see home differently, every time. I’m exhausted, my washing machine is never happy to see me, but I’m happy because I’m sporting this new-found perspective about the people who have welcomed me into their city. While I probably never absorb much in my brief visits, it is enough to whet my appetite for more. And the memories of this place fly all the way home with me, and simmer for a while as a little hop in my step for the next few days. And ultimately, they make the world a little smaller for me. Which somehow, is a good thing. 🙂
(The above photo was taken of my friend Lizbeth, struggling with her suitcase on the umpteenth staircase of our trip to the south of Italy last September, with no elevator in site.)