The Reasons We Travel For. Inspiration For The 21st Century Traveler (Part 3)

Have you read  Tourists vs. Travelers. Inspiration For The 21st Century Traveler (Part 1) and The Ups & Downs Of Travel. Inspiration For The 21st Century Traveler (Part 2) yet?

Have you thought about traveling to get away from it all? Don't! It's the wrong reason. Plus, it's been tried before and, believe me, it never works. It might pour balsam on fresh wounds, but the effect of this remedy doesn't last long. As the bumper sticker says, "Wherever you go, there you are." Travel fails as escape but it succeeds as confrontation - confrontation with our old selves that, deprived of their usual confirmatory surroundings, may yield to a new one.

But travel has it's own price. And I am not talking only about money here. There will be sacrifices in terms of human relations. Not everybody understands the traveler. I know my parents don't. They believe we are here to leave something behind, something material, palpable. I don't share their opinions. I'm sorry if being myself means failing them. This can bring a bitter-sweet taste to any trip. But then there are people who sold everything they owned and embarked on a life of adventure. Indefinitely! No regrets there, and they are an inspiration for so many of us! In life, you can buy things or you can buy experiences. What makes you happier?


However, taking into consideration that you might have a limited budget and you might not want to sell all your earthly possessions to live location independent for the rest of your days, taking the right trip is infinitely important. Not only go for cheap holidays abroad but also choose a place that is good for your soul. Meet the locals, learn about their culture and about yourself, let go of your inhibitions and habits, start feeling alive, dust off your high school Spanish or French or German, stop texting, try new foods, and bring to life the crystallized parts of yourself that have gone dead from routine, fear, stress and worry.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

In a society where depression is transforming into an epidemic, travel becomes imperative; because travelers not only discover themselves and the world anew, they often go the extra mile that gives them a special status; because they get to do something their friends back home never did, and that sets them apart in a good way.

Miscou, New Brunswick, Canada / Île Miscou, Nouveau-Brunswick, Canada

We live in a donkey with a carrot world. Today's Western society gives us little means to fill those huge shoes it has prepared for us. But traveling is a creative solution, a great strategy to cope with this damn demanding society that asks from us to be winners without really giving us the opportunity to get in the race in the first place. Travel raises the self-esteem, boosts our creativity and confirms our worth, while helping us understand our place in the universe.

So, please don't just stay there waiting for the depression to catch up with you. Go conquer something, do something you can be proud of, get a sense of purpose and live a trail behind you. Others will come to build the highway, don't worry about that.

There is only one warning: travel may be addictive for you. One trip may not be enough. You risk to get back home one day just to realize that your comfort zone has slightly shifted. And you may want to have a lifetime of explorations. Bon voyage!

What are the reasons you travel for?

Photos via Flickr Creative Commons