Wednesday, November 10, 2010

26 Reasons Why I Travel

I realize that not everyone would do what Jacob and I are doing. Traveling is certainly not everyone’s dream.

But it is mine.

It is such an all-consuming passion of mine, in fact, that I stare dreamily at maps of the globe for hours on end. Nothing is on the maps but the countries and sometimes their capital cities. I kid you not.

In college what kept me up at night was that I would die before I saw all the places I wanted to see.

I read about the food in Ethiopia, the languages spoken in Lithuania, the safety situation in Niger, and my mind’s wheels are always spinning, thinking of the best way to get from point A to point B.

Why am I travel-obsessed?

When I first fell in love with travel, it began as an escape. I was trying to run away from myself, but travel can’t always be an escape, because you have to return and what you were running away from will await you.

Now, for me…

1. Travel is the never-ending journey to discovering myself. It provides an ever-changing, expounding vista in which to base my frame of reference to the world.

2. The more I travel, the more I am confident I am living an authentic life. By authentic life, I mean living life the way that I, personally, was meant to live it. This is because I am aware of the many different ways there are to live and I am able to actively choose my way.

3. Travel is like being able to be  a child again.

P1090750 Every morning you wake up and make new discoveries. You learn how to do things you’ve never done before. The language is a struggle. The cuisine is an adventure. And through it all, there are kind strangers helping you. This vulnerability helps for easy friend-making.

4. Traveling is freedom. I am constrained to no place and no possession. I am open to the wind. I could be speaking a different language, sleeping in a different bed on the opposite side of the world tomorrow at my own whim.

5. To travel is to be reborn. When you travel, you have no history, and in a way, no future. You are forced to live in the present. With no schedule and no concept of time, now becomes the most important time of all.

6. To travel is to learn. I love to read and I love school, but travel, for me, is so much more than either of those. It is to no longer view life through the perspective of another, but to experience the world for yourself. It is the ultimate in an education.

7. To travel is to make history come alive.

8. To travel is to have a global perspective, and not to view life in a certain way only because you were raised in a certain town, in a certain country, in a certain religion, in a certain family, in a certain lifestyle.

9. To travel is to have countless choices be made available to you daily.

10. To travel is to realize the meaninglessness of personal possessions when you live from a suitcase.

11. To travel is an education in minimalism.

12. To travel is to be in constant companionship with your loved one. It is learning how to get along when you’re never apart, when there isn’t so much as a wall between you. It is developing a partnership in all things.

 

P1090541 13. To travel is to connect oneself to the rest of humanity as you live like others live, where they live.

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14. To travel is to be entertained. When you are bored of traveling, then you are bored of the world. To travel is to make even the daily grind, like grocery shopping, an exciting pastime.

15. To travel is to develop compassion and gratitude when you see people from all walks of life.P1090525

16. To travel is to laugh at the unexpected, like when you order banku with tilapia and this is what is served.

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17. To travel is a lesson in learning to become more open. Open to serendipity, open to surroundings, open to change, open to letting others into your life.

18. To travel is to grow. When life is a permanent journey and the only constant is change, stagnation is not possible. Time is not wasted. Every day has meaning.

19. To travel is to reinforce your faith in the essential goodness of human nature all over the world.

20. To travel is to learn to separate the culture of my religion from the doctrine as I see how it is practiced in other countries.

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21. To travel is to gain confidence. This is inevitable when you realize that you could land at any spot in the world on your feet, ready to navigate, to find a place to stay, to get money, to make friends.

22. To travel is to learn patience, to realize that efficiency is not the ultimate goal of life. That there is time enough to live.

23. To travel is to be irresponsible at times, to throw caution to the wind, to accept there is danger even in being at home, so why not live?

24. To travel is to change your personal history. It’s to see your past through different lenses as you realize the benefits and limitations of the culture you were born in.

25. To travel is to see beauty in unexpected places.

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26. To travel is to learn to love and to tolerate the wonderful differences of others.

I can’t imagine ever tiring of travel. Traveling is breathing.

It is my passion.

Now here’s where I hope to get feedback…from anyone and everyone reading this…

If you had unlimited money and unlimited time, as did your family, what would you do? Where would you live? How would you spend your time? What would a typical day be like? What would your standard of living be? What would be different than the way life is right now?

Many of you would not become nomads like Jacob and I. So what would you do? What is your passion?

Being able to describe your dream may be the first step to making it a reality.

4 comments:

Sally Lou said...

if I had unlimited resources I'd probably travel as well. However, Dave hasn't traveled a lot in his life, so we wouldn't be nomads like you guys, I think we would have a home somewhere, and then schedule trips elsewhere. i think it's important to still have a profession even if you have unlimited resources, though, so you don't fall into vanity and laziness, you know?
the second thing I'd do is fix up old houses and then rent them out. It is the goal of my new blog Project Provo.

Adespain said...

Well, we are in the midst of making our passions realities. I think mostly we would be able to pay for our schooling instead of being in debt for it (Jordon's and mine). We would probably make more trips to see family. The "education" portion of our budget would be larger- which is money I spend to do educational stuff with our kids. It would include some traveling since I do consider that part of their education. That is one reason children in middle-upper class homes don't drop in their academic levels during the summer. Their families take them places (and usually sign them up with the local library summer program). Anyways. My family and education are definitely my passions. Even throughout my schooling I'd mentally tuck away things I was learning to be able to use with my family. We'd probably make trips to Hungary and Guatemala on a yearly basis (to at least one of them). Do what we can to help those countries. Working with HELP was really empowering to be able to see a need and do something about it on your own. We still need to have a chat about that organization. Hmmm, maybe we should just skype again, eh?

Astyn said...

I am glad that you and Jacob are doing what you love. If I had unlimited time and resources...I don't think my life would change all that much. My passion would still be home and family. We would probably buy a home with some land, grow a garden and focus on teaching my children. Creating a home where they can feel love, peace, and stability. To me there is nothing better than the feeling of 'home'. Of course, 'home' is much more about people and less about situation.
Someday I would like to travel again, but that is for a different stage of our lives. Happy traveling!

Jamie Valendy said...

So, I've been thinking about this post for a while now...

With unlimited time and money... First, I would pay off student loans. Then, I would help my parents financially (they've started their own alpaca farm, but are trying to do that while each still working full-time). I would pay for Jeremy to take some classes that he's wanted to take. I would write and spend time reaching out to others with chronic illnesses. I would love to be able to donate a lot of money toward migraine research, since there is such a small amount of research money being devoted to it right now. Hopefully I'd get my migraines under control, and Jeremy and I could travel and then consider starting our own family.

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