Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why do we travel?

I would bet that there are as many answers to that question as there are people in the security lines at the airport. Why do you travel? To get away, to experience new places and new people. To stretch your knowledge of the world we live in? All of those reasons and many more.

There is some travel that we do out of obligation. Business trips to far flung places, trips to visit family. But the trips that we take because we want to, because we can, because we need to, that’s a whole other story.

For me travel has to do with renewal. The chance to take ourselves out of the routine of our ordinary days. Places where all of the hustle and bustle has no bearing on me, where I can be anonymous and just take in the sights and sounds around me. How nice to be able to shrug off our day to day responsibilities and just go where our whim takes us.

There’s something relaxing, almost magical, about being in a place where I don’t understand the language. All of the voices become a background chorus. A back drop of the exotic that lets you know right away that like Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas anymore.

There are many schools of thought on HOW to travel. There is the organized and agenda’d travelers who can tell you right where they’ll be on any given day of their trip. Planning makes sense but too much of a good thing can back fire. There has to be some forgiveness built into your schedule. If not any missed connection could be catastrophic. There has to be time for the spontaneous side trip. Time to eat lunch at a hidden gem of a restaurant that you’ve stumbled across. Time to just be.

I don’t travel nearly as much as I would like to. Life and work often find a way to limit my wanderlust. When I do travel it’s for relaxation, to recharge my batteries and take myself out of the routine obligations of life. Why do you travel? What one place or places do you secretly yearn to visit?

Originally posted at Lazy Lightning

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