Why do people travel? Is the answer the same for everyone? Does it change depending on people’s personalities, their likes, dislikes, motivations or how deep they were bitten by the travel bug?
Why people travel is something that has been discussed for years, and the only people that can answer this question are the ones that travel. But know that whatever they tell you, is unique to them. Not everybody has the same reasons why they travel.
And I am not going to pretend I know why people travel. What I do know is that Ben and I are people and we travel, so we can share with you a few reasons that are unique to us.
So here are the top 10 reasons why we crave the need to explore, travel ’till the end of time and live a nomadic lifestyle!
At first it was the adventure, to do new things and see a different world. But that evolved quickly. It’s wasn’t until we actually traveled as nomads for a few months and returned to the rat race that we realized why we really travel.
10. To Cross Things Off Our Bucketlist
That’s a simple enough reason. We have things to do and see, and we aren’t going to wait until we are old and gray to do them.
9. Meet New People
Before we started traveling, we underestimated how big of a role people would played in our travels. Our greatest adventures, fondest memories and most times, the reason why we fall in love with many places are because of the people we’ve encountered along the way.
The people that shared their homes, meals, culture and intellect with us, are some of the reasons why our faith in humanity was restored. We keep traveling because there are so many crazy, weird, awesome, different, happy, fun, adventurous, and intelligent people out there in the world and the only way to meet them is to keep traveling not working, watching T.V. or staying in one place for the rest of our lives.
8. Find Our Future Home
The world is too big to just grow up, raise kids, and die all in one place, our home. How can one call a place home and say “I can never see myself living anywhere else”, when they’ve never been anywhere else! Once we have seen the world in it’s entirety then and only then will we pick a place and say, “yes, this is truly home sweet home and I can’t see myself living anywhere else”.
7. Try New Food
Eating the same stuff all the time can be boring, and just going to different restaurants to experience a countries culture doesn’t cut it for us anymore. Why would we go to an Italian restaurant when we can go to Italy and taste true Italian cuisine?
And don’t even get me started on Chinese food in the USA.
Not to mention that these days everything is genetically modified. We want to eat food that’s not made in a lab or has chemicals in it. We need and crave the authentic, healthy, non GMO, non-chemical, fresh local food from different countries. Is that too much to ask?
6. Motivate Others To Travel
We want to motivate and inspire others to travel because it helps people grow, and experience true freedom and the way life should be. We are strong believers of sharing knowledge and mental wealth. If we know that traveling is where you can get the true meaning of life (i.e love, happiness, and freedom) why would we keep it to ourselves? We wouldn’t, we aren’t that selfish! We want you to travel as far and as long as you can. To us we believe traveling should be a rite of passage just like birth, marriage, and death.
5. Challenge Ourselves
We love a challenge, and seeing how far we can go beyond our comfort zones. We realized that fear shouldn’t be a deterrent but a motivation. We have stayed in strangers homes via Couchsurfing and Airbnb, hitchhiked in “dangerous” places, and lived off of less than $25 a day.. and no, we are not starving ourselves. I have also climbed an active volcano, and Ben jumped off a 15m (50ft) waterfall (he was scared to death but still did it). We have learn to embrace fear and challenge ourselves as often as possible. And one of the bravest thing we’ve done, was stop living the American Dream and started working on making our own dream come true, regardless of how crazy it seemed to others.
Note: If you decide to sign up to Airbnb via the link above, you (and we) will receive $25 in Airbnb credit.
4. To Learn
We are philomaths. The world is our teacher and we are its students, not by force but by choice. We enjoy learning new languages, different cultures, customs, places, food and different ways of life. The world is our University, and we can guarantee you, it’s cheaper than your 4 year American institution. You will learn more out in the world than in those books geared towards teaching you how to pass a test. Traveling is constantly teaching us about ourselves, and our relationship. We are learning what really matters and what’s truly important in this world. Here is a little hint, it is not money!
3. New Perspective On Life And Humanity
Living in America, you are brainwash by the media to believe that everyone is bad and trying to fuck you over. Or that the world is a dangerous place and you are born to work. It so much more than that! Traveling showed us and continues to show us that all that bullshit is false.
By going to different places we get to see the world through our own eyes, not through the media, google or books. We get to create our own opinions, ideas, experiences and stories. We see firsthand that the world is not as dangerous (if it was, we wouldn’t be traveling.. or would we?) as people paint it out to be or that everyone is evil.
A Chinese proverb says, “Don’t listen to what they say, go see.”
So basically, If we just swallow every bad shit we hear and believe it is true, we will never meet the awesome people around the world, explore and understand different cultures and customs. We would never truly know what the world has to offer.
“Happiness is a way of life not a destination.” Words cannot explain how happy we are when we travel, maybe it’s because we get to stuff our face with food for only $2, or meet crazy, fun, adventurous people, or the freedom to just be. Whatever it is, we need it. And traveling is the only thing that can give it to us.
1. To Be Free!
Traveling opened our eyes and exposed us to the true meaning of freedom! Freedom is not working eight or more hours a day, paying loans, bills, two week vacations, or being a slave to the money. Freedom is the ability to be self controlling. It’s to truly live, to be free to learn, think, choose and enjoy as you please. Freedom is something one cannot simply describe but feel. Trust me, once you’ve gotten the true taste of freedom there’s no turning back!
Ultimately we travel to be the eagle in the sky! To be Free!
Common Travel Misconceptions
Let me briefly state that Ben and I don’t travel because we are rolling in dough or millionaires bathing in tubs filled with money. We are budget travelers which mean we travel the world on the same amount that a person would pay rent for a month in NYC. The amount you probably spend on rent, we could travel for months. We just choose to spend our money on our happiness and freedom!
We also don’t explore the world because we are running away from our responsibilities. If anything we are running towards our responsibilities. Our responsibility to be happy, to live freely, to live a life that was not picked out for us but one we chose ourselves. We all have a responsibility to ourselves before we have any to anyone else.
Lastly, we don’t travel because we don’t have people that love us back home. If anything they love us enough to let us go to grow, learn, and live on our own. They want us to do things that make us happy.
We travel because we chose to, because that is when we are the most alive, the happiest, and the freest!
Honestly, I can sit here and list millions of reasons why we travel but if you truly want to know why people travel you have to do it yourself and see what the fuss is all about. Pack your bags now and start your own adventure.
Need some more inspiration? Continue reading…
Why Do Other People Travel
We asked a few fellow travelers why they travel and what travel means to them, here are their answers.
Q1: Why Do You Travel And Why Do You Think Others Should Too?
Lauren from Twirl the Globe says: “I find that travel gives me a new appreciation for my life and the world around me. I think we often lose sight of how lucky and privileged we actually are, and I think travel does an excellent job of reminding us and grounding us. I think no one should live their life without seeing another part of the world, because they are missing out on so much that the world has the offer, and missing the opportunity to learn, and grow themselves as an individual.”
Apryl Chapman says: “I travel because I can’t imagine not traveling. I always have. To pinpoint why I travel now- it’s for the experiences. You aren’t going to have any experiences sitting at home. Many people don’t know that you don’t have to travel to exotic places to have experiences, either. Many times, you can find something new and different to do in your own city or town, or in a close by city or town. You just have to look. Everyone should travel because there is a whole world out there that needs to be seen, and experienced.”
Laura from Savored Journeys says: “Once you’ve been somewhere completely different than you’re used to, a place with a different culture and way of life, it stays with you forever. The memories and experiences I’ve had while traveling are worth more than anything else I could buy. That’s why I travel. When I started traveling, I had no idea how much it would impact my life, but now that I know how much it changes you for the better, I would encourage everyone to break out of their comfort zone and travel somewhere completely different than they’re used to at least once. I think we’d all be happier and more content if we did.”
Semi & Mook from Route Nach Unkannte Strasse say: “For us, traveling is about striving to see and understand the world on our own terms, instead of what we see on TV and online. We tend to focus on off-the-beaten path locations because there is less of a tourism veneer to mask what life is really like. Travel should of course be fun, but it should also be about forcing your comfort zone wide open and putting yourself in situations you won’t find back at home. If everyone traveled, the world would be a better place.”
Marissa says: “As a family, we have a strong sense of adventure. We love to see new things, travel to new places, and try our best to truly experience the world we live in. In a society that greatly values consumerism, it is important to us to try to teach our kids to value experiences over things. Family travel is about connecting with each other and our world in a deeper way. Traveling provides a great opportunity for us to unplug from the grid and enjoy the world, as well as each others company”
Sally from Sally Around the World says: “I first traveled when I hit rock bottom. I was in a job I hated and just came out of a long relationship. My life as I knew it had completely changed. Travel challenged me to meet new people and explore my boundaries. My views on life have now changed. I no longer live for money or possessions, but I want to be happy and I want others around me to happy. Travel makes you realize you need to live your life and stop worrying about the small things. I worry less and smile a lot more now!”
Q2: What Does Travel Mean to You?
Apryl Chapman says: “What doesn’t it mean to me?! <laughs> Seriously, though, travel means to me going outside your comfort zone. Whether it’s flying to a destination solo, navigating another city’s or country’s transit system, trying a local dish or drink, all of which gets you outside your everyday self. When you get out of your comfort zone, you tend to discover your true self; and sometimes, you learn that you can do things you never thought you could. Going outside your comfort zone is a good thing!”
Cory says: “Travel to me is all about the experience, about meeting new people, and having adventures that wouldn’t necessarily happen without being there at that perfect time. It isn’t about rushing around to see all the sight’s, if I miss a good one, I will catch it next time. As long as I leave with a great memory, and maybe even a new friend that’s the best part of travel. Of course seeing the sight’s goes with the territory often as well, however racing around to see it all is not how I wish to travel. Travel is what I live for, traveling is more comfortable to me then being at home.”
Ryan from Blogging from Paradise says: “Seeing new cultures, meeting new people, freeing myself, eating new food, leaving my comfort zone, developing my confidence, learning a few words of new languages – or more – being present, being grateful for my gifts, and pretty much doing these things to free me, and to free other folks who are on the fence about travel. No better way to live, and if you want to experience a rich life, chances are, that life resides WELL outside of your hometown, in a far off land, to change your perceptions, your prejudices, and your bias.”
Now that you know why other people travel we would love to hear why do you travel? Or why do you want to travel?