Why do we travel?

Travel changed my life. More specifically, one trip changed my life in one distinct and measurable way.

But is this why people travel? Are we all looking to change in some big way? It seems like it’s most millennial’s dream to travel the world – we work so we can travel, and we travel so there’s something to look forward to when we’re working.  But is the all the planning, packing and spending worth it?

I often hear a few reasons for what people get out of their travels – doing new things, seeing new places and seeing another way of living or another culture, and I’m sure these things help widen our view of life and the world, but is this “lifechanging”? And could we achieve similar things without “travelling”? Could we drive out to a suburb of our city that’s a particular cultural enclave and get just as much out of it?

I travelled to South America over the 2013/14 Christmas break. Let me paint a picture of what I was like before this trip – weekends and free time consisted of video games, DVD’s, chocolate and ice cream. I rarely did anything outdoors, let alone active. And now I’d be travelling for a month on a trip mostly by my brother and his girlfriend. We did a lot of trekking. Even camping. And I loved it.

When I returned home, I felt restless. I had an itch to get off my butt, literally. So I bought the cheapest pair of running shoes I could find and started…running. And there began my journey into physical activity.

And there is something different about being away from home. Because every day that flows by means more money out the window, you feel compelled to just do. And doing is what changes and grows us.

So maybe that’s why I’m travelling – so that I’m forced to do.

 

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