Welcome to our first installment of Travel Talk. This month, we’re talking about the why of travel – why leave the comforts of home and travel somewhere new? What, if any, are the benefits? Why are some people compelled to travel? Why bother at all?
I consider myself a homebody that loves to travel, which kind of covers both extremes of the urge to travel or not. I’m perfectly happy spending time at home, surrounded by my books and cats and garden. I find that I have to really push myself to get up and get out – it’s a scary world out there! But when I do go I find I love it – seeing new things, experiencing different cultures, trying something that I wouldn’t at home. I come back with stories and memories that add to my life.
The reasons to travel can be as varied as there are people. It can be as fundamental as checking items off a bucket list, pursuing a hobby or interest, seeking the sun or the best snow slopes (depending on your preferences) or just a chance to say “I’ve been there.” And there are a lot of good-for-you reasons to travel too – it can make you healthier, happier and stronger. I think one of the greatest benefits of travel though is that it exposes you to different cultures, opening your eyes to our differences – and our similarities. You become a “citizen of the world” and create a stronger connection to others.
Some great books to get you thinking about the benefits of travel include
Travel as a Political Act by Rick Steves
A Year Off: a Story About Traveling the World – and How to Make it Happen for You by Alexandra and David Brown
Rediscovering Travel: a Guide for the Globally Curious by Seth Kugal
At Home in the World: Reflections on Belonging While Traveling the Globe by Tsh Oxenreider
So why do I push out of my comfort zone and travel? Lots of reasons, of course, but my top three would be:
- Creative Inspiration. Whether it’s seeing great works of art or beautiful landscapes, I find lots of inspiration for my creative side.
- To Learn. Learning is not just for school children. It’s an ongoing experience for our whole lives. Learning makes me happy and engaged.
- To Have Stories to Tell. Travel never goes without hitches or the unexpected. In the end, they all make good stories both to share and to remember.
From Michelle: While in college, I was lucky enough to spend nearly four months in Vienna, Austria on a foreign term. Throughout this trip is where I discovered my love of travel. The ability to discover different cultures, people and places was life changing and eye opening. I think I love to travel for a couple of reasons. One of my first loves is art and architecture and seeing a country’s treasures in person is a passion. Connecting art and architecture with the larger world and its history puts it in context and makes it more meaningful. I also love the memories that travel provides. Reminiscing about seeing a painting that was on your must-see list or remembering a funny scene on the street is a gift. Travel is something where you never run out of options for your next adventure.
Now it’s your turn – why do you travel? Let us know in the comments!
P.S. Don’t forget to pick up your Travel Talk notebook at any Davenport Library location!