Since a young age, I’ve had an understanding of travel and visiting new places. I’ve talked on the blog before about how often my family moved when I was growing up. We moved six times before I entered high school, among North Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania. I then moved to Virginia for college, North Carolina for grad school and Tennessee for my first job.
For many years, my dad traveled a lot for work. My mom and I tagged along for some of those trips, and we also went on some great vacations in the summers. Each of those trips was a unique experience that couldn’t have happened elsewhere.
Moving frequently and my family’s vacations fueled a desire to travel and explore new places than I might not experience otherwise. Admittedly I don’t get to travel extensively often, but I know that when I do, I always take full advantage of the trip. Travel doesn’t have to be extensive, but more on that later.
I travel because…
I want to see other places, people and cultures.
There’s so much more out there than what I see in my everyday life. I spent years in school reading about how other people live in other places, and now I want to see those people and places in action. From their cuisines to their lifestyles, there’s always something to learn and gather from seeing other places.
I used to joke that I “suffer from chronic wanderlust.” While I don’t think it’s quite to that degree, I do have a strong desire to see other places. Feeding my “wanderlust” doesn’t necessarily require going somewhere long and far away. I can drive an hour or two down the interstate in any direction and get my fix.
I don’t think I’m meant to stay in one place.
Moving so much as a child has me conditioned to always want to be on the move. We never lived anywhere for longer than five years at a time, until we moved to Pennsylvania this last time. And to be honest, we really didn’t think we’d be there for longer than about five years.
I wouldn’t go straight to saying I get “bored” in one place too quickly, but it doesn’t take long for me to want to go somewhere new. If I were meant to stay in one place, I would miss out on so many other adventures and opportunities for new experiences. We desire to see the world through other lenses; therefore, we must travel.
Later this summer or fall, I hope I can take my first solo trip to a city I’ve never been to before. San Antonio or New Orleans, maybe? I’ve never been to Texas or Louisiana, period.
Life extends beyond our own local, personal bubbles.
Whatever “personal” means to you, that is. I love my little Southern bubble–in Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina–but there’s so much outside of my little bubble(s) that I have yet to see. Even each of my visits to Georgia is different in some way.
The idea of “sonder” says that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as the life you’re living. I don’t know who coined that term, but it’s almost mind-boggling to think about. No two people live identical lives, in the sense that no two snowflakes are exactly alike. Each person I see walking up and down Market and Broad Street downtown is living a life as complex as my own, and the same goes for each person I saw in the Dominican Republic, or Alaska, or Germany. Yet in a way, all of our lives weave together to create a certain experience.I travel because I want to see how the rest of the world lives. We are not meant to stay in one place. Click To Tweet
Remember: You don’t always have to go far away to see something new.
Sometimes I feel like people equate “traveling” with going to another country or somewhere super far away. Or maybe some people think that it “doesn’t count” as traveling if you don’t go somewhere exotic or unfamiliar or romantic. While I’ll never say “no” to a trip to Europe or the islands, I firmly believe that you don’t have to travel far to find a new experience.
I don’t know about y’all, but there are some “must-see and must-do” things in the U.S. I haven’t even come close to accomplishing in my life. There are just as many places and sights in the state of Tennessee–and in the wider Southeast and in the entire country–that can be just as exhilarating, inspiring and magnificent as those outside of the States.
If you have the opportunity to travel, take it. No matter how far you venture or how long your journey, there is always the chance to see a new place, meet different people and take in a unique adventure. There’s a lot we can learn from seeing and experiencing a place other than what we call our own, even if that journey takes you just twenty miles down the road.
Why do you travel? What has been your favorite trip you’ve taken? Where would you like to go next?