The best reason to travel: yours

Someone once asked me if I was traveling because I was running away from something. The question took me by surprise—I had to stop and ask myself if I really was running away. But the answer was quickly ‘no.’ In half-Italian, half-English (equalling a less-than-ideal communication style) I tried to explain my motivations for travel. They only came out as simple superlatives—’Excitement!’ and ‘Adventure!’—without a trace of nuance that you’d normally have with a common language. I think he mainly asked because it seemed unusual for a solo American to hang out in his small Apulian town. I later found out he was happy with my answer, as though I had passed a test.

A post on Travellerspoint makes me think of this—it asks: ‘Is there a right or wrong reason to travel?’

I can think of one that I’d personally consider ‘wrong’: going solely because others want you to go. But otherwise, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong reason. Aren’t there as many reasons to travel as there are people traveling? Who’s to say what the right or wrong reason is?

Maybe you’re waiting for a new job to start. Or you need time to consider what your next job should be. You’re looking for inspiration in your life. Or you’ve found inspiration in a certain destination. You see an opportunity in your schedule. Or maybe you can’t quite put your finger on the reason.

The original post came from someone who decided on a whim to travel because he was unhappy with his job. He wondered if he was traveling for the ‘right reasons,’ and not just escaping responsibility. The responses gave good advice all around (mainly: you don’t need a reason), but I especially liked one: “Travel may or may not be the change you need, but at least you’re trying something…It’s a proactive step.”

Try to understand your motivations as much as possible, but don’t doubt them. You’re listening to an instinct, a call to the road. And that’s reason enough.

Posted by | Comments Off on The best reason to travel: yours  | September 24, 2008
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

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