The Meaning of Travel
Travel has a different meaning for everyone. We all seek something different when we get away from our daily routine. For me, travel began many years ago merely being a tourist running around seeing all of the sights the guidebooks told me I simply should not miss. “Hello Eiffel Tower”; take the obligatory photo. “Here I am riding a vaporetto on the Grand Canal”; take the obligatory photo. This is a thrill for many and this is ok. I remember hosting a couple in London not too long ago. One of the visitors barely lifted her nose away from her guidebook. I couldn’t help but say, “Look up! Look up! You’re missing London.”
I am a gentleman traveller and a curious one at that. I seek experiences and moments that have meaning. I want to know the people of the place where I am visiting. What do they think? What are their customs and will they share them with me? What can they teach me about life? What can they teach me about my home country? And, I’m always curious about people’s level of happiness. I don’t know why. It’s simply a curious pursuit of mine.
Perhaps at this point in my life peeling away the superficial bits that separate cultures are what I find more appealing. Quite frankly, I think deep down we are all the same. The father and leader of the nomadic Berber tribe worry how his children will fare in the changing world. The twenty-three-year-old kid in Bali wonders what truly interests him and what he will do with his life. The examples go further, yet the stories are the same that we know in the western world.
Our experiences from our own cultures are what separate us only in the way we try to solve problems. We are all trying to “make it” in this world and I’ve seen this over and over wherever I go.
This is the purpose of this blog. I want to inspire you to travel as far, and wide, as is possible for you. I want you to have experiences you never thought possible. I want you to learn that you’re braver and stronger than you know. Travel for your own reasons and not where a magazine tells you to go. Go off the beaten path and scare yourself. Challenge what you know and think how you can become a better person because you travelled.
I have flown well over a million miles. Does this make me special? Quite frankly the answer is no. In the literal sense, I received two luggage tags from American Airlines for that milestone. There is no meaning in that. I overheard someone once say I jet across the world because I am trying to find myself. To that I say, I did not know I was lost. I have even heard I am having a wild love affair in London. Aside from the shallow notion of that statement, I can only say – “Yes, I am having an affair; an affair with London.”
There is meaning in a journey. A journey is not just A to B, it is also the in between. A journey is the moments, and the memories, and glimpses of a time gone by. What I feel, the colours of the world, the taste of the air, and the lives touched along the way – including mine. A journey is making new connections to a place, and to cultures foreign to my own. It is a change of perception. A journey is finding myself on the path less travelled. It is cautious steps and giant leaps of faith.
A journey is taking time, taking a breath, charting my own course, and being a part of a story worth telling.
A journey is reaching the end, and then discovering I am only half way there… For a free spirit like myself, this is of the utmost importance.
Why do you travel?
That said, you might like Extending Boundaries, a travel video showing how travel can lead to personal growth.