Why we travel…

4 Feb

I’ve always been interested in why people travel.

I remember listening to a radio show many years ago.  The narrator gave a quote from someone which basically said that we travel so we miss the things from home so that when we are back home we appreciate them more again.  The narrator used an analogy of a patient in hospital.  The patient wants the bed next to the window yet when he gets it, he feels the draught and wants back to his old bed far from the window.

Travel is a bit like that.

There are times where even the most avid traveller wants a bed, a wardrobe, a choice of clothes rather than the same old dirty ones, a kitchen with spices and knives that cut, a microwave that he knows how to work, an easy way to communicate with locals…

Yet when you have all these things (when you are at home) you crave the uncertainty of the road.  The arriving in a new place, alone, with no plan, with all possibilities open to you,  the meeting of new people from different backgrounds and worlds, or not meeting new people and being on your own far from home where no one knows you.  Eating foods you don’t know which might make you sick or being sick and not knowing what to do.

I’ve met people who travel to work.  I’ve met people who travel to see if they’d like to work somewhere else. I’ve met people who travel to learn a language or another culture. I’ve met people who travel to find love and those who travel to mend a broken heart. I’ve met people who travel because they have money and they “can” and I’ve met people who travel wondering where the next meal might come from.   I’ve met people who are shocked when I ask them why they travel or why they picked that destination to travel to and I’ve met people who know exactly what they are looking for in their travel and in their destination.

I’ve met people who are tired of travel and those who want to travel forever, those who crave adventure on the road and those who crave normality and doing the things they do at home but in another place.

Maybe the reason for the trip changes along the way depending on who we meet and what we experience.  I suppose for me at least one of the important things is to always ask myself why I am travelling..whether that be to learn a language, or a musical instrument, or to meet local people, or to soak up the atmosphere of a city, or to see an event where it’s taking place or to learn about indigenous art or to meet an old friend on her home turf.  Maybe the reasons for my trip will be different next week, next month or even tomorrow, maybe even this afternoon.  But I’ll continue thinking about why I’m travelling and asking those I meet along the way why they are doing their journey…

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2 Responses to “Why we travel…”

  1. Gus and Eileen Paterson February 17, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    That was a brilliant piece of writing Angie, I enjoyed that very much, gives a great insight into why you are travelling, and came to the conclusion that your journey is about to come to an end and you are coming home soon, have I called that correctly? We have enjoyed all your writing, very deep at times but always in a comical manner which makes it easy to read, some writers become very boring and after a couple of paragraphs we just want to stop reading, but never that feeling with your thoughts, brilliant. It will be lovely to see you again soon, take care, lots of love from Eileen and Gus xx

  2. Gus and Eileen Paterson February 24, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    Hi Angie, was looking for an update on your blog, but found nothing, don’t know if you are actually getting our comments, hope everything is alright, take care, cheers for now, lots of love from Eileen and Gus xx

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