The misleading lure of travel

BY Taylor Davidson | March 28th, 2007
California, USA

Why do we travel?

Do we travel for ourselves, or do we travel for the glory?

As I contemplate all the places I want to go, I still wonder in the back of my mind why I travel. Is it for personal fulfillment and enrichment, or an escape? Is it the joy of being foreign, or being different? Is it the need for a constant reminder of what I have? Do I need the occasional disruptions and requisite uncertainty to let me properly appreciate the regular rhythm of daily life? What is the lasting impact of a trip on my life?

Perhaps it all depends how we travel.

As much as I fly to far-flung parts of the world (out of the necessity to maximise time at my destination), being parachuted into foreign locales is no joy. The journey is the opportunity to adapt and understand the context of the destination.

It is the difference between being a tourist and a traveller.

The journey of a traveller allows one to experience the environment on a deeper scale, while being dropped into a new place as a tourist just brings the joy of feeling different, of being foreign. It is a temporary, fleeting feeling, whereas the traveller can draw on his experiences far after his journey. The enduring impact of the mode of travel cannot be underestimated.

With that in mind, Thursday I am off for a real journey