I’ve dreamed about traveling and experiencing new countries for as long as I remember. If leaving out of an account the cruise trips from Helsinki to Stockholm and Tallinn when I was in elementary school, my first trip was to Fuengirola Spain to visit my friend andher family when I was 12 years old. And I fell in love with traveling instantly. Figuring out what to pack, the wandering around in airports, experiencing a new country and a different culture from where I was accustomed with. Since then I’ve visited over 20 countries and eager to see more. But I began to wonder: why I travel? What’s in it that I need to back my backpack and escape from my home again and again?
Travel to Escape
This is probably the most personal reason to travel and it is the first reason that comes to my mind. I admit it, I travel to escape. But escape from what?
In my opinion, if you are happy where you are, you don’t want to move from that place. I guess I’ve been, and still am, searching for myself, who I am, where I belong to and what I want to do in my life. I’ve come a long way from where I’ve been, finding myself and it is a lifelong trip for searching, questioning, learning, asking and doing all that over and over again. I think I’ve learned most about myself while traveling. Staying in an another country, in a new culture away from the habits I’m used to do day after day gives me the opportunity to view the life I’m living in my home country. And if I find something I’m not that happy with, I’ve got the possibility to figuring out how to change that from distance and taking my time.
Even if I’m happy where I’m at the moment, sometimes I just need to escape from the everyday life and its duties and thoughts. It’s easy to get accustomed to the repeating routines and chores day after day. Going away for even a few days or half a week gives me the chance to air my thoughts and most likely gives new answers to the puzzles I’ve been rolling through my mind again and again. It’s all about viewing my life from distance and from a new angle. Escaping is often a fresh start for something new!
Travel to Experience
Travel to experience and learn from the new things you’ve just run into is probably one of the best things about traveling. You never know what’s going to happen. Nowadays, I don’t plan much my trips beforehand. I just figure out where I would like to go or where I can find the cheapest flights. Possibly book a night or two in a hostel, get the basic information about the place, take my passport and go. I can figure out what I want to do when I get to the location. Sometimes I’ve got a thing or two I want to see or do and for the rest of the trip, I just go with the flow. The best things happen when I least expect them and I’ll probably end up having the most fun too!
And the people I meet random. They are what makes the trip. I travel quite a lot alone but they are the trips I’m almost never alone. Solo traveling is one of the best possibilities to meet new people from everywhere around the world. People I would never meet otherwise. Listening about their stories and their backgrounds, the world is full of amazing people. It’s like the Asian t-shirt text: same same but different. The point about traveling is the people and the atmosphere they create. It doesn’t matter where I am if I’ve got good people around me.
Travel to Learn
In the end, it’s all about learning. Learning about myself, other cultures, other people. I learn from the new experiences, I learn from the ideas I get when I look issues from a different angle. And traveling gives me a bucket loads of new things and ideas to absorb and learn. I don’t ever want to stop keeping my eyes, ears and mind open from the world because I think that’s the moment when I grow the most and enjoy the life to the fullest.
Traveling is all about experiencing different atmospheres, flavors, colors, smells and situations. It’s all about refresh and renew your old thoughts and habits. It’s about learning, from you and from others. Traveling is what keeps the mind open and helps to understand a bit better who you are, where you come from and what’s happening around the world. I’ve got only one advice to myself: Never stop traveling.