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Why is travel so addictive?

NEW ZEALAND | Saturday, 23 May 2015 | Views [565]

Why is travel so addictive?  What is it about travel that drives us to create opportunities to get out there and do it?  I suppose when I say ‘us’, I’m referring to myself and those others who are often referred to as having the ‘travel bug’.

So much is involved; thinking, planning, endless research, booking, saving, storing belongings, making sure pets stay alive, and (if traveling for more than one month), getting leave or quitting one’s job!  This is generally of course the economic source that is allowing us to do this thing called travel in the first place.

And yet, we leave it.  In fact, the goal becomes to leave it – leave the job, “leave it all behind”, leave the belongings, and go!

What drives this?  This intense desire to put one’s time and income into what is essentially an extended experience; one which we’ll come out of with no particular material gains, except memories, many, many photos…and probably a few t-shirts and postcards.

But maybe this extended experience allows us to feel that we are really living, and surely that is always worth it?  I have always loved the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste it, to experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience”.

Maybe part of our travel addiction is the desire to gain these experiences, or to fill the ‘memory bank’ for later memories.  Maybe it’s a bit of a status thing.  Lets face it, we generally think of those well-traveled individuals as pretty interesting right?

Maybe it harks back to explorers of old; those ancient individuals who braved the unknown and went out beyond what was safe… just to explore and discover.  Some of this was financially driven, to find new land and resources – but these explorers still had to get out there and do it!  Discover, search, uncover, be challenged in multiple ways; ways that they couldn’t dream of, or possibly, truly anticipate.

I like to think the final ‘explorer’ option is one that my personal travel addiction is wrapped up in.  Maybe it’s a bit of a vanity, wanting to compare myself to those historical adventurers.  However, when I think about the world and the amazing range of places I have yet to witness, then the intense desire that I feel is to see and experience these locations.  I want to uncover so much about the world, and allow myself to really feel my reaction to those moments… and not just snap a photo.  I want to explore.  Others might have been there before me and seen something first, but the point is that I haven’t yet.  My reaction is entirely unique to me, and so it is invaluable to me.

Travel is to play.  Isn’t that often what children do when they play?  They are exploring; exploring their imaginations, exploring their new skills and experiences.  Even when we become adults we still want to have that feel of play, and travel allows us that.  We become explorers again. 

I want to travel through life with passion and enjoyment, and to meet and share this with kindred souls along the way.  I want to make the most of moments, challenge what is sometimes my frustratingly narrow mind-set, and to have some fun!

“To travel is to live”, Hans Christian Anderson.

Tags: experience, explore, journey, nomad, road trip, travel, travel addict, travel bug, traveller

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