My travel partner turned to me recently on one of our long walks and asked,
“So, why do you want to travel?”
He knows why, mostly, because we talk travel aspirations and travel logistics all. of. the. time. Nevertheless, it’s a great question. Articulating our reasons is very motivating to get through this stage–the getting organized, letting go of stuff, renting out the house, and preparing to say goodbye stage. It’s a grind, honestly, and saying out loud why we’re bothering is very heartening. I gave a couple of reasons, then a couple more, and soon I had six solid reasons why I want to travel.
- Traveling makes me smarter. When I’m in a new place, I learn new things at a faster clip. I learn things I didn’t even know I didn’t know.
- Traveling makes me kinder. Nothing builds my empathy muscle more than seeing what life is like for people in other places. Travel helps me get closer to that understanding of my fellow humans that I long for.
- Traveling improves me. I learn to make do with less and complain less. I’m more flexible and more patient. I lighten up. I like the person I am on the road, the one who feels–and tries to demonstrate–a lot of gratitude.
- Traveling gives me a lot of time with my traveling partner. Justin is a terrific traveling partner, both literally and in the big journey of life. Our time together while traveling tends to be imbued with our best qualities, both individually and as partners.
- Traveling makes me happy. I’m lucky enough to have a naturally pretty high baseline of general contentment. But when I’m traveling? It’s often higher.
- Traveling feels like living. It’s not that long of a life, really. (Four thousand weeks, if we’re fortunate, as Oliver Burkeman has pointed out.) When I’m in a new place learning new things, I have that delicious feeling of squeezing out the juice, of noticing the finite quality of my life and living it.
We can do the hard things that lie ahead to launch into this traveling life. We’ve got lots of reasons.
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