Why I Travel, and Why You Should Too
May 20, 2016
May 20, 2016
Travel is grounding, and no, I am not making a pun about airplanes. It really is grounding, to experience cultures, places, and most importantly, people from all over the world. There’s a reason why “travelling and finding the true meaning of life” is one of the most recurring themes in young-adult and feel good films. Travelling pushes us out of our comfort zone and challenges us in unexpected ways. But too many of us go through life without ever taking that uncomfortable leap of faith that either makes or breaks us. As someone who has been constantly travelling since I was a 6 month-old baby till now, here’s what I have to offer.
Traveling can make you feel like a fish out of water, but it can also make you feel bizarrely amazing things, like a fish that can fly. Changing things up, trying out a new environment, language, or even a new neighbourhood can often bring the sort of enlightenment that protagonists in films like Eat, Pray, Love (2009) strive for.
I know what you’re thinking, and I always thought the same: money. It’s true! Not all of us have the means to travel; to afford expensive tours, hotels, and destinations. While we strive for meaning, we simply do not have the means.
Luckily enough, we are in an era of constant innovation, crowded by risk-takers, and game changers who have paved the way for the fellow young and curious. Various alternative travel services have made it extensively easier for the younger generation to explore without their wallets exploding- thank god.
Very seldom do we stop and think about why we travel. I recently went through my childhood photo albums and I realised that over the years, my family and I had collected photographs, but not memories. I had gone to every other tourist spot in cities like Singapore, and Kuala Lampur, but I couldn’t tell you the first thing about these cities. I could barely tell you how to even say hello in their native tongue, yet, I have travelled to these destinations multiple times.
As I grew up, I realised that I had been travelling wrong all this time. I had travelled to a countless places, visited every other notable landmark, but what it lacked was meaning, context, background, and understanding. It wasn’t quality travel and in many ways, it wasn’t travel done right. That is when I began to right my travel wrongs by going to smaller, more remote places, collecting experiences which may not have a popular trending hashtag, but held more meaning. From taking a red-bus tour in New York City, to living in a small apartment in Brooklyn, meeting local baristas, and learning about the lives of starving artists, I have discovered what it means to truly travel with an open heart, and an open mind.
May 20, 2016