When I decided to quit my stable job to see the world, I was a bit shocked when everyone’s initial response was, “But why?” At first I simply answered, “Why not?” But when I started thinking about it, I realized that the reason I travel is actually so much more complex.
I travel because it keeps life interesting. I have an innate need for adventure, and the world has so much to offer. My heart races when I book a trip somewhere new, because I know that while not necessarily easy or fun, each day away from home is always fresh and exciting. I interact with people of various backgrounds, explore new places, try unique foods, and take part in different activities. Travel allows me to escape the daily grind and break up the monotony of an otherwise routine lifestyle.
I travel to quench my inquisitive nature. I believe that people are intrinsically curious and we constantly strive to fulfill our need to “know things.” My desire to learn sometimes leads to things as insignificant as Googling, “how to cut up a pineapple,” but the fulfillment in figuring out the answer is short-lived; and the curiosity itch returns all too soon. To truly satisfy my inherent curiosity, I need to explore things bigger than myself. I need to step outside my bubble and learn about the world in a broader sense. Travel feeds this curiosity and quenches my thirst to know, but this thirst will never really go away – and I don’t want it to.
“Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
I travel because it opens my mind and teaches me things I never learned in school. I didn’t understand how lucky I was to grow up in a house until visiting a poverty-stricken tribe in northern Thailand, where the toilet was a hole in the dirt. I didn’t appreciate my affluent schools until I helped build a classroom for a poor village in Costa Rica. And I didn’t grasp how intelligent the Incas actually were until I witnessed Machu Picchu in person. Exploring the world has opened my eyes in a way no book or teacher ever could. On the one hand, I’ve realized how trivial my personal bubble is in the grand scheme of the universe; but on the other hand, the diversity I’ve experienced has led me to appreciate how unique and precious each individual is. Each time I travel to a new place, my mind and heart open a little bit broader and my perspective changes a little bit more.
I travel because it pushes my comfort zone and makes me a stronger more confident person. I enjoy navigating around a foreign city, trying to communicate with someone who speaks no English, and making friends with total strangers of various cultural backgrounds. I thrive on the challenge that accompanies exploring new places, especially when traveling solo, and seeing how far I can push the limits.
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” ~ Unknown
It’s not always easy. Sometimes I am afraid. I am afraid of the insecure lifestyle, of the uncertainty of finding a job afterwards, and of the nagging doubt that maybe I should just work hard now and enjoy myself later. But since I’ve identified my fears, I am able to conquer them and move forward pursuing my passion. It is risky; I’m not naive. But I’ve accepted it as a risk I want and need to take. Because at the end of the day, my desire to experience what the world has to offer is greater than any fear that could hold me back.
Most of all, I travel because it makes me feel alive, and it’s a wonderful combination of happiness, enthusiasm, and love. I travel because it inspires me to do more and to be more. I travel because it ignites passion that’s like a fire inside of me, and I want that fire to burn as brightly as possible. Whatever you choose to do in life, whether it be travel or something else, let it be something you’re passionate about. Life is too short to live without passion.
As always, keep on livin’ pura vida ✌