From time immemorial, humans have been travelers. What is the driving force behind this urge to explore the world? For what reason do we feel compelled to leave our comfort zone and look for something new beyond the horizon? To put it simply:
Why do we feel so compelled to travel?
While every person is likely to turn to travel for reasons of their own, I believe there are seven major causes behind the universal appeal of travelling. Even though this article is written from a personal standpoint, everyone should be able to relate to these quintessential motivations.
1) Seeing the world
This is quite possibly the most obvious reason that draws me towards travelling. There are lots of interesting things to see and do out there across this green and blue orb called Earth. There are interesting destinations to explore, amazing monuments to visit, and exciting people to know. I could spend my entire life moving around, and never once run out of new things to see.
2) Escaping from routine
Sometimes you have to miss what you have in order to value it. That’s another reason that often prompts me to pack my bags and go somewhere else; escaping from the uneventful day-to-day routine is exciting, and it will often help me appreciate said routine after I come back. Home is a much sweeter place to be after spending some time out on the road!
3) Looking for romance
When I feel as though I’m getting caught up in an emotional rut, travelling can be a great way to shake off the lethargy. When I’m out exploring the world I feel much more alive and receptive to new experiences, including romance. When you travel looking for romantic experiences they will naturally come to you, and many lifelong couples met this way.
4) Visiting family members
When you have family members spread across the world, travelling is a great way to reconnect to your roots and get reacquainted with distant relatives. This is another reason that prompts me to leave the comfort of my home on a regular basis: it can be an exciting way to improve bonding between my family while seizing an opportunity for adventure and exploration.
5) Looking for answers
Quite often, I find myself traveling because I want to find answers. They can be answers to specific questions that occupy my mind at the time, or it can be broader existentialist or religious questions. This is especially true when travelling alone; the extra time I get to be with myself really helps me think, which in turn tends to make the answers flourish quite naturally.
6) Exploring different cultures
It’s been a long time now, since I first realized that people are all the same no matter where I go. Coincidentally, that’s something I only realized after witnessing all kinds of cultures and ways of life. After seeing a world rich with contrasts you eventually start looking past the surface of things, and see the common aspects that bind us all, regardless of race or culture.
7) Improving self-knowledge
This is arguably the least obvious reason why people travel, but all the while I feel it’s the most universal and widespread reason. As you explore the world, you also improve your ability to relate with others and understand their points of view, and you gradually improve your self-knowledge.
By learning to understand other human beings, I’ve learned to better understand myself, and that’s one of the biggest gifts I’ve picked up during my travels.
This guest post was brought to you by the UK Holiday Places group, which I consult frequently while looking for inexpensive accommodations during my European escapades.