Why we travel

Travel, travelling, vacationing, holiday: these are all interchangeable and this blog post is not about whether one group of people believe their holidays are more culturally enriching than another’s.

In 2017 I wrote a list of why I travelled, which included:-

  • The World is an amazing and beautiful place
  • Meeting new people
  • Different cultures
  • To ‘do’
  • Relaxing

It is difficult to make a case against any of these reasons. I experienced all of the amazing benefits of the above and wouldn’t change this for anything. Many people genuinely travel for these reasons and that is of course perfectly okay.

But I do think I missed the real, underlying reason why I travelled so often.

Westlife came close in Flying without wings: “Everybody’s looking for that something”. They also hit the mark with what happens when you find it: “You’re flying without wings”. I just think they got the where to look slightly wrong.

I was happy, I guess. But I felt something was missing, a part of me inside felt hollow. I travelled to find this something and many others do the same, commonly popularly dressed up as “finding yourself”. This message has been imprinted on popular culture and social media, with countless variations finding their way into ‘inspirational’ travel quotes.

I love meeting new people and love trying new things. It almost seemed a logical step that I would find this if I made every effort to travel to as many new and exciting places as possible.

So this is what I did.

I had a blast and loved every moment, but I never found that something.

I still believe my five points are excellent reasons to travel. But I don’t believe any of them will help you find that something nor can you ‘find yourself’ through travel. They can definitely make you forget you feel there is something missing, but this is trying to mend a broken arm by using a plaster.

It’s probably more cliche that travelling to find yourself, but, at least personally, the answer lies within. This blog post is probably not the place for this journey, but it has changed my travel ‘habits’. I prefer to often revisit places, travel with friends, go away and just do nothing by myself. I no longer feel I need to explore, to try and find something out there in the World that the inspiration quotes promise we can find.

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