Summer’s here, and that means most people will either have already boarded their cross-continent flights or will do so in the near future, so it’s an opportune time to write about travelling. We aspire to travel as much as we aspire to pursue our dreams, and this a very important factor in understanding why we feel the need to travel.
In many cases, humans travel to escape the very lives that we have set up for ourselves, the work, family, friends and the metropolitan commotion that clouds our minds every instant. Travel is escape, it is freedom, although temporary, from the hectic routine.
When you see this image, what springs into your mind? Often times, images like these remind us of travel, of being isolated, of being “off the grid”. That’s important. Humans weren’t thrown into a fast-paced lifestyle like the one we lead today. It’s a social construct that we’ve designed, and it’s ironic that we jump out at any opportunity to leave behind the work and routine that we, ourselves, chase in desire of ‘fulfillment’ and ‘success’.
Travel is an opportunity to learn, to experience new things and to encounter (although temporarily) new people. It’s often said that experience is the best teacher, and likely so. You may study the histories of nations and places, but experiencing them is a different thing altogether.
You meet people, of different cultures, ethnicity and those unfamiliar situations force you to become open-minded, accepting without prejudice. You feel connected, ‘one with’ the local culture. Ever feel a gut-wrenching sensation while leaving a certain place because you begin to become attached to the locale and its people? You know what I’m talking about.
Food. Nothing makes you more satisfied than a good meal. Or so I’m told. Travel allows you to confront foreign cuisine, authentically.
Travel is also an opportunity to break habits, free yourself, mentally, physically and emotionally. Routine can drain you, surrounded by the same people and things everyday can rid you of inspiration and motivation to seek higher ground in life, and travel allows you to revive that.
Allowing you the time to ideate and observe. You may have noticed that after your travels, certain ideas/motifs stick with you, and serve as inspiration for something else when you return. This is the kind of sublime ideation that travel imbibes.
You take things as they come, because while travelling you are out of your comfort zone, you don’t have a firm grasp on everything, which stretches your horizons as a person and forces you to adapt to things as they are, not as you are.
You let loose, introspect on the necessities of life, and if you’re determined, when you lose touch with the people that are in your life 24/7, you realize how self-sufficient you are.
“To know your friends, travel with them. To know yourself, travel alone”.
Travel rekindles that childlike inquisitive nature that still resides within us, even if we’ve buried under the stress of work and the daily grind. Travel is a challenge. You challenge your bored mind to find something deeper, the ultimate vagabond experience, a cavalier attitude, the sensations of adrenaline rushes.
On a note of conclusion, I’d like to once more, bring back Sonder:
sonder n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.