Monk initiation ceremony outside of Mandalay, Myanmar.
Last week when I wrote the post about how we are trying to figure out life-travel balance, I was reflecting on why we travel. And then I got a little sappy, because the reasons were so many:
We travel for that first look at all of your possessions sitting there in corner, packed up and ready for the road, and your heart swells from all the memories and it almost bursts in anticipation of new ones.
We travel for that feeling of putting your pack on for the first time in a long time and remembering how good that feels. And for all of the subsequent days when that good feeling is long gone, but excitement for new places is still there just like on day 1.
We travel for the knowledge that a new destination is going to surprise you, overwhelm you, and most definitely will be all different in hindsight from how you anticipated it – but you also know that you have no idea how all of this will go down.
We travel for that moment when you first step out of the airport and the fresh air hits your face – it’s so distinct in any one place! – and you put your game face on, Let’s Go!
We travel for that moment when we first take the public bus in a new city, and the 45 minute trip goes by in 45 seconds because we are so intently studying every passenger around us trying to glean any insight into the new culture that we possibly can.
We travel for those sounds of unfamiliar language, those new smells, those visual cues that are same same but different.
We travel for breakfast. It’s the best and most important meal of the day. It’s also so different, and yet so delicious, all around the world.
We travel for that familiar travel routine – pack on, pack off, how many pieces of luggage?, spot check, passport check, visa check (oh shit?) – which by now feels as good and worn as any routine that includes the office and errands.
We travel for the sunrises, and for the sunsets, and for every moment in between and after.
We travel for that moment when we have to literary pick our jaw off the floor because something somewhere is so astoundingly beautiful. You sit / stand / lay there and realize that the world is so fantastic.
We travel for the people and their stories – because as beautiful as nature is, as fascinating the monuments are – it’s the people who make travel special. And it’s their stories that give true life to a place.
We travel for pre-planned get-togethers with old friends and for the serendipitous encounters to make new friends.
We travel for a perspective – on what it means to be happy, to live life to the fullest, on what is important to us and what is completely inconsequential.
We travel to understand the world a little better. We may never know it all, and that’s ok, but we want to know as many stories, customs, beliefs and values as we can.
We travel for each other, because we understand and communicate and love better.
We travel for adventures yet to be had.
What do you travel for?