Why Do We Travel?

As we all are painfully aware, the pandemic has brought a tremendous amount of heartache. People have lost loved ones, jobs, homes, businesses and so much more. Most of us have made sacrifices in order to keep ourselves, loved ones and neighbors healthy and to prevent the spread of the relentless virus. Some of those sacrifices include refraining from our favorite activities, whatever they may be. For theTravelsketcher and me, and for many others, one big sacrifice was to put our travel plans on hold.

Going places

I have spent many hours while sheltering in place looking at photos of previous trips and dreaming of the day when travel would be safe again. Why is travel so appealing? I have been contemplating this question for a long time. Not everyone enjoys traveling, but if you’re one of those who absolutely loves to travel, the past year and a half has been challenging for sure. In the search for an answer to my question, I looked at various travel quotes and found some great ones that capture the appeal of travel and why so many of us just can’t get enough of it.

One of my favorites is a quote by Anthony Bourdain. There was a thoughtful tenderness behind his tough, gritty exterior, as he was always able to sum up his impression of a city or country so poignantly. “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach.

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes.

And of course, this one by Mark Twain is perfect: “Travel is fatal to bigotry, prejudice and narrow mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” Susan Sontag writer, filmmaker, teacher and political activist.

“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” Mary Anne Radmacher, author.

Four years ago we took a five week trip to Europe. About a week before we left, I was listening to the radio on the way to work one morning. The topic of the show was “what is your trip of a lifetime?” Most callers were mentioning places like Australia, Greece, and The Maldives. One young person called in and the DJ said “Hello, you’re on the air, what is your trip of a lifetime?” The caller replied loudly and enthusiastically: “L.A.!!” I’m sure most listeners were laughing as I was, since here in Seattle you can get a round trip ticket to LA for a few hundred dollars and be there in two hours. But hey, we all start someplace.

Many people referred to our European adventure as “the trip of a lifetime”, but for us it wasn’t. Yes, it was a fantastic trip, and we are still very grateful for the experience and opportunity, however, we have plans to spend much more time traveling. What it boils down to for us is that we want a lifetime of trips rather than one trip of a lifetime.

As I’m writing this, we’re waiting to board a flight to Salt Lake City. We plan to spend the next ten days visiting some of the National Parks in that part of the country. The Utah National Parks have been on my bucket list for many years, so I’m thrilled to finally get to visit them. And as Anthony Bourdain said, hopefully we’ll leave something good behind.

It’s time to board our flight, we’re off on another adventure.

Stay safe and healthy,


2 thoughts on “Why Do We Travel?

Add yours

  1. Great article! I love traveling for the adventure. I still remember my first trip to Dutch Harbor on the Aleutian Chain. Just getting there was an adventure! Enjoy your trip and I’m looking forward to your photos of the parks!

    Liked by 2 people

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