It is quite common to be among the people who thirst for the idea of travel: to immerse yourself in another man’s land, to surround yourself with the unfamiliar, and to feel a surge of energy at the sight of something new.
I have always longed for our occasional family vacations, and when I got old enough, the weekenders I share with my friends. Even at a young age, I have always known that I was born with a traveller’s psyche. Now that I am stable and independent, never has that desire to travel burn in me more than it is now. The question remains though – why do I, and most of the people I know, badly want to travel?
A common theory some people share is that traveling is a form of escape. The routinely way we live our lives builds up a strong foundation for the need to be somewhere far and different. For a tiny fraction of our time, we can sneak off to a distant land the way knights and princesses do – marching on a quest, leaving behind an impoverished and hollow life only to come back as tales of heroic pursuit.
Of course, the savvy traveler would take offense to the thought that their very passion could be minimized to some sort of escape; and I do share their sentiments profusely. There is a tiny truth to it, though. Life can be pretty damn stressful. To be able to avoid, or rather, postpone the agony of our day to day demands sounds like a good enough reason to me.
I do however think that a more profound meaning to why people travel is to feel a sense of connectedness. The world is becoming smaller and smaller and yet most of us feel a sense of detachment. Technology, in good sense, can link us to people thousands of miles away but it can also compartmentalize us from the very people we share a roof with. Perhaps travel reintroduces us with the ability to communicate. It pushes us to talk; not just with the people we visit but with the people we left behind.
Traveling allows us to feel connected, not just with people but with the landscape itself. It makes us want to be free. So often are we focused on a four-cornered screen, living and breathing the articles we read, that we forget to step out of our comfortable boxed lives. We are secretly dying to be one of those stories we read. We want to be noticed, and we want to notice the universe the way it demands to be noticed, as John Green would say.
We badly want to travel because we desperately need to connect with the world we have forgotten – the world of wonder we saw and left behind as a child. Traveling enables us to go back in time when reality hasn’t sunk in yet, when truth is not a dangerous concept, when the world is still wide open, ripe with endless marvels waiting to be discovered.
Traveling is very own age of innocence, coming to life in this time of adulthood.