Why We Travel

Twice in the last three days I’ve said the words, “this is why we travel” to friends of mine.

The first time was to a friend that I had met traveling in the Philippines. She was going to be in Berlin for a night and wanted to meet for a drink. When I asked where she was staying and she didn’t have a place yet, I offered my couch. She thanked me. “Of course” I said, “this is why we travel, isn’t it?”

We met up in the subway by my flat, she having just gotten into town from Poland and I having just returned from Norway; the timing worked out perfectly. We ended up having a great night catching up over a few beers. This morning we had coffee outside in the sunshine and she headed off to the airport. In a few weeks she’ll be heading to Indonesia to work as a dive instructor, I’m pretty sure I’ll make a point of going to visit.

This afternoon I got a text from a friend who is traveling in Vietnam. She said, “I’ve only been here for 6 days and I’ve seen, eaten and experienced sooooooo much.” I responded, “This is why we travel”. She has an amazing itinerary ahead of her over the next few weeks and I can’t wait to hear all about it when she returns.

Travel is about new experiences, and new connections, new ways of thinking, and new ways of viewing the world, new ways to solve problems, and new ways to communicate, new ways to empathise and new ways to understand. Most importantly, travel is about forging bonds with people from all over the world; about maintaining those relationships so that you can unexpectedly drop in on a friend…and pick up right where you left off half a world away.

This is why we travel.

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