Travel has a different meaning for everyone but have you ever considered what it means to you? It has been said that we are either running from something or we are finding something. Our origins are as hunter-gatherers, and it is this desire to leave the old and find the new that causes us to grow and mature.
The reason why I travel is firstly to connect with myself, to find myself through a deeper understanding of what drives me, and what causes me to stop and think. Travel makes me ask “why” of myself and the things I discover, but most of all travel connects me to the world in which we live. Life is meaningful because of those we connect with and ultimately because of the people with whom we build relationships. Every relationship has a reason, and as you may have experienced these relationships last a moment, a season or a lifetime. It is when we look back at these experiences gained through relationships that we realise the immense wealth we have accumulated.
But what if we don’t travel? Interestingly, surveys are often done and people are asked to complete the following sentence “I regret not …” More than 50% of the respondents said they regretted not travelling more.
What stops us from travelling more? This is the question has consumed my thinking and I will share my thinking with you.
The need to have more than we actually need … perhaps we have been conditioned into thinking we need fancy everything. A fancy house, car, clothes, a fancy job so we can get more fancy stuff and perhaps occasionally go on a fancy holiday.
The need to impress ourselves or the people around us will not add to our lives. In fact, it will probably steal from you and you will spend valuable time maintaining, insuring and possibly even paying off these fancy things. This is the time that could have been spent doing the things that will actually enrich your life.
What enriches our lives? People and our experiences add value to our lives. Generally, if our experiences are with other people, this will make the time even more valuable to us. Meaningful relationships and friendships complete us as we are social creatures, we are designed to live in community with others. Isolation causes us to stagnate, without other people life becomes meaningless.
Travelling to new places makes us more aware and ignites a renewed curiosity in us. We become more aware of those around us, and when we connect with these people we often discover more about ourselves than we discover about them.
But isn’t travel expensive? Travel is expensive if you allow it to be, but careful planning can help you save a great deal on your travels. Find cheap flights and book well in advance. Don’t overspend on accommodation – you will be spending only a few hours at your hotel or B&B so choose something affordable. If you stick to tourist places then they are always more expensive. You must always realise that locals live in the country and they know where to find anything at the right price, so look for where the locals hang out and shop and you will save a fortune.
For me travelling is all about the possibilities – Who am I possibly going to meet? What new place can I possibly discover? What can I try that I have never tried before? What will I learn about myself that I do not know? What will I accomplish that I did not think was possible?
You need to find your reality and it is out there somewhere. Learning from the experiences we share with others is the best way to learn and the best way to travel.
When we learn to travel, we have discovered the meaning of learning.