What’s Behind the Passion?
Recently, I was in my home country Bulgaria and talking to my parents about traveling and my next travel plans. I was showing them pictures of my last trip, and suddenly, they asked me “Why do we travel?”. They were not asking me personally but thinking in general. I found the question very interesting, and we started discussing, trying to find an answer to what is the secret behind the passion. We asked ourselves a series of question and decided to research the problem. Some of the things we found were quite interesting.
What’s the first thing we do when we get a little time off of work?
Go somewhere fun.
See and experience something you’ve never seen before.
Indulge yourself in a new culture firsthand.
And it all goes back to Travel.
But why do we Travel? Why do we love it so much? What drives us to go to new places? Let’s take a look at what’s behind the passion for traveling.
A Brief History of Human Travel
Us humans have traveled the world since our very beginning. Hunter-gatherers of the early days traveled quite a lot just to get their food.
They did not have the sophisticated weapons that we have now to kill our prey with ease and from distance. Very often they had to run for days until the animal is tired and they can take it.
Nomads were members of early communities, who lived in different locations, moving from one place to another in search of grasslands for their livestock, never settling.
As civilizations developed, Travel did too. We quickly started spreading throughout the world and expanding our horizon past our “backyard” Marco Polo was a merchant and explorer who braved the Far East and documented his travels in his book “The Travels of Marco Polo”.
His desire for both discovery and wealth led him to embark on an epic journey to Asia that lasted 24 years. His book inspired generations of travelers after him. Humans started traveling to the New World and soon another explorer Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas.
The ancient Romans were perhaps some of the most well-traveled people of the ancient world. They built a massive network of roads in the Roman Empire that stretched up to 53,000 miles. These roads became the basis for most major travel through Europe. They were dependable and well built and lasted for many years after the fall of the Empire.
All this sits at the base of modern travel, though we have of course improved on comfort and speed since Roman times.
Let’s Get Away From It All
One of the biggest reasons why we travel is to just get away from everyday life. A nice break in the mundane slog. It can prove quite useful for rejuvenating the spirit. For those that feel stuck in a rut, travel can be an excellent source of inspiration and new energy within.
I can entirely relate to his. I am a professional dancer and teacher, and I teach quite a lot. And of course, I love my job, but sometimes my brain just needs a break. I find that traveling is the best therapy for me. Every time I come back from a trip and walk into the studio, I feel so inspired, and my body and mind are ready to dance again.
Traveling the world is the perfect way to spark productivity as well. Just getting away can clear your head enough to allow all the good vibes to come to mind. I also find that planning and preparing for the trip gives me an immediate boost of positive energy and I thoroughly enjoy it too.
The new surroundings bring out our inherent desire for discovery and curiosity. Something in our DNA, perhaps a bit of Marco Polo, rises up.
When removing ourselves from our daily activities, our bodies enter a natural state of relaxation. We separate from the problems that generally plague us.
Live Like the Locals
Beyond the need to discover or to relax, we have a desire to learn about another culture. But What is the secret behind the passion?
We are human, so above all else, we seek to connect with other people. Many find that they travel to new places just to immerse themselves in the culture. Talk to locals, learn about their world. Perhaps this is because we know that if we were born in a different place, we would be completely different. All it takes is a simple change, and suddenly our identity shifts.
When you watch an Amazonian tribal ritual, you get a feeling deep inside your gut. That feeling could just be excitement, or it could be something more. It could be a subconscious realization that you could’ve been part of that ritual if you grew up in that tribe. No matter what culture you find yourself drawn to, that feeling is always there. It may just be the most profound reason that we travel. Because we know that there are people out there that have something to offer a gift of culture.
Why Do We Travel?
What is your WHY?
I am hoping we can spark a conversation about the secret behind the passion. Leave a comment below and let me know what is the main reason you desire to travel?