So with my travels and tours it amazes me to see people traveling alone all over the world. However, my friends are the first quickly tell me ‘yea, like you don’t do that’. I just never realized, think that I do but it’s true. I’m not sure if it’s the call of the unknown, being constantly in motion, the experience of something new and discovering something… not here.
It beacons me and us to take the first step. You know the quote, “Not Until We Are Lost Do We Begin to Find Ourselves.” What is it about finding ourselves that makes us want to explore or travel? What happens if you do find yourself, do you ever find yourself?
I think the more amazing part of the journey is not the finality of it – not getting to the answer and not finding yourself but getting lost in the search. I think subconsciously we don’t want to find the answer because it signifies completion.
Imagine yourself standing on top of a cliff looking into the vast infinite ocean or on top of a mountain looking out as far as the eye can see. Your mind starts racing with random thoughts, questions, taking in the beauty the mystery and you want to find the answer but finding the answer completes the search.
When we just stare at the vastness, be in the moment and just take it in — that’s when the sense of awe and search for answers intersect.
I look at destinations I can go to, Mexico, Thailand, South Africa, Slovenia because I haven’t been there before. I read articles online or hear stories from friends and am amazed, in awe or interested in reliving that experience – just to say I’ve been there or done that; once I do however, it’s over. And the cycle continues with the next trip. Go get those country stamps on your passport, you’ve been here before so cross that off your list – it’s complete.
So what makes us wanderers? I didn’t think I’d be one but I am. I’m always looking for the next place to explore or piggy back on. I remember my first trip – as mentioned in a previous post, to meet family in Houston that I’ve never met or spoke to before I landed. I didn’t know what they looked like and only identified them after hearing them call out my name after I landed. What made me take that step and go?
There are a ton of essays out there on why people travel – we are nomads after all, we want to lose ourselves and then find ourselves, but what is it that sparks that interest? Is it some trigger in the brain? I know after Houston I wanted to travel, and after backpacking Europe in 2000 that I really wanted to travel abroad. I got the itch, and started feeling the itch if I didn’t go international every 2 years; now it’s more like every year I have to be somewhere international at least once – Canada doesn’t count.
What makes us wanderers? Why do we want to be anywhere but here?