Here’s why I travel. Here’s why I’ll never stop.
I travel to escape.
It’s a flaw. I should be doing normal twenty-something get-a-grip-on-adulthood things over the weekends: meal prepping, cleaning, deep cleaning, Marie Kondo-style deep cleaning, searching for a new apartment, cleaning out my inbox.
But instead, every Friday night, I hop on a flight to a new city (or fill up a tank of gas for a road trip) and head out.
I Travel Because I’m Running
When people ask why I travel, I cop out with “oh just because” (in a small voice so it sounds like I don’t have a reason when I really do).
I find it too hard to say I’m running towards something. I’m not running away from anything.
I’m running towards early-morning conversations at indie coffee shops. I’m running towards stories held in museums and dives. I’m running towards food that’s going to make or break my senses. I’m running towards loud streets and quiet walks in the thick of trees.
I’m running towards places that ignite my senses – all five of them – because they’ll be still and silent if they fall into routine. So each time, it’s a different place. It has to be.
It has to be because I’m running towards memories that will last me forever.
I want a jar of memories so full, they spill out. So that even if I forget, I’ll remember.
But I Also Travel Because I’m Afraid
I’m afraid of getting caught in a rut.
And maybe my quarter-life crisis hit four years early but travel is my rope. I’ve allowed it, time and again, to pull me out before I sink in.
And even when I do sink slightly into the quicksand of routine (you know the feeling), I claw, scrape, and scratch towards firmer ground – a level that challenges my senses – so I know how it feels run again.
I travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape me (one of my favorite quotes of all time).
I Travel Because I Want To Be Part Of A Bigger Story
When I travel, I feel like I’m dancing in a Burj Khalifa sized library instead of just stepping into one page. Every cobblestoned path and brick wall and windowfront and smile is carved up of tales.
Some I may miss.
But I’m a story chaser. I have this urge to see, feel, and experience as many stories as possible.
So I try to.
I Travel Because I’m Addicted To Change
Growing up, my mum, dad, and I always moved. We moved from India to Jamaica (I was too young to even remember that move). We moved a few times in Jamaica. We moved from Jamaica to the United States. We went from the South to the North to the South to the Deep South.
A part of me got used to moving. It was something I was good at. It was something that felt familiar and normal (my very first blog, which I started in middle school, was called Girl On The Move).
And now, if I stay too long in one place, it doesn’t feel right. If change starts slipping by, I begin to crave it.
I Travel Because I Love Experiencing Food
I love food (pretty much any kind, every kind). But that’s not why I travel.
I travel to try what’s traditional and to try what defies traditional. I travel to taste 100-years of history in one bite. I travel to see how some chefs passionately combine ingredients that really don’t seem like they go together into something so richly satisfying.
I travel to witness creativity in motion.
I Travel To Meet People
I’m an introvert to the core.
But when I’m traveling, I end up talking (not by choice. usually, because I’m lost and I need directions, I’m trying to order something and have no idea what to get, or I’m in an indie bookstore and someone’s debating on getting a book I’ve already read).
But it’s these tiny little conversation starters that have led to life-long friendships.
Over the years, meeting people has become a huge part of why I travel. Everywhere I go, I get introduced to people from all walks of life (I will never forget Tom Wheeler in Farmington or the Golden Girls, as I like to call them, in Little Rock).
As a person who hates starting conversations, this used to be my least favorite part of traveling. But now, it’s the part I look forward to the most.
I guess, in a way, travel has changed me.
I Travel Because I Love The Journey
If you’re a frequent blog reader, you know that I have soft travel goals. I mean, I have a distinct travel goal but y’all know I’m miles away from reaching it.
I’d love to visit all 50 states, yes. But I honestly don’t care whether that happens by 2021 or 2050 (contrary to my bio – it’s forever being updated).
Because in the end, I’m obsessed with the journey. Stopping by practically every small-town along my travels has led me to meet some incredible people, have some incredible conversations, and see some incredible sights that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Because in a way, this slow learning and growing gives me more of a sense of accomplishment than I know visiting all 50 states in one shot ever will.
That’s why I travel – to escape, to be, to eat, and to reach.
Why do you travel? Let me know in the comments below! As always, I love hearing your thoughts.
P.S. When I first started this blog, my answer to why I travel was to expand my horizons. But I didn’t include it on this list of reasons because that’s honestly not why I travel (though it took me a long time to figure that out). I want to be 100% honest on this blog. Expanding my horizons has always been a byproduct of traveling for me. It just kind of happens (at the best and most unexpected times).
P.P.S. To keep this list of reasons why I travel as raw as possible, this post has not been edited. If there are any spelling or grammar mistakes, I apologize.