Why do people travel? What is it that drives our wanderlust and attracts us to the idea of stepping out into the wider World, to throw our hands up in the air and proclaim, ‘I’m gonna have an adventure!’ Here’s 11 reasons why people travel, and why you should love to travel too.
*Guest post by Danny Newman from What’s Danny Doing*
This is a big question, and not necessarily an easy one to answer. Indeed, I’ve often thought that, in some ways, it makes far more sense not to travel. After all, home is comfortable, predictable…safe? Many people feel that the World outside is generally unknown and altogether more dangerous, unpredictable and uncertain.
If, as humans, we have evolved to prioritise our survival over almost everything else, why does world travel remain so appealing? Our brains are specifically oriented around protecting us from threat. Yet there seems to be something about travel that pushes us through this intrinsic focus on survival and makes us love travel.
11 Reasons Why People Travel
What are your travel reasons? Travel is a daunting prospect, but we still sling a backpack on and go do it. Why? Let’s take a look at the benefits of travelling and discover why we love to travel.
Keep reading to discover exactly what drives people to hit the road, and why you should too!
1. To test themselves
Travel goes against a lot of what we, as humans, are built to want.
Stepping into the World is often scary and uncertain. Amongst all the intense positives, the road ahead is always paved with difficulty and hardship.
For some people, this is reason enough to want to go. Simply, the importance of travelling for them is that they see the challenges that lie ahead and lean into it, determined to overcome them.
Think about the people who undergo extreme tests of physical endurance, such as ultra-marathons. You might ask: “Why on earth would anyone do that?” But it’s exactly the challenge, the hardship, the pursuit of excellence and the desire to surpass the limits we set for ourselves, which makes it so appealing. I love travel.
Are you one of these people too?
2. To rebel from the norm and take the path less travelled
This is a big one for me. I look at the traditional trajectory through life that many of us take and think, ‘Jeez, that looks miserable’.
From school, to uni, to career, to retirement etc…It all just feels too normal, too ordinary…and I want my life to be amazing and full (see ‘Live fully’, below).
I don’t feel ready to accept this path and sideline true living until I’m in my 60s. Travel is a fantastic way to break away from this typical route. Keep reading travel articles like this and you might feel the same way too.
Are you game for breaking up the norm? Do you want to go?
3. To scratch an itch
Some people simply talk about an irrepressible urge to get out and travel; the travel bug just seems to be inherently there, often from a very early age.
Equally, some people have particular experiences they want to have in life: akin to a bucket list, where travel is the only way to make them happen.
Think about riding a camel through the desert, scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, or placing a prayer note in the Western Wall. Travel will ease that restlessness and show you a whole new World where that irritability and restlessness fades away, and abundance and fulfillment rushes in. I love travelling.
4. To follow in family footsteps
Some people come from a long line of travellers in their family.
Having been surrounded by travellers and raised in a family where travel was part of normal life, it’s only natural that someone would want to want to go out and have an adventure of their own.
Do you have any family members who have been gallivanting around the World?
5. To explore the World for what it is
This one seems like a fundamental reason why people travel. The World is big and there’s a lot to see out there!
For some, the allure of experiencing and exploring different countries and cultures; witnessing novel customs and social practices and meeting all manner of different people from all around the planet, is the biggest motivation to have an adventure.
Which cultures and unknown worlds compel you to pack it all in and venture forth?
6. To live fully
This is the ultimate reason why I travel.
For me, my travel love comes down to this: Life is short and you never know when it is going to end. Keeping this in mind, the thought of living anything other than a full life, packed to the seams with experience and memories, is not worth thinking about.
To paraphrase a travel quote I came across a while ago: ‘It is not the years in the life, but the life in the years that counts’.
Travel is an ultimate way to pack life into your years. Go get it.
7. To have an adventure
Call it being a romantic or a fantasist, but there’s often an allure to the idea of exploration, discovery and adventure when it comes to my passion for travel.
I have always loved the stories of intrepid pursuits and the amazing endeavours of people throughout history who have travelled far and wide in search of adventure. There’s something fundamentally special about it.
What history are you going to make in your journey through life?
8. To escape from something
Travel can be an easy way to run away from things that are difficult to deal with at home.
I’m also guilty of this: my desire to travel is often at its highest when I feel particularly challenged by a situation at home. If I’m having a melancholy moment, my immediate instinct is to whisk myself away to some lost corner of the globe.
I caution against using travel as an escape though.
It might be a temporary distraction, but constantly running from adversity is to our detriment in the long run. Sooner or later the things we’re trying to escape from will catch up with us.
Rather than running, I reckon it’s far better to confront whatever it is in the moment. This way, the issue gets resolved far more readily and travel is kept as a purely positive pursuit.
9. To develop as a person
Travel is an amazing tool for self-development.
The adversity that you face on the road, coupled with the sheer depth and variety of experience, all come together to grow your personality, strengthen your resilience and generally bolster and build who you are.
I’d say this is one of the main advantages of travel. I put a lot of who I am now down to the fact that I’ve spent some time on the road.
10. To make themselves more employable
Among the many benefits of travel, its impact on your employability can be another key reason that some people take to the road.
Contrary to the beliefs of many, travel is said to enhance your chance of employment rather than limiting it.
Go travelling, and your chances of employment should not be negatively impacted.
Indeed, your maturity, experience in new cultures and dazzling tales of foreign exploits will only help your bid to secure your next job!
Take a moment to think about how travel could help you further in your dream career.
11. To gain life skills
Why is traveling important? To gain life skills. Similarly to how travel helps you develop as a person, the skills you can develop overseas are often another key reason people choose to travel.
Think about volunteering with disadvantaged communities overseas, doing an internship/placement that interests you with an organisation abroad, spending time on a farm while working for free accommodation…the list goes on.
The number of life skills you can develop through travelling beggars belief.
Where should I travel?
What is your reason for travelling?
So, there you have it, 11 reasons why people travel! And that is by no means an exhaustive list! I’ve covered many of them but I’m sure there are tonnes of other reasons I could add to the pile.
What makes you want to travel? Do any of the reasons above strike a particular chord? Tell me why travel is important to you to inspire us all.
Drop a comment below with your personal reasons to travel.