This is a question I’ve been asked a lot lately. It mostly comes from my 3-year-old son George. He keeps saying, “Why mommy?” why? ‘ (Yes, it’s as annoying as you imagine!)
Me: George, you need to brush your teeth now
Me: Your teeth are very beautiful
Me: If you don’t, it will get dirty and your teeth will hurt
Me: Because the stains on your teeth start to eat away at your enamel
Me: [takes a slow deep breath] Please brush your teeth. You don’t need to know the science behind it because you’re her 3 year old.
This is an interesting question. Because when you’re an adult, it’s rare for someone to stop you and ask you what you’re doing and why. We do so much on autopilot that we often forget to even ask ourselves why we are doing something.
When a French woman recently asked me why I travel, it really made me stop and think. She wasn’t being rude, she was just curious and asked me why I was traveling.
“Well, that’s my job,” I stammered back.
“But why did you choose it as a job?’
“I like traveling…” I began, knowing that was a pathetic answer and not at all what she was looking for.
Over the next few days, I kept thinking about it and realized that there is always a reason behind everything.
So what makes me want to travel so much? Why did I work so hard to make travel a part of my career? Why did I want to go backpacking in the first place? (which led to this crazy career)? Why are holidays always so important to me?
Many people who travel are running away from something. They may have things that happened at home that they don’t want to go back and face. But for me it’s not. There are two reasons why I love traveling, but the main reason is because I’m scared.
Yes, fear is what drives me to travel.
I’m really scared of getting older and not doing everything I could and regretting it. There is nothing sadder than an elderly person saying, “I wish I had done that when I was younger….’
I can’t imagine anything worse than sitting in a rocking chair thinking about missed opportunities, places you should have gone, hobbies you should have pursued, adventures you wish you had. That applies to everything, not just travel. I want to read every book, try every food, meet every person, and see every movie. And of course, travel everywhere.
We only live once. Life is beautiful and short, it’s such a cliché to say this, but this is not a rehearsal for the real thing, this is the real thing, and you can only do this once. You only get one chance to do it all, so you want to do it all. And I love blogging about these trips, not only to inspire others to do the same, but also to keep a record of my adventures online so I can always look back and see what I’ve done. You can remember everything that happened.
I want to spend my life making memories and this blog is the perfect way to capture all of them.
I worked in London for three years, and when I look back on those three years working in an office, you know what I remember? Nothing. Really, not that much. Because I didn’t do it much. I go to work, and after work, I go out for drinks, sometimes I go out to eat, and then I come home, watch TV, and go to bed. Weekends were reserved for hangovers and recovery after a busy week at work. It wasn’t really a big deal and it was exactly the same almost every day. A part of me loved the routine, but looking back now I don’t know what I was doing with my time. It did almost nothing worth remembering.
For several months before I quit my job, I had this quote by Jack Kerouac running through my head. I don’t remember any of the time I spent working in an office or doing chores on the weekends. I barely remember three years of my life. However, the three years that followed were full of memories and he did so much that it felt like the longest three years of his life. How did you manage to cram so much into 3 years!?
I’m not saying you need to quit your job and travel a lot to live a memorable life, but if you put too much emphasis on work and spend most of your life in an office, you won’t have much time or energy. I realized that I couldn’t have it other than that.
The second reason I love traveling is because I love change. I love big, important life events like moving, getting a new job, having a baby. If I could, I’d move every few years because I love the thrill and excitement. But of course, I can’t move every year, get a new job, or have kids, so traveling and having adventures becomes my next big thrill.
I travel for the thrill, but mostly for FOMO. Yes, the fear of missing out, and the fear of getting older and not being able to do all the things you once had the chance to do. It’s a big world out there and I want to see it all.
Why do you travel?