Why I travel

‘Why?’

It’s a question I’ve been asked a lot recently. It mostly comes from George, my three-year-old son, who constantly says, ‘Why Mummy? Why?’ (Yes, it’s just as annoying as you’re imagining!)

Me: You need to brush your teeth now George

George: Why?

Me: So your teeth are nice and clean

George: Why?

Me: Because otherwise they’ll get dirty and you’ll get tooth ache

George: Why?

Me: Because the dirt on your teeth will start eroding the enamel

George: Why?

Me: [Slow deep breath] Please just brush your teeth, you’re three years old and you can’t possibly need to know the science behind this.

Why I travel

It’s a funny question because, as an adult, it’s not very often someone stops you and questions what you’re doing and why. We do so many things on autopilot we often forget to even ask ourselves why we’re doing something.

When a French lady asked me recently why I travel, it really made me stop and think. She wasn’t being rude she was just curiously asking me why I travel.

‘Well, it’s my job’, I stuttered back.

‘But why did you make it your job?’

‘I like to travel….’ I began, knowing that was a pathetic answer and wasn’t what she was looking for at all.

For the next few days I continued to think about it and realised there’s always a reason behind everything.

So what’s my reasoning behind wanting to travel so much? Why did I work so hard to make travelling part of my career? Why did I want to go backpacking in the first place (that’s what led to this crazy career)? Why have holidays always been so important to me?

A lot of people who travel are running away from something. They’ll have something that happened at home or something they don’t want to go back to and face. But it’s not like that for me. I’ve got two reasons why I love to travel and the main reason is because I’m scared.

Yes, it’s fear that makes me travel.

I am absolutely terrified of growing old and not doing all the things I could have done and having regrets. There’s nothing sadder than an old person saying, ‘I wish I’d done that when I was younger….’

I can’t imagine anything worse than sitting in my rocking chair and thinking about missed opportunities, places I should have gone to, hobbies I should have pursued and adventures I wish I’d had. It’s not just about travelling, it’s everything. I want to read all the books, try all the foods, meet all the people and watch all the films. And, of course, travel to ALL THE PLACES.

We only get one life. One beautiful but short life and it’s such a cliché to say this but this isn’t the dress rehearsal, this is the real deal and we’ll only be able to do this once. I’ve got one chance to do everything and I want to do it all! And I love blogging about these travels, not only to inspire others to do the same, but so I have this online record of my adventures that I can keep looking back on and reminding myself of all the things I’ve done.

I want to spend my life making memories and this blog is a perfect way to record all those memories.

I worked in London for three years but when I look back on those three years working in office jobs, do you know what I remember? Nothing. Really, not a lot. Because I didn’t do a lot. I’d go to work, go for drinks after work, sometimes go out for dinner and then go home, watch TV and go to bed. Weekends were reserved for hangovers or recovering after a busy week at work. I really didn’t do much and virtually every day was exactly the same. Part of me loved the routine of life but when I look back now I don’t know what I did with my time. I barely did anything worth remembering.

I had this quote by Jack Kerouac going around in my head for months before I left my job. I really don’t remember my time spent working in the office or spending my weekends doing mundane chores. There’s three years of my life I barely remember. But then the following three years I did so much that it felt like the longest three years of my life because I have so many memories. How did I cram so much into three years!?

I’m not saying you need to quit your job and travel loads to have a memorable life but I found that putting so much emphasis on working and spending the majority of my life at the office I didn’t have the time or energy for much else.

The second reason I love to travel is because I love change. I love those big and momentous life events like moving house, getting a new job and having a baby. If I could, I’d move house every couple of years because I love the thrill and excitement of it. But, of course, I can’t move house or get a new job or have a baby every year so travelling and having adventures is the next big thrill.

Why I travel

I travel for the thrill but I mostly travel because of FOMO. Yes, fear of missing out and fear of growing old and not doing all the things I once had the chance to do. It’s a big world out there and I want to see it all.

Why do you travel?

 

TheTravelHack

Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a professional blogger and has travelled around the world in search of stylish adventure travel. Monica has recently had her second baby and is determined to prove that travelling with a baby is possible!

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SHOWHIDE Comments (15)
  1. LOVE this post! Like you, I have that feeling of wanting to do all the things, meet all the people and see all the places. This became heightened when my mom passed away at 65 years of age, just 6 months after retiring. She had big plans of wanting to travel and was waiting to have retired to do so. Now, I feel like I am in a race to do it all in the next 20 years. I love to travel with my kids ( aged 13 and 10) and love seeing the world and new places through their eyes. I want to raise kids who are compassionate, open minded and curious. Travel has proven to be the best way to do that. We have made the best family memories through travel. We talk about our adventures all the time and look at our pictures and reminisce.

  2. I relate to this so much.
    I spent most of my 20s working and saving because I thought I needed to move out and pay an extortionate amount in rent.
    I was nearly 30 by the time I realised that I didn’t want to do the same as everyone else.
    I do have regrets and the main one is that I wasted nearly 10 years sitting and waiting for something I didn’t actually want, when I should have been living and experiencing.

    1. This makes me feel so happy but so sad at the same time. It can be hard to realise you want something different though, especially when you’re surrounded by people who want the same thing. I think it’s only when you’re older that you realise what you really want.

  3. I am so glad you wrote this! This is the exact reason why I travel too. Fear is so often thought of as something horrible, but it is inspiring to think that in some cases fear can actually help create wonderful opportunities and memories. Love your blog!

  4. I travel for the exact same reasons. I have this constant FOMO and anxiety that I won’t get to do everything I want to do and see all the places I want to see, but also because I love the unknown. Routine kills me! I think I have extra strong ‘adventure’ genes!

  5. I agree totally! I’m just wanting to get out and see the world while I am here. I believe that too that it isn’t a dress rehearsal, reminds me of the quote – we only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. I don’t want to look back on 40 years of working in the office.

  6. My reason is absolutely the same. It is my worst fear to suddenly be old and not have gotten what I wanted out of life. Another reason is that I love it, I feel most alive when I am exploring somewhere new as cheesy as that sounds.

  7. You sound like me! Judith charmers is to blame for my love of travel, i’d watch every wish you were as a child and i wanted to go everywhere. I remember telling my dad i wanted to walk down every steeet in the world. Every new place i visit causes that christmas morning feeling in my belly. The world is such a big old place and i dont want yo lie on my death bed thinking that i spent lord knows how many years going to the same resort regurgitating the same holiday without experiencing anything new. My children grew up dragging a suit case, jumping on and off public transport and planes. My son is now 20 and not so fussed about travel, my daughter is 16 and i think ive raised a travel monster! Dying knowing i had so much life to live and wasted it. im concerned that at 43 ive already let too much tine and too many opinions stop me doing the things i love ( travel, writing; adventure seeking). No picture will ever do seeing something for yourself justice. I love to visit a place with a hook. If it’s difficult to get to, has a story or legend attatched it becomes my next”ive got to see that’ place. Right now, that place is Rapa Nui. To marry all my loves into a job would be a dream, for now. I will plan my next suitcase dragging adventure.

  8. I love this post. I feel exactly the same. I have always been a bit of a wild child and preferred the outdoors to indoors in most weather conditions!
    As an adult I fell head first into the trap of needing to have a car to get you to your job, that you need so you can pay for your car, and your house which you need because you have to have a house right? Wrong!
    I have had jobs in insurance, travel, retail and offices and now work for an animal charity. I get away every weekend that is possible and love to explore the UK. The downside is that 5 days a week a feel trapped in my house and am surrounded by clutter!

    I love my van, and the simple life traveling affords.

    I have been writing a blog for a little while now and cant wait to see where our next adventure takes us!

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The Travel Hack

The Travel Hack is a blog about stylish adventure travel and affordable luxury.

We believe luxurious travel can be affordable and isn't just for the rich. Follow along with our worldwide adventures as we share our trips and tips for incredible travel experiences on a modest budget.