For a while I’ve wanted to write something explaining why people should travel. Having spent a half a decade exploring the world, more and more I find myself not just traveling for my own benefit but using my platform to encourage others to travel. The problem is, to me the “why” of travel is so obvious that it is hard to put into words. It is also something very personal and different people are going to have very different reasons for traveling.
I wish I could write a top 10 list with semi-obvious bullet points about why you should travel. Maybe I could toss in points to pander to different groups and in the end have something which would generate tons of pageviews.
Honestly, I just can’t do it. I’ve done lists of my favorite things and I do occasional lists of trivia, but for something as personal and intangible as travel, I’m not sure it can or should be done.
The more I thought about the subject, the more I realized that when you cut away all the BS there was at the core one and only one reason why anyone should travel.
You are going to die
I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but that’s it. That is all there is. I realize that everyone is aware of this fact and it isn’t something we like to think about, but it is true. We are all mortal.
Our time on this planet is limited. We have a finite number of days and we don’t know what that number is.
The world is an amazing place. There are so many things you see, you could spent an entire lifetime exploring and never come close to seeing it all.
The question I faced, and the question which everyone has to face is, “what are you going to do with your life?”
You can spend it accumulating crap that will eventually all be thrown away. You can spend it trying to impress other people that you probably don’t really care for. You can spend it toiling day after day at something you don’t enjoy doing.
You can spend it seeing and exploring all this incredible world has to offer.
I understand that few people if any would want to travel they way I do, but you don’t have to do what I do to make traveling a higher priority than spending money on trinkets and crap.
When my father passed away 2 years ago, at his funeral no one talked about the cars he owned or things he bought. We talked about the trips we took and the things we did. Past family vacations and fishing trips were the first things which came to everyone’s mind.
In the final analysis, we are sum total of our experiences. Who you are is what you’ve done.
The only question is, what do you want to do?