Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Need to Travel

The world is composed of seven continents, each consisting of cultures, traditions, and lifestyles vastly different from my own. Living in the proud and patriotic United States, I will be the first to admit that Americans are often “those people” who are much less “cultured” than our friends living on the other six continents. Why, I don’t know. Maybe it is because we have it engrained it us from a young age that you grow up, go to college, get a degree, get a good job, and then “do all the stuff you always wanted to do” when you retire.

Honestly, I’ve never understood that reasoning. When I tell people that I want to travel for a living, they often look at me like I’m a crazy, 20-something who has yet to grow up. Yes, I have that college degree – two in fact, and yes, I have a full-time job, but that doesn’t mean that my want and desire to travel has faded.

As a spiritual person, I firmly believe that God created this world not just for his enjoyment, but for ours as well. For those who desire to travel no further than their state’s borders, kudos to you. For me, that has never, nor will it ever be my dream. I have always said that when that time comes for me to get married, my spouse had better enjoy traveling because that is a make it or break it deal for me. Also, when I have children, you better believe, they’re traveling with me.

For me, traveling is an eye-opening experience. Not only do I physically get to see places that I’ve never seen before, but I get to experience a place emotionally and spiritually. What I mean is that when I travel, I am being given a chance that other people may never be given. Seeing the world is something everyone should be given the opportunity to do, but unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.

Growing up, my parents never took a vacation without my sister and me. Traveling to Florida every summer, taking cruises, and spending two weeks in Europe has led me to believe that traveling is in my blood. In the past few years, I have become much stronger in my faith. Not only do I trust God to lead me in the direction he wants me to go, but I strongly believe that he has a plan for me and that is to make travel a large part of my life.

I realize I have written on this topic before – why I travel, but lately, I have felt like I needed to reiterate this not only to my readers, but to myself. Seeing this great world that God has created, it is foolish to let it go unseen. My writing may not mean much to others, but if my passion and words can spark even just the tiniest bit of interest and/or influence in traveling for someone else, then this blog is a success.

Traveling isn’t just about hopping on a plane, taking some pictures and “oohing” and “awing” over some monuments and paintings…it is about appreciating, understanding, admiring and most of all, respecting how others live in this world.

As Americans we often take things for granted. Traveling allows you to reevaluate those things and instead, appreciate what you do have.


Anonymous said...

GREAT post Nicole! Omg, I am absolutely speechless. So much of what you wrote, I have felt myself. My parents, like yours, have always made travel a part of our dynamic from a young age, and I can't imagine my life without travel.

I always (even when I don't realize it) feel a great spiritual connection when I travel. It's just wonderful to think how big the world is, and how much there is to see. God is truly wonderful.

I really wish people appreciated travel more, especially in America.

Meri said...

I completely agree- I've never understood the rat race/ american dream where you work work work until you are completely exhausted, and then- maybe! you can enjoy life. Screw that. I'm going traveling too :)

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