What is the purpose of travelling? Do there have to be a purpose at all…
With travel increasingly becoming one of the most loved lifestyle choices, it makes me naturally curious about going a little deeper into its ‘why’. Also, having had a travel bug myself and being a travel professional for more than 10 years, gives me a unique insight into it.
Like there are always two sides to each coin – with travel becoming viral – good and bad reasons have emerged too. As a travel lover, I have dared to get into these and divided them into the ‘why’ and ‘why not’ of travel.
If you claim yourself to be a travel lover, I invite your attention to these. As we move into a world which is more and more open to travel – it is important that we understand what makes us a true traveller and what not.
To see the world.
I know I know! I am stating the obvious. But it is very important, you know why? Because in the over- crowded information system of ours, we are increasingly forgetting the intrinsic meaning of things.
I didn’t know Angkor Wat – the largest religious monument in the world, was made by Chola kings of Tamil Nadu in South India. I stood there marvelling at those huge temples having a brand-new revelation in my mind as to how cultures are connected. It later inspired my travels into Tamil Nadu, Read my article on Top Cultural experiences in Tamil Nadu beyond temples.
I didn’t know there was a country where every third person drives a Porsche until I went to Dubai. It opened a whole new possibility of abundance in my mind.
There are a million ways travelling around the world has opened in a new window in my mind – hasn’t it in yours?
To get out of your comfort zone
It is boring sometimes how everybody keeps saying – get out of your comfort zone!
Why! I say. What is wrong being in your comfort zone?
Well, nothing at all – in fact being comfortable is intrinsically important for personal growth.
Although whenever I have discovered something that I didn’t even imagine was possible – is only after I dared to step out of my comfort zone.
I was dead scared of travelling local in South East Asia.
Being a vegetarian, I always thought I won’t be able to survive it and shall always be eating in expensive restaurants. However, it turned out to be totally incorrect. I travelled in South East Asia absolutely like a local for 3 months and always ate local and vegetarian! Click on link to read about my South East Asia Travels.
I was dead scared of the waters, but once on a trip to Rishikesh – friends decided to raft. I had to go along and I rowed only to save my life! In the middle of it, our instructor told us we could jump into one of the rapids as it was safe, I did. Pushing my limits gave me a new confidence about myself and my capabilities.
Again, a million things that I can say here. Do travel to step out of your comfort zone.
To relax and De-stress
Developed societies have been doing it for long and developing ones are waking up to it.
Coming from an Indian society, it was hard for me to not do anything at first when I started to travel. But once I took a long holiday on the beaches of Varkala down in Kerala doing nothing – there was no turning back.
Rather than getting consumed with the motive of checking this and that on your ‘must visit’ list – try doing nothing sometimes. That is the whole point of a vacation.
If you cannot adjust to the idea of being completely idle, another fantastic way of doing it is going for wellness retreats. There are a plenty of them out there – just take your pick. One of the best websites to book a wellness retreat around the world is BookYogaRetreats.
To Bond with your family
Travelling brings happiness.
Trust me! Family holidays is the best way to bond with your loved ones and being on the same page.
I have taken numerous holidays with my family – parents, siblings and even extended family. And I have loved them all! Once we were out there, everybody tried their best to be more open – towards each other and the new culture they were in. And I say ‘their best’, because you have to stop giving your definition to it, to let it work.
Whether it was the beautiful Gardens by the Bay in Singapore or the awkward moment at the walking street in Thailand; I shared those with my family and boy we have connected so much better after each trip.
Commit yourself to at least one family holiday every year, and you will see what I mean 😊
Because you can
Exactly! Last but undoubtedly the most important reason why you should travel is because you can!
Not everybody has the disposable income to travel, or the time, or may be the capability.
For all the beautiful reasons mentioned above and more, invest in travel.
One of the most celebrated travellers of all times, Mark Twain has said ‘One must travel to learn’. And I can vouch for its efficacy!
From the fear of missing out
The newest and the worst fears of all, is the fear of missing out. A negative repercussion of our global exposure into the lives of others. Someone puts their best sides out there for the world to see and we gather from it that only – the best. We don’t see the entire journey – only the achievement and start comparing our lives with it.
And so, spawns the fear of missing out, and travel is not spared from it.
Even though it existed forever, Indians never really took note of Ladakh. However, ever since a Bollywood buster featured it, Ladakh is sulking under the burden of over-tourism. Read the complete story here on Conde Nast.
Point is, such travel aims not to experience the glory of Ladakh, its culture and way of life, but to have a selfie at the same spots as of the film crew.
It’s a complete downer! Let your travels be the result of a quest for the unknown, rather than a mass migration movement.
To flaunt it
If you’ve got it, flaunt it – doesn’t hold true for everything. Certainly not for travel.
It is almost impossible for me to find any photographs of my 13 years of travel, before I became a travel blogger. If at all, here and there – they all are clicked by friends, random.
Only reason this is so, is because they were my ‘personal’ travels. I undertook them for the love of travel. I never cared for taking shots in front of every possible new object I encountered so I can make a Facebook album.
Yes, I certainly do have pictures of the places I visited – because that made sense occasionally – capturing the beauty of the place forever. But capturing my own beauty in every angle possible could not have been the focus!
Now, we all love our friends on FB, but come on! Who are you kidding. We all have our people who are more worried about capturing themselves with the Eiffel Tower and posting it on FB, than really enjoying being there.
So not cool.
To prove that you are more cool
We really have to wake up to this one!
Because if you look at it logically, us travelers are always chasing that which is ‘non-travel’. Any culture, landscape or attraction that is worth visiting is because it has ‘been there’.
Being a native, is a matter of proud. They give identity to the land – their own, individual, peculiar identity. It doesn’t create rift in the world – rather makes it colourful and give travellers reason to travel.
If not for the mountains who stood at one place for eras – where would us travellers go to flaunt our climbing skills.
We owe everything to those who chose nurturing their homelands to being a nomad.
To prove you are more evolved
My mother invests money on gold, I spend on travel. Should I start judging her for it? Some people would surely say yes. I say no!
It’s always a choice. Whatever gives you happiness at a given moment. And that depends on a ton of factors like upbringing, social background, priorities in life etc. etc.
Anything that goes out of balance will cause pain – whether it is buying of gold or travelling.
Your choice of travel over any other possession doesn’t make you more evolved, and if it does by any chance – think again – looking down at someone can never be a sign of being more evolved.
Therefore, travelling my friends is a beautiful thing. Please be sure that you do it for the right reasons. Especially in this era of open and free information – it is important we see things for what they are – not just how they are portrayed.