Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Travel Philosophy

Each time I come back from somewhere else, I surprise myself a little at how I slip back into my daily life. I guess the surprise comes from the experiences I have away from home, such as getting more visual proof at how beautiful, big, and interconnected our world is. It makes me want to go away more, or to live a semi-nomadic existence. Perhaps it is not an ideal existence for some people, but it appeals to me.

I am also reminded that a week is usually not enough time to do another country justice. My recent trip to Ireland reminded me of this fact. The country may be small enough to drive from coast to coast in a few hours, but there is so much history and pastoral beauty to explore there that driving through it and not stopping every hour to take everything in means visitors miss something. That is how I felt while taking trips to Northern Island and its West Coast. In the back of my mind, I knew I should return to some of the villages and towns I spent fleeting moments in to do them more justice; then I thought about all of the countries I have not seen yet, and the thoughts overwhelmed me a little.

I met a German woman who confessed that she has visited fifty-five countries, which made me slightly envious. At the same time, I wondered how much quality time she spends in these many places. After my brief interaction with her, I was left with the impression that she uses travel to escape from her life. I have known people like this who use travel to escape from their families, social circles, cultural and/or religious pressures, and so much more. Escape is tempting, but we cannot escape who we are permanently.

For me, I constantly want to learn, and travelling is the ultimate and best way for me to do this. Rather than escaping from myself, I want to face who I am when moving from place to place.

How do you view travel?

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