What Does Travel Mean to Me?

“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” ~ Miriam Adeney

Traveling comes in various shapes and forms, and everyone travels for their own different reasons: business, pleasure, education. When I think about why I travel, a single word does not come to mind. For me, it’s more of a feeling. It’s hard to explain the rush of excitement I get when I find out I am going to travel. It’s hard to explain the range of emotions I experience during my adventures. When I travel, I just know that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. It doesn’t make sense, and I can’t explain it. I’m like an oxymoron when I travel, because there is this feeling of peace, but at the same time, I’m anxious and excited!

I know most people share a lot of the good things that happen, but not everything about traveling is all peaches and cream. There are times when all I want to do is go home. There are times when I break down crying because I’m not sure how it’s all going to work out. There are times when I feel scared and helpless, especially if I do not know the language of the country. But I believe all these experiences help make me a better version of myself. These experiences build upon my self-confidence and self-esteem. Not only am I becoming more independent, I’m also improving my time management skills, my organizational skills, and my leadership skills. Although some of those experiences are extremely hard to have at the time, I wouldn’t take them out. Those are life lessons that I’m learning, and of course afterwards, I end up with a few more {potentially awkward} stories to tell. And believe it or not, when I look back on those times, I actually laugh!

 

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To me, travel means being open-minded and understanding. When I travel, I experience different cultures, different religions, different languages…different everything. I accept the fact that my way is not always the “right” way. I encourage myself how to learn, to think, to eat in ways that I would have never crossed my mind. It just fascinates me that so much difference coexists in this world, and I want to experience as much as I can. When you travel, you have the opportunity to be both the student and the teacher—learning about other places, while teaching people about yours.

*I used Airbnb in the south of France, in a city called Marseille. The lady I ended up staying with was beyond amazing! She taught me how to cook some meals, helped improve my French, and she challenged me intellectually. I was so grateful to learn so much from her, and I hope she learned as much from me. With this host, we definitely engaged in the spirit of Airbnb! Differences should not be something that is feared, but something that is embraced!*

 

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To me, travel means being brave and having the courage to go; not being afraid to get out of my comfort zone and experience something new. It’s definitely not easy, {especially when you go on your own}, but I think it’s worth it. Sometimes I have no idea what I am going to encounter, whether I am going to like it or not. But that’s all part of the adventure!

*In May of 2015, I graduated from college. My graduation gift was a 2-month trip to Europe. Although I had asked several friends to go with me, no one was able to come for various reasons. I thought about postponing the trip, but after much internal deliberation, I went. That was one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life, and I regret nothing. Would I ever do another solo trip again? Considering I only made it a month and a week on my own, I would have to say no. But I had the courage to go, and trust me, everything I did was out of my comfort zone!*

 

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To me, travel means living. As cheesy as it sounds, I mean it. I have had so many opportunities to experience life-changing events that would have never happened had I not traveled.

*In a general sense, traveling has restored my faith in humanity. There have been so many times that I have been lost or confused, and a stranger has helped me along my way. I remember one specific time when I was in France, traveling by train. To enter through to the metros, you needed a ticket, but the ticket machine only took specific cards, of which I did not have. A man noticed my distress and long story short, he ended up buying my ticket without even asking for reimbursement. A small kindness goes a long way.*

As I have previously stated before {on Instagram & Facebook}, “I fell in love. Not with a single person at one time, but with multiple people at various times. I fell in love with their cultures, their customs, their traditions. I fell in love with the food, the scenery, the landscape. Travel is the one thing that brings it all together; so therefore, I am in love with travel.”

So go out there…travel…experience your own adventure…and figure out what travel means to you, for “[y]ou will never understand the true meaning of your life, until you travel and experience how others are living theirs…” ~ Unknown

6 thoughts on “What Does Travel Mean to Me?”

  1. It’s awesome that you’ve taken on such adventure arty a young age. One you’re married with kids you lose the ability to must pick up and go. So, have as many adventures as you can and explore the world. I’m envious!

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