I want to dedicate this post to a great friend who I met in Thailand many moons ago, Khaled Habash. He has always been a traveling inspiration to me and I am forever grateful we met. I hope our paths will cross again soon.
Khaled shared this poem with me and its always resonated deeply. I thought I’d share it with you:
Why We Travel by Pico Iyer
We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again — to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more. -Pico Iyer
Although Pico Iyer said it perfectly, for me it went a little backwards.
I first started traveling in hopes of finding myself. After a good solo backpacking trip around Europe and Southeast Asia, I learned that everything I was searching for I already had the whole time. What was I really looking for anyway? Myself? Love? Life? Freedom? Independence? Happiness? Who knows, but I was on a soul searching mission. Again, I realized that whatever I was searching for was within all along. Everywhere I went. Even back home where I left.
So from there, it was ON! I just fell in love with losing myself in the most foreign places. People often ask “How do you know how to get around? Don’t you get lost?” and my response is always the same, how can you be lost when there’s so many places to find yourself?
People also ask me why I travel so much. The pristine beaches and exotic islands are a no-brainer, but those who have not caught the travel bug never really quite understand the desire to explore such random, remote, and impoverished places of the world.
“We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed.” -Pico Iyer
We travel to live a moment in the life of another. We travel to bring a smile to someone’s face, in hopes that our financial support from tourism might just be enough to help an economy in need.
We travel to see the poorest and dirtiest of places, because even in those, there is beauty. Then, not only do we immensely humble ourselves, but we gain a greater appreciation for what we do have. We also find a familiarity in it all and realize that despite our differences, we are all really the same. There is a universal love we all share. Of course there are exceptions, but even in the most corrupt places, there is organization to the chaos. Regardless of religion or belief systems, we generally share the same principals: work, eat, take care of our families, and live a happy, prosperous life. There is an unspoken universal truth that we are all one, which no language barrier or border line can deny. We travel to experience this first hand.
Here are a few unedited pictures I’ve taken over the years of some beautiful places and faces of the world.
We travel to break the monotony of routine, to feel a drastic change, cure our curiosity, and get our minds blown with sights unfathomable. A picture book is not enough.
We travel to challenge ourselves. I feel traveling is the best way to exercise my brain. Being forced into a situation in which you can’t speak the language and have no idea where you’re going can be difficult, it really makes you think, but it is also all the fun!
In addition, we travel to heighten our senses.
Exotic is different. Different is beautiful.
Seeing new geological sights and smelling exotic smells. Hearing different music and languages. Tasting foreign foods and unfamiliar spices. Feeling different air, touching different soils, swimming in different oceans and seas, playing on different colored and textured sand….
Some people love the comfort of their home, which gives them a false sense of security, but for me, life doesn’t get any better than that. To each his own.
So for those sweet Cancers and homebodies out there, I dare you to step out of your comfort zone and pick a place you’ve always dreamed of going, save your money and just GO!! No more excuses. Prioritize your spending, make wise choices and just book a ticket! The rest will fall into place as needed. You wont regret it, I promise!
I’m striving to expand people’s horizons, inspire them to open their heart and mind and explore this beautiful planet we are all so blessed to enjoy.
I know what some mothers may be thinking, “It’s not that easy when you have kids.” I understand traveling with children could be challenging and is more expensive, but if you go to a place off the beaten path where there is no Four Seasons or Hilton Hotel, it doesn’t have to be impossible. Emerge the youth in new cultures. Teach them to have love and compassion for other ethnicities and races so that our future generations are worldly and may help prevent inequality. Travel can be some of the best forms of education.
For some people, globe trotting and wanderlusting just isn’t their thing. Afraid of flying, afraid of trying. All good, like I said, to each his own, but if you won’t, or just can’t possibly go, I hope to show you the beauty of the world through the eyes of a wandering gypsy. For those who can’t travel, I welcome you to share my virtual world, and treat yourself to the global treasures I bring back for you and your home! 😉
Please feel free to comment. I want to know what inspires you to do the things you are passionate about in life. It seems to me that most people work so hard their whole livs to become wealthy, when really they’re just going to die anyway. I prefer to live a rich life through travel and if I have to die broke, so be it, if it means living an abundant life full of happiness. I don’t live to work, I work to live, and I encourage you all to do the same!
I live for the Love of Travel.