What was your travel resolution this year? Is it to check another country or continent off your list? To taste a new food? All of those are amazing options, I have to wonder, are we getting caught up in checking things off our lists? Are we, as travelers, speeding through cities trying to see it all and missing what’s important?
Forget about the articles on people who quit their jobs to live the life of travel. Forget the Instagram feeds of beautiful, exotic beaches and perfectly fallen snow on faraway mountains. Take away the blogs, the vlogs, the whatever.
It may seem crazy coming from me, considering you’re reading this on my blog, but put aside all of those things for one moment. I swear, bear with me.
Have we forgotten why we travel?
It’s not for the followers or likes on social media. It’s for the antsy feeling we have, waiting to see what we could discover out there in the world, if only we booked a flight. Travel is the possibility and the unknown, not the perfectly posed Instagrams. At the end of the day, we travel to live. We travel to broaden our minds and ideas and in turn broaden the minds and ideas of those we meet. We travel to exchange thoughts and experience things beyond our small spot in this colossal world.
We all wish we could dive into those Instagrams and be those people who are quitting their jobs. Those people who appear to be living the life, the life we sit at our desks dreaming about: jungles of Africa, beaches of South America, icy tundra of Antarctica.
Let’s jet off to Madagascar to teach and deep-sea dive in our spare time or work on a farm, if only for a few days in Austria. Share a meal with a local. Shy away from the big tourist spots and delve deeper into another culture. Let’s build real, tangible connections with other people. Let’s meet strangers, who become our instantaneous friends and spend a night turned morning as we watch the sunrise on the beaches of Portugal.
Wanderlust is insatiable. No matter how many flights to other foreign cities and countries, it will never satisfy my taste to experience the world. There will forever be a place I wish I were instead of where I am. But travel is more than the pretty pictures.
Even I know that despite having a travel blog and posting pictures on my own accounts. I want travel to be more meaningful.
Travel is about getting lost in those foreign places. It’s about getting your wallet stolen and learning to be more aware of your surroundings. Take out the headphones and listen to foreign languages drift in and out of your ears.
Do this simple thing: look up. What do you see? Colorful buildings in Copenhagen, the rural scenery of a drive through across the Midwest. You don’t have to go far to make travel meaningful. Research and find secrets within your own city.
Travel encompasses missed flights, extra money spent, and a few more days than planned in Laos or Bogota. A new flight might seem like money wasted, but even the bad stuff can you lead you somewhere good, even great. It makes you adaptable and calm in complicated situations.
This is a reminder to myself and to everyone. We can never forget why we travel.
On our next trips, we can post the Instagrams and of course, we can write about it! As long as we don’t forget, we travel for the adventure of being alive.
What is your travel resolution this year? How can you turn it into something more meaningful?