Why I Travel?
Since I was little I always wanted to travel. I wanted to go and see places that were very different from Cleveland, Ohio. I was accustomed to tall buildings, concrete pathways, and constant noise. Don’t get me wrong, I love Cleveland and that life. But the problem was that was the only life I knew. I went to Myrtle Beach and Disney World when I was younger but that was all touristy things and never felt like authentic traveling. I wanted to blend in with the locals. I wanted to visit their cities the way they lived in it. I loved the idea of knowing secret places to go, knowing where to get bread in the morning, swimming at the local beach, and seeing views only the locals would know. After traveling the US a little, going to Australia, and planning the biggest trip of my life, I’ve figured out a few specifics on why I travel:
There was a lot of moments that while I was traveling where I was so lost and confused about where I was that I just wanted to sit down and cry. Once was in Sydney. My best friend and I were trying to find this restaurant I found online, and we were walking around Surry Hill at nine at night trying to find the hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurant. The area we were in didn’t have lights. There was no one on the streets. My friend was freaking out because she firmly believed we were going to get kidnapped. Her anxiety was affecting me, and the walk was taking longer than needed. When we finally found the place and sat down I almost started crying into my bowl of Pho because I was so stressed.
Traveling isn’t always going to be easy but its always going to be worth it. There are numerous challenges that will come up: getting hurt, lost, hungry, a plane gets missed, you’re pushed out of your comfort zone or something just goes wrong. But when they happen, and you solve them, you’ll learn and you grow.
- Building and Strengthening Relationships
Trips where I go by myself or with only one person I know I will make at least five more friends in that place. For my trip to San Diego, I met a group of girls that I just latched onto. That was five years ago and we all stay in touch. For Australia, we went as a group of 15 and I was very close with two of the girls. But right as we were leaving I realized that I was laughing with different girls and getting drinks with others. Strengthening relationships is not just for the people you travel with but also locals and other travelers. Our last flight home was leaving at 5 AM and we were leaving the hostel at 3. A few of us decided to stay up all night to try and stay awake. In trying to do that, we sat in the common area and talked for hours with people from all over the world.
(Me and one of the girls I became best friends with five years ago in San Diego reuniting at Michigan State)
Being placed in a new location forces you out of your comfort zone but it makes it easier when you have someone standing next to you if it is someone you know or some random Irishman. It’s important to have someone to share your experience with. Just telling them or having them to experience it makes your travel trip insanely better.
Sure, there are so many other reasons why I travel but those two always stick out to me. I learn about the world, the people, and myself through every trip because of the challenges I face and the people I face them with.