Ok, I must admit, I used to be a little bit of a travel snob.
I’d meet fellow Aussies who’d never left Australia and then turn my nose up, poo-poohing them for not having the same desire to explore the world as I did.
I’m ashamed to say that it took me a few years to realise that people have different aspirations in life and wanting to live a nomadic lifestyle is not in everyone’s DNA.
I’ve now come to understand that if people prefer to get a mortgage rather than travel the world for a year, that’s completely normal.
It’s their life – they can live it how they like.
For the non-travellers out there – why do us nomads like living out of a suitcase so much?
This is by no means an extensive list, but here it goes…
Top 5 reasons people travel
1. To get outside their comfort zone.
I’m not talking about people who go on holiday to a foreign country and then stay in an English-speaking area (when the local language is something else), and never leave the resort.
These people are hardly getting outside of their comfort zone.
When I was 15, I went and did a student exchange for a year just outside of Paris. When I arrived, I didn’t speak French and no-one spoke English.
But it was the best year of my life.
Challenging myself like that showed me the world isn’t as scary as we might think.
(And it also gave me a serious case of the travel bug.)
Sign up to our newsletter for more travel tips!
2. To escape.
Bad relationships, bad jobs, bad family situations… some people travel in the hope of escaping it all to find a more peaceful kind of life.
Just look at novels like Eat, Pray, Love, which tell this exact story.
Travel can certainly heal and if you’ve lost a loved one or just got out of a heart-breaking relationship, sometimes being in a new place with lots to distract you can work wonders.
You can’t run away from your problems though – not even travelling can help you to resolve everything!
3. To explore new lands.
The curiosity that burned inside famous explorers like Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong is still inside many travellers today.
We might not be venturing into the unknown but for us the place is new and exciting.
There’s nothing like the rush you get when a plane lands in a country you’ve never been before. (Well, I get a rush anyway.)
Why do you think people hike through the Amazon or sail the Great Lakes?
Because they have a sense of adventure.
4. To learn.
One of the best things about travelling is that you learn SO much.
Exploring foreign lands really opens your eyes and makes you appreciate your own life.
Growing up, I never really thought about how lucky I was to live in a free society where where my parents could afford to give me what I needed in a place as beautiful as Australia.
It’s only by exploring other parts of the world that has made me realise just how lucky I am.
Travelling also makes you open minded about other cultures.
Want to make people less racist? Get them to travel!
Seeing how other countries and societies operate will give you a deeper appreciation for the local people’s culture.
And with this appreciation comes a more harmonised world.
In fact, my aforementioned exchanged programme was called AFS and was actually started after World War II with the hope that if young people learnt more about the way other nations live, there would be less of a chance a World War III would break out.
5. To cross places and events off a bucket list.
I’m not a fan of a bucket list, but I’m not completely against one.
Sometimes it’s good to have a list in mind of where you want to visit, as this might motivate you to get out and see the world.
Unfortunately, some people go to places because they want to be able to say “Been there, got the T-shirt.”
Many of these bucketlist sights are the main tourist attractions of a country.
Think of the Colosseum in Rome.
While I’m not saying you shouldn’t see these sights (the Colosseum is amazing, I highly recommend it) it’s good to get away from the tourist traps and venture to the neighbourhoods to meet the locals and get a real sense for what life in the country is really like.
Which is one of the many reasons why I love house sitting so much – but that’s for a different blog post entirely!
So there’s my top 5 reasons why people travel.