I polled my friends and family from all over the world on why they love to travel. Here are their responses:
"I think the exposure to new places and new people can be really reviving personally and also eye opening to see how other people live. To see how life functions, whether human or natural life, in other places is really humbling. It's easy to have your status quo at home, but as soon as you're in a new place - all bets are off. You can do anything, and are so willing to try new stuff to push your own boundaries purely because you're in a new place."
"I love to travel because not only is it the ultimate adventure but it also exposes you to new types of people, different ways of living, and opens up your mind. I just like to walk around in beautiful places that resemble the shire from Lord of the Rings while exploring new culinary terrains."
"Traveling reminds me that my life isn't the only one I could live and that in the grand scheme of things, I'm pretty unimportant to this world we live in. People get so caught up in their daily lives and forget that they can be somewhere or someone else tomorrow if they'd like. There are no limits in the grand scheme of things except the ones we create for ourselves. Traveling helps make sure I don't forget that."
"Travel puts me out of my comfort zone and inherently breeds challenge. I'm a firm believer that challenge leads to curiosity, maturity and growth."
"I use travel as an escape from daily life. Having future trips already planned brings me joy and gives me something to look forward to. I've never regretted a single trip I've taken."
"I love to travel for a few reasons. First, you automatically become a naturally curious being. You are a traveler, tourist, backpacker, etc and even the most basic thing on a trip becomes an adventure - like catching a bus between cities. Second, you are hyper aware of your surroundings and appreciate the beauty or intrigue of a new land and culture! Third, when I travel and then return home, I see home in a whole new light. For example when I studied abroad in Buenos Aires and came back to NOLA, I realized there was so much more exploring of my own city that I needed to do and I was excited and motivated to do that, whereas before I was stuck in my daily routine."
"I travel to eat all the foods."
"I love figuring things out. I love seeing new people."
"When I think about travel, I mostly think about traveling solo. I love it because it displaces you. In a state displacement you experience wonder, discovery, awe, discomfort. If you go with an open mind, you discover things about yourself, about others and about the world you would have not learned otherwise. It opens you up, turns on new lights so you can see and experience the world in a new way- even when you go 'home'. We get so involved in our current environments and lives - the chance to step out and explore and experience elsewhere gives us perspective and often provides new lenses with which we can see and think about who we are, what are doing with our lives and what we care about. The whole experience is filled with all these beautiful and crazy colors and feelings."
"I like the discovery part of it... I like to explore new things, new places, new views, new people, new everything...There are many ways to explore new things, but traveling is the most satisfactory as it is the most comprehensive way as it encompasses many elements from views to people to foods etc. I also like getting away from the routine, and the daily chores and daily work and daily life and have a kind of a break from reality if you want... On the other hand with all the new crazy security issues, travel is not so "free spirited" anymore, as now one has to keep in mind and be aware and even worry a bit when traveling, when in the past the idea of travel was to get away from worries."
"I like to travel so that I don't have to text anyone for a week."
"People. Whether it's hiking a scenic overlook with old friends, or eating flatbread on the side of the road with new friends, you forge a special bond when you're both out of your elements. Every moment is an adventure."
"I love to travel to experience things and places that are completely unknown or different to me."
"Traveling somewhere new is an opportunity to really engage in being lost. You have to pay close attention to figure out what's your place, and how to act, and how to be respectful. You start to question and reflect on your own assumptions and behavior. You have a chance to represent your home, which both makes you consider other people's perspectives and better articulate who it is you want to be putting forth into the world."
"I love to travel for so many reasons. There is nothing like getting off a plane/train/bus and seeing the beauty of a new place for the first time. Sometimes, the outer beauty is overwhelming and I have to stand still and let time stop to try to take it all in at once. Sometimes, the beauty is less about aesthetics and more about that first conversation with a local when I am pleasantly overwhelmed by their openness and rich culture. I love walking several miles each day in a new place and thinking about who has walked there before me. It can be startling to realize that I do not know a single person for miles and miles, but I think that's part of what keeps it exciting. I feel the most 'alive' when I am exploring."
"I love to travel to get away from the chaos of life, when I come home I've gained more perspective."
"The world is full of interesting people, beautiful landscapes, incredible food, amazing music, and different cultures, and life is more interesting when you make time to enjoy as much of it as you can! We are lucky enough to have the ability to access all of this relatively easily, it's our responsibility to travel as much as possible and learn from other cultures."
“Because everything unimportant falls away - all the little stresses of New York. And I can just be. And learn. And see. And really truly lose myself in all the new things in a new different place.”
"I like getting out of the every day routine of things - it helps me get perspective on ma lyfe. And I like seeing how other people live and meeting the Matt Goodmans of other countries."
“I love to travel because there's so much I haven't seen and every time I go somewhere new I learn about people and places I never thought about before and that's pretty neat. You can only see so much in a photo you gotta go live it to experience.”
“I love that a totally new perspective makes me reconsider my priorities and allows me to kind of recenter myself. Also food is delicious and I'm a sucker for taking pictures of things I've never seen.”
“I love moving away from the tourist trail and exploring where the locals eat, drink, dance and live. I find it so much more meaningful to see and immerse myself in that side of a city. It's nice to get away from the Aussie accents, English speakers and cameras, and just wander around and explore, and imagine yourself living there. I love everything about traveling, particularly trying new cuisines. I despise even the thought of eating at a Western fast food restaurant, when you have so many incredible and new foods to try. Even the experiences that are frustrating or difficult at the time, end up being some of the most memorable, and some of the most hilarious stories to share and reminisce about.”
“I love to travel because it excites me and energizes me! It takes me out of my comfort zone and exposes me to cultures, landscapes and people that I find so inspiring.”
“Mainly to meet, experience, and learn from different people, for those wild unimaginable moments that just fall into place and make you question if your dreaming, for that crazy sensation of not knowing what's next, and overall for self reflection and personal growth.”
“I'd say I love to travel because I don't want to wake up one day when I'm 80 years old and say to myself I wish I had done that.”
"I like the feeling of adventure, like anything could happen."
“My first trip to Kenya made me examine and question how I live and what is important. It made (and continues to make) me wonder who is ‘happier’. I see such discrepancies between my life and others, although I live in a nice apartment with all of the ‘things’ I can desire - my life might be lonelier without a small community support system. So which life is ‘better’? This existential question is made sharper to me by traveling to countries whose cultures, customs and socioeconomic levels are different from what I grew up with and still. I also enjoy learning about the history of other cultures, why heritage and values result in suspicion to refugees and foreigners. This is a wake-up to me that not everyone (not most people) embraces diversity in every way. Much as I like to travel, I love to come home though.”
"I love the smells, tastes, sounds, sights and feelings of a place - new or familiar. I think my memories are closely interwoven with the scent of an event or a period of time so being able to catalogue a place by smell helps me remember the feeling of being there. Also food. Hooray for all the food and recipes that have been passed through generations, families and communities. I also love the feeling that I am somewhere removed from my everyday experience. It is exciting and relieving all at the same time. I love that traveling is not just one thing. Traveling can be fun. It can be invigorating, enlightening, powerful, relaxing, overwhelming, emotional or even a struggle.."
"The anticipate of travel is always the first exciting thing for me. The sheer idea of going somewhere far away. It's part coping mechanism, part restlessness, and part soul seeking. I love witnessing the way different people and cultures move through the world - how they interact with each other, love each other, how they make art, how they define community, what they value, what they fight for, and what they believe in spiritually. With every new encounter, you experience a new part of yourself."
“I love to travel because it takes me out of my comfort zone and I am always learning something new about myself and about that place each day I'm there.”
"For me it's meeting new people and learning about their different way of life - culture, traditions, food. And seeing what makes each place so unique! Love finding a spot with a view that I'll always remember about that specific trip."
"I love the anticipation of a trip. Looking ahead, saving, planning, researching, all make the trip a greater adventure. I love the sense involved in experiences a new place, especially the taste. Every trip is magical and I feel fortunate; free to have wings at this stage in life."
"I can't remember a time when I wasn't dreaming about exploring a far away place. Trying to answer why I love travel is like trying to ask myself why I eat ice cream. I just love it. There's something so magical about getting the chance to live in each new place, surrounded by a new culture of sights, food and people."
"I love to see how other cultures eat and dance! Food and music is the best way to interact with people if you can't speak each other's language, and getting involved is the best way to show your appreciation. I also love challenging my own ideas about other cultures. It's so refreshing (and educating) to experience another side to what we see on TV, in movies and online.”
"I like to travel to understand history and learn how others live across the world. And for the food obviously."
“I love to travel because I love to learn and meet inspiring people. It's important to educate yourself about different cultures and its pretty sweet to learn new skills (even if you pay for something 'tourists' do). Submitting yourself to the unpredictability of travel gives you experiences, some good others bad, that ultimately contribute to your world knowledge - even if it's only becoming a bit more aware of what is around you. Oh, and its fun learning dirty words in different languages.”
“I love to travel because it takes me outside of my culture and privilege and reminds me of great inequities in our world. Travel inspires me to learn more, think more and to better serve our world community.”
“I rewatched Midnight In Paris last night. So I ask, 'is the age we are living in a golden age?' Certainly if Trump is president then No. But how would we ever know? The path towards the answer is to travel. Traveling allows you to drink with Hemingway, walk the path of Jesus, and gush over Joni Mitchell. I travel so I can debate and discuss this necessary question."
"My favorite part of traveling is being exposed to food, people, places, and things I've never experienced. To get that feeling of the first time is exciting."