Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Inspiration: Why Do We Travel?

Miss Happy Feet, Vivian Lee, Grand Canyon, North Rim Grand Canyon,
"So... Why do you travel so much?"
"What have you learnt from all these journeys?"
"You must have spent a fortune! Do you think it is really worth it? " 

I got bombarded with all these questions online and offline. Firstly, I would like to be honest that I am not yet a seasoned traveler. I only travel during my holidays and that is about 3 months per year. Secondly, contrary to public beliefs, traveling actually WON'T cost you a fortune. Some places that are often labeled as luxurious/exotic destinations can turn out to be very down to earth . It all depends on your choice: how you choose to travel? Luxurious? So be it! On a shoe-string budget? Works well too! 

While my answers to this topic could be found on my About Me page, I figured that some of you might not be convinced. Hence, I invited 8 like-minded female travelers to share with us about the lessons they learned from their adventures. My voice may be too weak to be heard, but together, we are strong. So without further ado, let's hear these gorgeous ladies out! 

Travels teach us to be kind always. It restored our faith in humanity. There are still people who love unconditionally. 

A genuine smile, a quick hello, an offer of directions or perhaps maybe a place to stay. The kindness of strangers is without a doubt, one of my fondest experiences from my travels. I often wonder: out of the 7 billion people in the world, how many strangers are we going to cross paths with in our lifetime. How many of these strangers have made a difference in our lives and perhaps, us in theirs?
When we are traveling and facing the unknown, navigating foreign places, other currencies, different languages and a sea of unfamiliar faces; a random act of kindness from a stranger can go a long way.
I have witnessed and received so many random acts of kindness on my travels and am eternally grateful for each one. From the lovely host at my hostel in Macedonia who took my shoes inside out of the rain, the passengers on a train in Istanbul who could see my confusion as we passed each stop and told me I'd got on the wrong train (and helped me make my flight!) to the ladies in Venice and Menton who took care of the street cats, giving them shelter, food and a bit of company each day.
Strangers owe you nothing. But some of them offer us their kindness the moment we cross path, and in this era, it is good to have some kind of reassurance that people are still good and the world is still an amazing place. Enjoy the kindness of strangers and the unexpected human connections they bring. Whether you're in your own home town or a distant place, remember that all strangers are just one step away from being our friends.

-Sapphire Beaumont-
Founder of Heart Lifestyle.

Travels teach us Patience in every possible way. And hey! Slow down! We actually do not need to rush. 

Not only have I mastered the art of patience whilst waiting at the airport, queue to see that iconic sight and waiting for visas to be approved. But when traveling, I learned that my definition of time is often very different to others. Train departure times are mere guidelines and waiting indefinitely is part of the process. And then there are the obvious language barriers when abroad. Trying to get directions, decipher menus and ordering food, seems to always end with me and a waiter patiently signing out what I want - which quickly descends into looking like a game of charades.  In some cultures customer service is not the top priority, so you have to simply smile and suck it up. Surrounded by language barriers and cultural differences, I’ve become more accepting, more tolerant, and more understanding. These are lessons I carry with me now, while everyone else seems to be rushing through their days, having high demands, road rage and accusing waiters of taking too long with their coffee, I practice patience.  C'est la vie!

 -Tracey Pictor-

Travels changed how our brains work. We started to think differently after even the first adventure! 

I’m a part time travel. What’s that? I have a business, a family, a house and a dog and I travel only maybe 4 or maximum 5 days a month (possibly over the weekend). I used to travel a lot but the last years only on holidays. I was in my daily routing with appointments, business, kids and so on. Time flies and you realize that most of the things you do are not for you but for others. Six months ago I decided to write more for my blog and I started traveling again more. My old feelings came back and it overwhelmed me. In a positive way. I usually buy lots of clothes (fashion addict) and lately I noticed - me thinking - "hm, that skirt costs the same as a ticket to Dubai". Traveling changed my way of thinking. I prefer to book a flight ticket for a weekend to New York instead of buying a new bag. I even turn some business offers down because I want to have more time for my blog and my travel. I realized that having this „travel breaks“ makes me much more relaxed and balanced. I can even be more laid back on family and business stuff. I totally agree with Rumi who said: „Travel brings power and love back into your life.” And in the end, what really counts in life is not having as much money as you can but being as happy as you can. 

-Claudia Scheffler-Perrone-
Founder of nonsoloamore

We learned to focus on the positives. The world is beautiful, the only thing we need to do is to see through the storms.  

Sometimes, when we feel tired and stuck in a routine, itís easier to take for granted what we have and focus on negative things. Itís human nature.  
When we travel though, we come across people who are dealing with much more. Someone who works multiple jobs to make ends meet. Children who walk miles and miles of fields every day to go to school. People who donít get a fair chance at success just because educational system is not the same around the world. Some donít even have a place to call home. Everyone is fighting their own battles.
Traveling helps us see the beauty of life beyond our own circumstances and come back with valuable awareness on how to treat it better than how we left it. To actually live it and not just let it pass by. To shift the focus away from ourselves and direct it to something greater than us. We all have problems, but it doesnít mean that we have to have a negative attitude towards life because of it. 

-Melai Campilla-

We get all those previous learning opportunities. It exposes us to new food, new culture, new horizons, new ideas and those new experiences will eventually create a new "ME". 

What do I get out of travel, for me it’s the learning and adventure aspect that attracts me to it.  I love meeting new people and learning about the different traditions that are unique to cities I visit. From the different ways we cook the same foods, to traditional dancing and cultural traditions in each city to weird and wonderful drinks I have never had or heard of. There is then the adventure side of my travel where I want to experience adrenaline packed activities. From rock climbing in Malta, to diving into the Devil’s Pool with a 100-meter drop on the edge of the Victoria Falls to diving in the Red Sea or sometimes just taking to chill in the cities. I travel mainly travel with my boyfriend but also travel with friends and family. I have also been known to take a few trips a year for solo adventures. It’s a way to learn and grow, but mostly I have found that travel makes your more of as an open person. Whether that is open to new ideas or generally open to embracing people from all walks of life. Travel has that cool effect on you.

Founder of Its All Bee

Travels give us enough time to reflect and think deep! It is okay to starting with some insignificant inner voices because Newton wouldn't discover the Gravitational Force if he was not having random thoughts! In fact, it is your journey, your time, YOUR BRAIN!

I was captivated by this beautifully crafted story, so much so that I clicked on the main page of this particular travel blog. This led me to an article about a writer who was in the village of Dharamkot, India taking photographs of nomadic foreign travelers’ who were passing by and during their photo shoots he asked each of them a series of questions – one question was “in one word why do you travel?”.
The responses were varied, interesting and individually unique, but the common thread seemed to be the sense of “freedom” that traveling offered them.  This nomadic, carefree lifestyle of living in the moment.
Well, that got me thinking - Why do I travel?  I had to think on this for a while and get to the core of why I actually love to travel???
Yes, I have enjoyed every destination that I have been blessed to travel to, the people, the food, the languages and the culture.  However, for me it goes even deeper than that.
My one word answer would have to be “Growth”. At its Heart – I believe it is my own journey of personal and spiritual growth.
It is having a sense of connectedness and becoming enlightened and enriched by all of my travel experiences.
It is a continuum of self-improvement and striving each day to be a better human being; to live in hope that I will leave a positive and enduring legacy (and gentle footprint) as a temporary citizen of Mother Earth.

-Del McLaren- 
Founder of One Maori Abroad

It changes our views on happiness. The pursuit of happiness might lead us on a bumpy road that is capable of changing even the most stubborn principle .

If you had asked me growing up that I’d be living in Korea and traveling around Southeast Asia, I would have laughed in your face. Teenage me had a very specific view of what it meant to be successful, and it looked like something that the creative minds behind “Sex & the City” would have made. Shoe closets, fancy parties, designer digs… I wanted to live some high powered, fabulous PR life in one of the big fashion cities. I even distinctly remember telling someone in high school I wanted to be a socialite! I put a lot of pressure on myself in to be the busiest. I thought I was I thriving under be super stressed, but I burned out pretty quickly by my senior year. I was doing all this work for pretty much nothing in return in terms of personal validation, and I was generally miserable with myself and the people around me. To make a story short, I applied to teach in Korea, and eighteen months into it, I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time. It’s not all rainbows everyday, but any obstacles or small hardships I experience are worth it for the adventures I’m able to have. I’m not droopy eyed or perpetually sick with exhaustion, and I’m not rushing to figure my life out. I’m pursuing my happiness, figuring out what fulfills me, and constantly finding inspiration every day.

-Samantha Elizabeth-

Honestly, you don't just "find" yourself on the road. You create yourselves bit by bits.... and your lives will never the same again. In short, let's just say that traveling changed our lives. 

It is such a cliche thing to say, but traveling really did change my life. After five years earning two degrees in university, I designed a five year travel plan that had me traveling 43 countries on 6 continents. 
The most important thing I’ve taken away from my travel journey was figuring out who I really am. In university, there was nothing unique about me or what I was doing. It was the daily grind to get good grades to get a good job to live a good life. That’s nice, but that’s not what I wanted for myself. After time spent traveling I had new and surprising passions. I realized I loved trekking and climbing mountains; I pursued scuba diving to the professional level. And most importantly, I fell back in love with writing as I finally had something to say that people were interested in reading. I also discovered what I wasn’t so passionate about which is just as important as realizing what you do love. 
Traveling broadened my perspective, enlightened my mind and made me crazily passionate about trying many different experiences around the world. Because I travel alone, it also made me confident, self-assured and independent. I wouldn’t have found the personal and professional success I have today without the global journey I’ve been on this last half decade.

-Ashlyn George-

Thank You for Reading! I hope this post inspires you to travel more! 
/Special thanks to all the awesome girls mentioned above/
So, Here is the big question for you...

Feel free to share your thoughts with us by commenting below!


Miza Azman said...

Great article! Especially agree on this: it is good to have some kind of reassurance that people are still good and the world is still an amazing place. I travel because in my opinion, one life in one place means not making the most out of this short lifetime.

www.itsallbee.com said...
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Bianca M. said...

Thanks for the feature! I love discovering other bloggers that I would have otherwise known about. Great to e-meet the other ladies also featured.