I’ve been thinking about this question recently – thinking about a lot of things really.
I’ve also been reading a lot of travel blogs – it sort of goes with the territory – and while many are inspiring, and show our planet to be a fascinating place, I find it – let’s say interesting – how slight is the ambition of most travel writers and bloggers. They travel because stuff is awesome, because they don’t want a 9 to 5, because social media makes it possible. But why do they really travel? Why does anyone?
Here’s why I travel. They all seem fairly good reasons to me, but you’ll have your own. And if you don’t, maybe it’s time to ask yourself why?
Because if I don’t, someone else will.
Because pizza is best in Italy, and I don’t live in Italy.
Because I still can.
Because, while there’s no place like home, there’s also no place like home.
Because I was born a foreigner in a foreign land.
To run away from time.
Because there’s nothing wrong with a holiday.
Because there’s always somewhere better, just around the corner.
To escape the everyday.
Because the world is, and I hesitate to use the phrase, frickin awesome.
Because it’s easier than real life.
To breathe freely.
Because the world is full of surprises – I like surprises.
Because my bones ache with the cold of a damp English winter.
Because there are places I haven’t seen that I think I’ll like.
To think, just for one minute, that this is perfect.
Because I switched on Neighbours by mistake and fell in love with Australia.
To try to understand the world.
Because I’m lucky.
Because my father travelled, like his father before him.
To learn about my limits and limitations.
So that my life has some breadth and depth.
Because they say ‘people are the same, the world over’ and I don’t think so.
Because I want to show Elaine some places I love.
So that I have something to think about.
Because I met a man in a pub who said ‘would you like to write a guidebook?’
Because you’re a long time dead.
Because I can write, and writing pays the bills.
To have things to tell my grandchildren.
Because the world seems bigger when you live out of a backpack.
Because you remember why you love where you’re from.
To be part of something different, even just for a short time.
To leave things behind.
Because I saw a documentary on TV about unexploded mines in Laos.
To accept the challenge the planet sets.
So that I can say, with some authority, “that’s not proper paella”.
Because I love train journeys.
Because I’m sometimes tired of the hand I was dealt.
To tick off countries – it’s not big or clever but it’s true.
So that I can say to myself, not others, “I did it!”.
Because I was born too soon to go to space.
To make sense of my restlessness.
Because mountains let you see further.
To see my friends.
Because life is short, and I have money. Not much, but enough.
Because, sometimes, boys just wanna have fun.
Because oceans should be warm, and skies blue.
Because I have a tale to tell.
Because – what if?
So, why do you travel?