Why We Travel

“Every exit is an entry somewhere else.” 
Tom Stoppard (British Playwright)

Travel is not about escapism, it’s about escape. It is about finding the right place – mentally, physically, spiritually, to free your mind from the tyranny of the everyday so that you can enjoy the beauty of every day. With the right mindset even the most routine tasks are enjoyable. That’s why a trip to a laundromat in Lagos is an adventure; a cucumber sandwich with high tea in Singapore tastes better; and sitting in a park in Rio somehow seems more special than when you’re back at home.

Travel is not only about transportation, it is also about transformation. It is about creating an environment where you can once again connect with the people and places around you. There is a simple, yet very complex beauty in nothingness. It is liberating, empowering, and unfortunately all too illusive. Perhaps that’s the great allure of travel. For when we leave the comfort and safety of home we force ourselves to experience life in all its honesty. Hence the mundane seems more magical. 

And I think that is the key, the mundane SEEMS more magical. But it isn’t; laundry is still laundry, a sandwich is just a sandwich and a park is a park whether it’s in Rio or Rochester. The location isn’t what’s special, it is our mindset. You see people change with travel and return to a more childlike approach to life; everything is new and different. It seems as if the process of leaving our usual trappings behind helps us to feel, well no longer trapped.

There’s a lesson here and it’s obvious. As Tom Stoppard says, every time we leave one place we find ourselves in another. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be a physical change. We don’t need to travel in order to experience the joy of life, we simply have to change our mindset. We need to open our eyes and open a window to the world.