I know someone in Australia who is a true traveler. I don’t just mean that he loves to travel, he lives for it. All of the money he gets goes almost entirely into saving for his next trip. He will go for a year at a time, forsaking all the comforts to get there. He has backpacked through Europe and Asia, so far, and he plans on not hitting the other parts of those continents he missed the first time around before heading to do the same in North America.
All of this is absolutely incredible. Just getting out there to one country is hard enough, but he has managed to see two continents on limited funds, all within two years. Yet, back home he gets a lot of grief for it. Especially from family and friends who just don’t understand why he bothers to travel when there is so much in his life there that he should be focusing on.
He and I have spoken about this quite a lot. There has always been tension and frustration between himself and those in his life back in Brisbane. His life is supposed to be set on a specific line: a steady job, a wife, a couple of kids, a house. None of this interests him much, and they just don’t understand that. But worst, for a long time he felt as though he were doing something wrong for not wanting those things.
It all comes down to personal fulfillment. We are all fulfilled by different things, and have different goals. He has chosen his path, and there is nothing wrong with it. It just happens to differ from what others in him life decided for themselves. They don’t understand his choice because they don’t understand the psychology of the traveler.
What Drives Us
Take a moment and imagine stepping off of a plane in a brand new place. You look out the wide, glass windows of the airport, gazing past the runway to the world beyond it. You turn and glance at the many people hurrying by, meeting loved ones who have just gotten back home, or scrambling to catch their own flights. It is a picture of beauty, a look into endless possibilities. That is always the feeling I get in an airport.
That sensation inevitably stretches out into the city I am in. It’s somewhere I have never been before, a whole new land. It has its’ own history and delights, culture and stories to tell. People I have never met before and might never meet again. Anything can happen, and the very idea that I am standing there is enough to make my heart pound and adrenaline pump through my entire body.
While this is a personal feeling, I have heard something similar from others who love to travel. That sense of excitement and wonder and possibility all rolled into a single moment. One that can be repeated again and again. Is it any wonder that we are so eager to run off to the next destination, see the next place?
My friend still struggles with his feelings of being strange for avoiding what people say is ‘normal’ for a man his age. I continue to tell him that there is nothing at all wrong with him. The call of travel is a strong one, impossible to resist. How could anyone think badly for him wishing to see the world in all its wonder and glory?
Jessy is the travel addict and writer for Dobovo, the free travel search engines helping you find affordable accommodation in Kiev.