Why We Travel


Photo taken by the author of the Kananaskis Country mountain ranges

“Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.”

– Francis Bacon

For those who are afforded the opportunity, and luxury, really, of being able to travel – near and far, across distant oceans, lands, and continents; beyond one’s familiar realm – the eyes of the traveller has seen what no words can accurately capture. The act of going sets in motion the various explorations, exhibitions, and encounters one will experience on the expedition. In the midst of one’s travels, we feel within a part of ourselves something not felt before, we see distant, yet nearness of sights, and we learn to think in a way no events prior could have prepared us for. Being speechless about our experiences means the journey has reached a part of the subconscious we didn’t know existed.

We have been given the gift of sight, and travel is one of the most clearest explanations and expressions for this sense. Everywhere we look – from the bustling airport, out the windows of our plane, to landing on foreign grounds, on our group tours or private excursions, to “me time” beach time, even in gathering our provision of food and drink, all of it – our sensory apparatus is taking everything in because of its surreal nature. As our eyes become enlarged, so our mind grows new synapses of electrical signals, and in direct proportion, this weighty and powerful intellect that sits at the top of our frame, expands as well. The fresh visions we see have to be stored someplace, and so, on to the mind these images go. They are contained in our mind’s eye for reflection at a later time, providing warmth for the soul, and the living proof that convinces us what we have just seen is actually real and it did happen.

In travel we experience a whole new kind of search. One of the primary reasons we do travel is because we are searching for something; whether we are aware of it or not, whether what we are searching for is known or to be known. TBD, I think would be the expression for this. Both these terms, travelling and searching, in effect become synonymous: we travel for a search and we search for travel. What’s more, we are hoping to peel off one more layer of the mystery of life when we travel. This is so because travel unveils a whole new way of perceiving the things around us in general, and the events of our life, in particular. It is this revealing we are yearning for most during our travelling adventures. In the process of time and travel, we gain greater clarity than we would have if we were sitting in a counsellor’s chair back home. Some explanations into who we are and why we do what we do require, or demand, a passage to be taken.

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