Oscar Wilde once said, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all”.
This quote can mean something different to each individual, but my mind immediately jumps to how I feel when I’m out exploring our world. Travel ignites a fire within my soul. It truly is when I feel the most alive. It’s a time when every one of my senses is heightened.
Take New York City. The smells of the subway. The bright lights of Times Square. The never-ending sounds of ubiquitous traffic. Tasting the exotic spices of the Middle Eastern food trucks. Running my fingers over designer clothes that I’ll never be able to afford. That’s just New York. A 5-hour flight across the country. I can only fantasize about the sensory overload I’ll experience in a country like India, Mongolia, or Borneo. If I could bottle up the components of travel it would be a fragrance of tarnished leather, sweet wine, and fresh ocean air.
Much like a child scouring the beach for pretty seashells, I search the shores of Earth to collect understanding. I look for God in the most desolate of places, search for humanity in a time of intolerance, and pursue peace in a world of chaos. When I do find these little seashells, I place them in the bucket that is my memory, to be cherished forever.
I don’t travel to feel superior to others. I don’t travel to collect “when I was in Africa” sayings. I don’t travel for kitschy souvenirs or to fill endless photo albums. I sure as hell don’t travel to escape. If anything, it’s just the opposite.
I travel to build a life that I would never dream of escaping.
I travel to mold myself into the person that I want to be.
I travel to live.
Why do you travel? We’d love to read your answer in the comment section below. Liked this post? Check out the rest of the site for more adventure travel stories.