The luxuries of the 21st century allow many of us to take advantage of the opportunity to travel. But have you ever wondered why so many people dedicate their time to travelling? What makes us spend large amounts of money and effort to go on a trip somewhere? What is it that motivates us to leave behind the places and people we know and love for the strange and unknown?
Since the dawn of time humans have had an inherent drive to explore. This drive has stemmed from a number of causes, the main cause being a necessity to find food and safe shelter. Our earliest ancestors were initially nomads by nature, moving around from place to place, searching for an ideal location that would help them ensure their survival for another night.
This migratory cycle continued on until they finally found places where all their needs could be met and their technologies advanced enough that they could create whatever was not provided by their surroundings. This was the beginning of civilization and the start of modern society.
But even once our ancestors had settled, explorers still had a prominent role. All throughout history advances were made because people travelled, journeying to the edges of the globe in search of something that could satisfy their adventurous spirits. The travelers and explorers discovered new lands, invented trade, and created the basis for the societies we function in today.
Perhaps this is where the modern motivation for travelling comes from. In today’s day and age, many of us are still driven to explore beyond the borders of our villages, towns, cities, provinces, and countries. We no longer do it out of necessity since most of us have everything we need to survive provided for us in the form of grocery stores and houses and other modern luxuries. And yet, we still have this deep desire to see more and encounter others and experience the world, or at least as much of it as we can afford.
Today we travel for various practical reasons. Maybe business, maybe pleasure, maybe to just get away from our everyday lives for a while. Some of us travel to get lost, others travel to be found. We each have our own motives for embarking on a journey, whether we are aware of them or not.
But we all travel because we have something in us that tells us to move, to explore, to seek new experiences in lands far, far away. And while borders and visas have made it more difficult to travel freely, globalization has also made it possible for us to discover more about the world we live in than ever before. Now almost anyone has the possibility to be an explorer and many of us take advantage of that possibility. After all, we have built entire industries based on travelling.
The desire to travel, at the end of the day, is something that comes from within. Those who travel seek the adventure and, if they’ve been standing still for too long, they even begin to crave it. We want to see the roots of our societies, to walk amongst ancient ruins, and to learn from our past. We aim to find ourselves in the wilderness of the desert or the forest or the top of a mountain. We travel to understand where we came from and where we are going.
Even once we’ve settled down in a corner of the world, we dream of exploring and we take the chance whenever we can because we know that it is worth every effort to connect with different cultures and people and places.
Travellers know that travelling is a unique type of education that nothing else in this world is able to provide. We value that education as priceless and necessary for our lives to be fulfilled. That’s why we choose to travel – to satiate the thirst for knowledge, experience, and adventure that has been passed down through generations and has remained an integral part of our biology for thousands of years. And that’s why we’ll probably continue to explore beyond our borders and even beyond our own planet for thousands more.
Written by: Sonia Motisca
Photo credits © Little Grey Box