Why Do I Travel?

With a bunch of friends, both new and old
 after a World Cup game in Brazil
Why do I travel? Well, the simple answer now is I that I just can’t stop. I have an addiction. The only treatment is more traveling which, in the end, only feeds the addiction. It wasn't always like that though. I started exploring the world extensively about five years ago with a curiosity for the unknown – I wanted to see what life was like for others. What makes us different? Who are we really, anyways? What else is out there? These are the types of questions that only traveling   brings answers to.  This is why I travel.

When you step out of your comfort bubble for the first time, it’s going to be weird – maybe even difficult or downright scary at first – but your eyes will open wider and begin to see things in a completely different light. The first time I went abroad was for a semester in Spain and it threw me for a huge loop. Initially, there was a rush of exhilaration realizing that I was in Europe for the first time, but then it settled in that I was a long ways from home and not going to see most of my family or friends for half a year. For lack of a better description, I felt like a fish out of water. “What did I get myself into?” I asked myself. I did everything I could to maintain an open mind, and after a couple of days, everything I missed from home started to be replaced with a sense of awe and curiosity. My eyes were starting to open. The exhilaration of exploration was setting in...and I liked it.

Holding a wild caiman at a lodge in the middle of the Amazon!

When one finally starts to see just how grand and how spectacularly interesting the world around them can be, it only sparks their passion for exploring and seeing the world. I appreciate the little things more than I ever did before; I do, however, also realize that whatever way of life you are used to - which may seem like the way to do things - isn't always the best way. I've grown envious of the subtle differences other cultures offer and do everything in my power to try and bring a taste of that back into my own circle back home. These are the types of things that make us richer as human beings. Buying physical stuff was always exciting (and it still is, albeit to a lesser extent) but the memories, experiences and people you meet along a traveler’s journey are truly priceless.
I wouldn’t trade any of stamps on my passport or the experiences associated with them for any monetary item.

Sometimes you don't even need to get on a plane
to discover something amazing
Now that I have experienced the thrill traveling, nothing else seems to quite do it. I’m not even saying that you have fly 15,000 miles and sleep on the side of the Himalayas, but just get out and explore beyond the confines of your backyard. Try something different – live, learn and explore. You’re never too old (or too young) to get something out of traveling. There’s something unspeakably cool about sitting in a café in a foreign land, with a tasty snack or drink that you've never tried before and just watching the world go by. Those of you who have done it, know exactly what I’m talking about! This is why I travel – I’d love to hear your stories too.

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