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why did you decide to go travelling?

Why did you decide to travel? To see the world, or other reasons too?
13 years ago, June 20th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #39342  
B Posts: 212
The discussion we were having on 'how do you feel during your travels?' (started by farandwide), inspired me to think about this.
When I went travelling, it was finally the chance to fulfill a long term dream and I especially felt pulled to India for a long time. But there were also lots of other factors that led to me going away - nothing seemed to be falling into place at home, I felt like I'd struggled to 'make things work' for a long time in all areas of my life; I was in a line of work I'd never really wanted to be in, I couldn't seem to settle and feel happy, I was getting down about a lot of things. In the end life kicked me into going away by things just getting more and more difficult. I admit it was partly running away though that was a good thing too! I really needed time out, and space. Lots of other travellers I met had similar reasons for going away.
What made you decide to travel? Have your reasons changed along the way?
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13 years ago, June 20th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #39360  
Hi Deb,

I feel the same, although I do have a good job and get paid good money..its something of a dream of mine to get out there and see the world..I've grown tired of the day to day rat race. I want some adventure!! you could say the "daily routine" has gotten to me and i just cant do it for another 30 years ya know!? to me it's the best time because i dont have any major responsibilities ( no kids, not married etc etc) so i figure go for it..plus to meet other people along my journey and to in a sense not know fully what to expect , although crazy to most is the thrill i love! this is a good topic glad you started to talk about it! take care Debbie!!

Do you plan to travel more? or are you settling down now?

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13 years ago, June 20th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #39368  
B Posts: 212
Both! :D I met someone while I was travelling (in Thailand) and am now settled with him in Ireland, where he's from, since I got back. But travelling has just made me want to see and experience more - I don't think I'd do a really long trip again (I was away for 15 months) as like I said, that had other factors attached to it, and I needed to be away for a long time, to get some space, freedom, etc etc. So maybe for 2 or 3 months at a time instead, if that was possible. Of course money etc is an issue, so we'll see. Reply to this

13 years ago, June 20th 2008 No: 4 Msg: #39372  
I hear ya! well good for u..maybe ill meet a good lady on my travels lol!!! wishful thinking lol..i cant wait till next year for my trip!!!! :-D Reply to this

13 years ago, June 20th 2008 No: 5 Msg: #39441  
Hey Deb,

I have this strange addiction to putting myself in places where I know no one and meeting new people and making new friends. I'm Canadian and have spent 4 summers working at camps in the states where I knew no one out of the 300 staff there and I loved it. I haven't traveled outside of North America, but I have definitely seen a lot of my continent.
So yeah, time for the big trip and I'm incredibly excited to get out there and see new things, meet new people and basically just enhance my world knowledge.
I'm the type of person who really can't sit in one place for long so traveling is definitely something I love to do. I am sure there is some deep psychological reason for my inability to remain stationary (perhaps a touch of ADD or something), but I love that I am unafraid to try out new things and get outside of my normal comfort zone. It boggles the minds of my friends that I always want to take off and it boggles my mind that my friends are fine with never exploring outside of our home town.
At some point I'm sure I'll settle down a little, but I have a couple years of traveling planned so it certainly won't be for a while!!

Jay Reply to this

13 years ago, June 23rd 2008 No: 6 Msg: #39654  
B Posts: 212
A couple of years sounds amazing! I'm sure you'll have a brilliant time. I think if you're the type who needs lots of new stimulation all the time, travelling's definitely a good thing to do. I also have that thing in me but it took a long time for me to realise that I really needed to travel - although there were lots of reasons why I needed and wanted to, and why it was so good, part of it was definitely allowing myself to live in alignment for a while with my natural inclination towards new experiences, change etc. But what was also good is that going away made me realise for the first time things that I appreciate in constancy - good friends, the same bed to sleep in (!), being able to have my things in cupboards and not always in a backpack, being able to make a cup of tea in the morning, the groundedness of being in a familiar place... I need both experiences in my life, I think - variety and constancy - travelling helped me to integrate the side of me I'd always either pushed down, or tried to realise in ways that didn't work, ie constantly moving home, job etc, in an effort to have variety and change, (and feeling like there was something wrong with me, because I could never settle) but it was never really satisfying and I just felt I was constantly uprooting myself. Now the challenge is to keep that space I need, which craves new experiences, change, - through travel and whatever else, and at the same time, allow myself to settle. I met one or two people during my trip who'd been on the road for 20 or more years - I knew I would never want that, but at the same time I knew I needed a good long travel trip, letting myself be the butterfly I always wanted to be! 😊) Reply to this

13 years ago, June 23rd 2008 No: 7 Msg: #39659  
Wow. 20 years! That sounds pretty intense!
My two years I have planned will not be all just travel. 6 months in SE Asia then 6 months living with friends from camp in Oz on the working holidaymaker. After that most likely 6 months through Europe ending up for about 6 months in the UK again living with friends from camp.

Having worked at the camp in the states, I've grown accustomed to life out of a backpack. Camp is generally 2.5 months then we'd travel the states for a couple months or longer. But yeah, it does feel great to end up at home or a place where you can unpack for a while and relax. Simple things like making breakfast without getting knocked around by the 20 other people in the hostel kitchen is something you definitely appreciate when arriving at home.

I think there's also a fear of commitment when staying in one place too long. Something my friends and I call FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). There are a lot of things out there to see and if I stay stationary too long I feel that I am missing out on a lot of it.

This thread has made me start to think about a path I might take when I go back to graduate school in a few years. I have a psych degree and it might be interesting to write a thesis on the mentality of the long term backpacker or something along that line.

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13 years ago, June 26th 2008 No: 8 Msg: #39988  
N Posts: 5
haha. the 20 years comment is one i can relate to as i have been on the road in one way or another for 7 years now. so for me the big question has become - do i need to stop, and if so, how?

but as for debs question, well for me, i was definately travelling away from, rather than to something - which i think is kind of the same for you deb? but i guess my reasons have changed over time. i just love the adventure of not knowing where i'll be in 6 months time. and, though it's a cliche, there is a freedom that comes with being on the road that i would be loathed to give up. a quote that always stays with me is:-

“What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do - especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” - William Least Heat Moon

BUT....I met an older guy in the phillipines once and, although he was a fun and interesting guy, he was essentially a washed up alchoholic who literally didnt have the means to get himself home and, though i manage to keep it pretty well hidden from myself most of the time, there is a part of me that worries about becoming that guy..... Reply to this

13 years ago, June 28th 2008 No: 9 Msg: #40227  
I lived in a shared appartment with some backpackers in London, England when I was 19. It was my first time to live away from home and my first time to leave Ireland. The appartment was more like a hostel than a permanent place to live. People were always arriving, staying for several months while working in London and then heading off for another backpacking trip.

Hearing all the stories they had was making me feel very untraveled. I started dating an Australian guy who lived there. He was planning a trip accross Western Europe and Eastern Europe. I asked him if I can come too because I want to try travelling. He said yes and off we went after working in London for a while and shortly before my 20th birthday.

Mel Reply to this

13 years ago, July 1st 2008 No: 10 Msg: #40504  
I left my small home town in Spain after I broke up with my boyfriend of 6 years... I wanted to run away of that a little bit and change countries, life and friends seemed to work!!!...

I was never completely happy when I was in my home town... I always wanted to see new places and how people did things in different ways of what we consider "normal"... my (then) boyfriend used to travel a lot for work and used to tell me that home was the best place to be and that I wasn't missing anything... I was, as Debbie said, thinking that there was something wrong with me because I didn't want to settle just yet... when I moved to England I met lots of people with the same interests and ambitions as me and I realized that there wasn't anything wrong with me I was just in the wrong place at the wrong moment (so to speak) and leaving was the best decision I ever took...

I also agree with aimlessdrifter that, when you travel, you are what you are right there and then and people tend to judge you less and be more open to you... after 6 years in England, I feel it's time to move again... it's only 18 days to the "big day"...

I don't want to be traveling forever... or, actually, I do, but I would like to settle down one day and have something I call "home" and travel from there... so I guess that I'm looking for a bit of both worlds... I don't consider my "big trip" the trip of my life because I know that the little impulse for travel will be always with me, but I know that, after this trip, I will change the way I travel... Reply to this

13 years ago, July 1st 2008 No: 11 Msg: #40561  
the idea came to us last summer, we were driving to see family for the long weekend and out of nowhere i was like "i want to go away! i don't care where or for how long, but i want to go away!". trevor wasn't so keen, he had his "career" job (the one he went to school for, yadda yadda), but the idea really stuck with me and a few days later i was like "ummm you should really think about it because i am going to go ... " and then he had a bad day at work a few days later, came home and was like "ok! lets go!".

we were both pretty frusturated with our jobs, i was still a student and couldn't focus on my studies, and things just weren't working ... with ourselves, our lives, anything! we had that whole "unsettled, there has to be more to life than this" thing going on. we felt like we were in the rat race ... and felt sorta lost, like we didn't know who we were.

we're almost 9 months into our trip now and have about 3 months left to go. it's been good. we both feel like we've learned soooo much and are completelly different people than we were when we started. that being said, we're kinda feeling tired of travelling. we're still happy to be on the road and everything, but we miss home. we miss the simple everyday things, like driving our cars and cooking supper. for us, a year is waaay too long and we really look forward to going home and setting up our lives again (in a new city). we still have the travel bug, and will definitelly travel for many years to come, but future trips will be shorter (and hopefully a little bit cushier, we're tired of packpacks and being so cheap!).

i guess ... to sum it all up ... we feel like we found what we were looking for 😊 Reply to this

13 years ago, July 1st 2008 No: 12 Msg: #40569  
B Posts: 212
Yes I think travelling's great for blowing cobwebs away. Great you say you feel like you're different - I don't really feel like travelling changed me essentially at all. Maybe in subtle ways, I don't know. I learnt I can cope with things better than I thought I could, and I think I worry a bit less - I learnt that most of the time, things turn out fine, whereas I'd always focussed on worst-case scenarios before, and always imagined how things could and would go wrong. But generally, I still feel like I'm me. I'm still shy, despite spending so much of my travels talking to new people all the time and trying to overcome that - I hoped that would change and it hasn't! Then again, I'm living in a new country now, which is quite challenging, so I feel I never put the rug back under me that I pulled out!
I also like that quote aimlessdrifter mentioned, by William Moon - I felt so free of all that stuff when I was travelling, not being judged on my past. And I loved the fact that moving on was the nature of travelling, and not something to be disapproved of - I always felt like I was failing at home whenever I changed things in my life (which was quite often). It was good to be able to satisfy and embrace the impulsive side of my nature without feeling like there was something wrong with it. Reply to this

13 years ago, July 1st 2008 No: 13 Msg: #40586  

This thread has made me start to think about a path I might take when I go back to graduate school in a few years. I have a psych degree and it might be interesting to write a thesis on the mentality of the long term backpacker or something along that line.

I would be interested in reading that. I like reading about psychology. I dont know much about it but still like to read about it. Maybe make a blog with your thoughts about it when you get some thoughts about it?? 😊
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13 years ago, July 2nd 2008 No: 14 Msg: #40619  
Sounds good Mel. I'll definitely be blogging when I finally embark on my trip.
Have you seen the documentary "A Map for Saturday"? I love the perspective he puts on the emotions one goes through while trekking around the world for a year. I've watched it three times since buying it a month ago. It gets me so pumped for the big trek!
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13 years ago, July 2nd 2008 No: 15 Msg: #40697  
I havent seen that Jay, but it sounds like something I would like to see. In fact it would be a good Christmas present to myself. Hopefully it is easily available in the shops. I keep hearing about cool books and movies and then when I go out to buy them they are available nowhere. My list of things to buy on the internet is growing. Reply to this

13 years ago, July 2nd 2008 No: 16 Msg: #40712  
There is even a trailer on the internet.

A map for Saturday Reply to this

13 years ago, July 2nd 2008 No: 17 Msg: #40743  
I think the website is the only place you can buy it.
I ordered it through Map For Saturday Website
I'm sure you'll identify with the people he meets along the way being as well traveled as you are.
I like the perspective the older man he meets puts on traveling. He definitely proves that anyone at any age can toss a pack on their back and head out into the world to explore. Reply to this

13 years ago, July 3rd 2008 No: 18 Msg: #40778  
Thanks Jay 😊 I am certainly buying that video.

The trailer looks very good. Those are exactly the types of people one meets when backpacking. And there are plenty of people like that older guy too. Sometimes when I tell people I will do a lots of travelling or maybe even live in someplace like India when I get older they say I might not be so able bodied or I might have health problems and wont be able to do it any more. Well that older guy proves them wrong. I was on a night train last year going from Munich to Berlin. The people with the cheap tickets had to sleep in their seats which is never as comfortable as one would like it to be. It made me think about what people said about when I get old. I though maybe I will have to pay more in order to travel more comfortably and hoped I will be able to afford it. Then when I was going to the bathroom in the morning I passed an old lady with long grey hair waking up from a night of sleeping sitting up. She must have been around 70. I felt like I was looking at myself in the future because the old lady appeared just when I was thinking about that future. Reply to this

13 years ago, July 7th 2008 No: 19 Msg: #41128  
B Posts: 102
Video order placed. Stoked to see it. Thanks for the link.

To address the original question...why did I go traveling? Why not! Reply to this

13 years ago, July 7th 2008 No: 20 Msg: #41161  
Yeah, I ordered it too. It cost much less than I thought it would. Partly to do with the US dollar to Euro exchange rate. Does anyone ever wonder why we are so fascinated by watching people who are exactly like we are on film? Reply to this

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