Talk to anybody who’s in love with travel and they will list off destinations, people, activities and much more as reasons that keep them motivated to travel. That kind of excitement is infectious and is something that got me to move from thinking about travel to actually planning and setting off to see Europe. Before that though you need that initial instigator to push your train of thought into one of travel and away from work, life or whatever event is going on at that particular time.
There was a number of things that motivated me to travel and turn my back on a 9 to 5 life in Australia. It started when I was still in high school and had a friend on the other side of the world who I emailed, sent normal old letters via post to and chatted to back when it was very uncool/creepy to talk to people online. As I grew older I became more interested in the history of places and how things came to be. But it was still just a dream, the thought of actual travel abroad on my own was far to scary an experience.
Years later I finally took to the skies through way of a girlfriend at the time. She’d travelled before so I was comfortable to see the world knowing someone was there by my side to turn to when I didn’t know what to do. That trip finally ignited my travel bug I guess you could say. I had a want to see more, but was still only looking for holidays away and short trips as I worked full time. Solo travel at that time still scared the daylights out of me.
Skip forward a couple more years and the girlfriend had departed under difficult circumstances and my job had become far less enjoyable than before. The cost of living was only going up and I found myself struggling to makes ends meet and overall enjoy life. I was for all intents and purposes that typical shy geeky guy going nowhere fast. I needed a way to jump-start everything again and a chance talk with a friend returning from a working holiday in the UK was it.
I’d read over their blog and the adventures and destinations they’d seen while abroad and decided this was what I needed. It was a way to start fresh, to push my boundaries so to speak. In a way you could say I was running away from everything but it wasn’t to just escape it was to better myself and my life.
It’s funny how one problem in life can be used to conquer another. There I was pushing forward to confront myself and years of built up pressure by visiting different countries, different foods and meeting different people. The very thing I feared most. I guess the allure of finally exploring abroad was bigger than continuing down an unknown path at home.
What motivated you to travel? Was it something you grew up with or was it a more defined moment like a relationship split, life choice or career break? Let me know in the comments below as I’d love to know how you got into travelling and exploring the world.
I travel because I don’t want a ‘normal’ life. I want to experience everything I can in life and I get bored if I stay too long in the same spot.
Will thats certainly an adventurers spirit you have there.
Travel has always been in me. Im not sure how it got there because I grew up in a family without money so we never traveled. Perhaps it started when we took in overseas exchange students – Hearing their stories of a different country and culture fascinated me (I was 10 yrs old).
I only started traveling overseas when I was 30, a late bloomer 🙂 But since that first trip I knew I was meant for a life of travel. Skip forward 7 years – I lost a parent. Death has a way of making you look at your life like you never have before. In my last conversation with her, she told me to follow my dreams, travel the world and never look back. So I took her advice.
We’ve been on the road for 12 months now and I am a completely different person..all for the better. That is why I travel, to enrich and change my life; To be the best version of myself. And thats why I want to find a way to continue to live with life because to be quite honest – The alternative scares the shit out of me.
Nicole thats a moving statement to be left with, so glad you took the advice.
At the age of 12, I already knew I wanted to travel. I even took a month of leave of absence in school just to go with my mom in vising my dad’s place. I also became active to school activities in exchange for free travel and accommodations. I remember how I first cried after a film of my first old cannon camera was exposed and all travel photos where gone.
I am currently in a corporate world that strictly gives me ample time to travel but at least it also provide me a financial support that makes me able to wander on my spare time and every travel I had I just can’t find any specific motivations it just came to like something like I must and I should do.
I travel to learn more about the world than the little corner of it outside of my doorsteps. And to photograph it! =)
Tracy, travelling to learn about the world is a great way to do it. I think the more we appreciate the way the rest of the world lives to better people we will become.
I think I’m mainly motivated by the fear that I will one day look back on my life and realise I’ve missed out on so many opportunities to make it interesting. Then there’s the desire to see all those amazing things, the cool, like-minded people you meet on the road, and the way it helps shape your personality, making you more confident and independent. I also have to agree with Nicole. It was when my mum died that I took a good hard look at my life and asked myself what I wanted to achieve. Since then I’ve run a couple of marathons, got into blogging and travelled solo around South America. And I’ve just got my Australian working holiday visa through! I have to wonder if I’d have done all that if circumstances had been different.
Arianwen it seems we’ve all got some pivotal moment in our life that finally gave us that push to want more. It’s never great when its something such as your mother passing but I’m sure that when we take on tasks to grow everyone in our life past and present would be proud of our achievements.
Great post! So glad you took the courage to go out there and travel solo. I’ve been travelling all my life, always moving homes. I really think it makes a person more open-minded, understanding and interesting. I get bored super easily as well so can’t imagine not having my next adventure to look forward to!
Veronica, totally agree with you on the open-minded and understanding. Wish travel was compulsory for all 18 year olds after they finished high school.
I love to travel. It inspires me to take better photos, when I’m at home I have no motivation to capture my surroundings. When I’m away I can’t not feel inspired. I’m lucky enough to have been to America, and Australia. As I was saying to you on twitter Europe is next. The daily 9-5 grind drives me mad, and I often need to escape, perhaps more permanently next time 🙂
Karen its only been thorough travel that I’ve begun to make more time for my home country. Before I took it for granted and never really looked at it like I do the rest of the world. Now coming home isn’t something I get sad about its just another place to explore.
Great post….! I think I was originally motivated to travel out of boredom. The working life at home was just too….boring. I needed adventure. Then after that….my travels have been based on curiosity…curiosity to see new animals, hike new trails, enjoy new surroundings…
It’s the endless routine that makes me want to get out there. It’s not like you can’t have fun at home, but new experiences are a more potent drug than the tried and true.
I travel because I have to. Especially after being able to compare a sedintary life with a regular job to the one I have now, there is just no choice in the matter.
Adam I don’t know how I’d go back to the life I had before travel.
Great post, I can relate to so many things you experienced and write about. I realize now that I was also running away from the real world but sometimes that is the perfect time to do it. Congratulations on taking the leap because it really is the best thing isn’t. I wrote about my experience here:
Travelling is the best to further develop oneself!
I too found myself on a plane crossing an ocean because of love. My other half was visiting family in the USA and planned an impromptu road trip along the West Coast. Since then the travel bug has been coursing through my veins and it was a little over two years ago that we made the move to embrace a location independent life.
As you mentioned above I can’t imagine how i would cope with returning to ‘normality’ travel has become my reality and I’m keen to ensure I remain in the nomadic matrix!
I won a scholarship from AFS a student exchange program to be an exchange student, wherever i wanted to go. I chose USA. As my top 3 i said, USA USA USA. There was no where else. I was 16 at the time and that was it. I went for 8 months and loved it SO much. But i realised it was never the commercialised things in the States that i adored.. It was hiking Bryce Canyon, viewing Grand Canyon from the North in a thunderstorm. Going skiing at Mt Ashland.. More so then seeing the Full House house in SF or going to the Bellagio show in Las Vegas (which were all amazing but not as much as the hiking and exploring). So I have a Youth Mobility Visa in hand, 20 years old and heading off to England 23rd of July for 2 years, throwing in a extended trip around Europe while i’m there. I have done America twice in the last 4 years and am ready to do something else. I just love living abroad. But i’m setting off we a little 40L pack, fingers crossed.
Good luck Tayla, sounds like you’ll have the time of your life over there.