Why, when some people are perfectly content to travel two weeks of the year and sun themselves on a sandy beach somewhere with a cocktail in hand, do I persist in travelling as much as I possibly can? It’s a question I think a lot of people who know me have asked either me, or themselves at some stage. Last month for example, I travelled to six different countries within just 28 days and although I was exhausted by the end of it, it was so much fun.
Some people would probably surmise that people who travel as much as I do use it as a form of escapism, to distance ourselves from bad things in our lives. Well, the truth is, I don’t really have anything to escape from. I have a wonderful home in Scotland surrounded by great family and friends (and the best dog in the world!), beautiful, natural countryside over my garden fence and I’m just a short drive from the exciting city that is Glasgow. I don’t really need to escape from anything here.
I guess what I’m really escaping is the monotony of everyday life. I’m the type of girl who gets bored easily and feels unnaturally suppressed by rules, routines and too much order. I like the feeling of doing something different each day. I like to see new things, talk to interesting people and learn about cultures and history that are different to my own. I love exposing my myself to situations that are different to what I’m used to.
Travel is rewarding too. The act of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and into new places and new situations is always exhilarating and exciting. Through doing this travel has undeniably made me far more confident. When you travel somewhere new you have to rely on yourself, put yourself into new situations and it really forces you to see what you’re made of. Through travel I’ve realised that I’m tougher than I ever thought, and I think everyone should travel solo at some stage to raise their confidence and develop skills you probably didn’t even know you possessed.
Sure, travel can be a pain sometimes – waiting in seemingly endless queues in airports, putting all your liquids into little clear plastic bags (please, can’t we be done with this soon?!), and unpacking just to repack again a few days or weeks later. But for me the annoyances of travel are far outweighed by the visceral thrill of being someplace entirely new.
There’s nothing like stepping out of an airport/train station/off a boat (delete as necessary) and into a new city, town or village that’s completely different and exciting. The feeling of walking around a new place, getting a little lost and stopping to notice the architecture, that fountain in the park, the birds in the trees or simply the local people going about their daily business is one I crave. Whetting my palate with some local delicacies and washing it down with some local wine from a new place is always an experience I love.
For these reasons, and countless others, I think travel will always be a massive part of my life. I can’t see myself ever morhping into the type of person who is happy to travel for just a few weeks a year during holiday time from their job, and I’m okay with that. Someone once said ‘travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer‘, and I can’t help but agree.