I bet you are familiar with the likes of Reasons-Why-You-Should-Travel, Lessons-You-Can-Learn-From-Traveling, or Places-You-Should-Visit-Before-You-Die. On you go with the litany. But really, have you ever once given it a thought, in your own terms, why do you travel? There must be a good reason why.
You can always draw inspiration from the stories of others but do not forget that you are also unique. Why do you wander? Whether you like it or not, in the course of time you are going to establish your own reasons because nobody else can see the world from your standpoint but yourself.
While one traveler marvels at the Sakura tree from a distance, you look closer and admire every bloom. While the tourist beside you snaps a photo of the golden ginkgo tree across a pond with much enthusiasm, you took notice of the single blue iris flower that sits along the bank. While one traveler expresses disgust and sorrow over the plight of S21 prisoners in Tuol Sleng, you go beyond by remembering your country and you begin to appreciate the freedom that you have back there. While the foodie across your table delights over the bounty that is in front of her, you are reminded of the poverty-stricken village you visited a few months ago and you realize just how blessed you are. You see, your perspectives will always be one of a kind. Whether or not they turn you into a better person will always depend on you.
Why do you want to see the world? Well, you’ll never know how your adventures are going to show others that dreams really do come true. Maybe the inspiration they need must come from you so that they, too, can start to embark on their own adventures. But, do not let your excitement cause you to be unmindful of your spending. Save before you go. Do not come home broke. Be reminded that you are just a steward of your finances. Keep your life priorities in order.
Go to as many places as you can. And I hope your journeys gift you with two things: wings that will equip you to fly as far and as high as you may and roots that will keep your feet on the ground.
Always be yourself. You are going to have your own stories to tell and memories to treasure. Find joy in recounting them. Use them to inspire others in return.
And when, upon your return back home, and as you lay your head on that familiar pillow, I hope you’ll say, “What a journey it has been.”