Why am I traveling so much?

Traveling is something that takes up a big chunk of my life in all aspects. I travel for work, I travel for fun, I travel when there’s nothing else to do. I travel because I can and I think I owe it to the world to share myself with it however I can. I travel because I love the challenge. I travel to be in places where I’m lost, in a sea of new stimulus, or can’t speak the local language. These experiences are what shape who I am so I travel because I’m addicted to learning as much as I can about what’s under that next stone as I turn up as many as I can in the world.

sunset-Anatole_France_travel_Quote

“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe” – Anatole France

I believe there is a type of personal evolution that exists during the finite time between birth and death that dictates a great deal of our direction in life. Think of evolution from Darwin’s perspective where it takes place by genetic mutations over millions of years. Scale that idea down to the time frame that a human being lives. These random genetic mutations become random encounters we face in life that change our direction in life. We are nothing more than the output of a lifetime of internal stimulus. The faster you develop these traits, the faster you evolve.

Travel constantly puts me into new situations that can create memories that can stay with me for life. Each place has a lesson waiting to be discovered through rich history and culture. Each bite of food will give me a new appreciation for different flavors, textures, and tastes. Every person I meet has an opportunity to teach me through their unique perspective of life.  The human experience is like a 7.2 billion sided connected shape that we all experience from our own angle.  I’m trying to see as many as I can.

"The more that I see, the less that I know." - Michael Franti

“The more that I see, the less that I know.” – Michael Franti

I’ve been traveling for longer than I can remember.  My parents took me all over the county on family vacations.  We would load up our 86 Chevy caprice with 6 people and take off for a week.  Sometimes we had 2 carloads in a caravan going 1000 miles.  The smokey mountains, Washington DC, New York City, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Gettysburg, Los Angeles, Disneyland, Grand Canyon, and countless little things along the way.

My first time traveling without my family.

My first time I went out on adventure of my own was when I was about 17 years old as a senior in high school.  Some friends and I hopped in a car to to go the Asbury music festival.  It was a weekend full of rock music from punk to pop.  We ended up sleeping in our car not far from the venue.  Each day we would wake up and see the sun rise over the Atlantic ocean.  On the Saturday we didn’t have tickets we drove around getting lost on the New Jersey back roads.  We happened upon the quickstop used in Kevin Smith movies and I got a photo standing on the roof.

paul theroux quote

“”A tourist doesn’t know where they have been. A traveler doesn’t know where they are going.” -Paul Theroux”

Ever since then I’ve been hooked.  After a couple more trips I ended up in Portland, Oregon.  This was right after I went off the deep end.  At this point I was interested in living a bit more frugal and wanted to explore “homelessness” and hitchhiking.  In Portland I ended up sleeping on the streets for the first time with some kids I met in a park at a food not bombs meetup.  I was inspired to do more of that and started building a life that was focused on a life towards the idealized version of life on the road.

Since then I have been plagued with an insatiable wanderlust.  I ended up hitchhiking around the country for a little while and after that there was no going back.  I’ve spent a great deal of time exploring the good ol’ United States of America.  I’ve also spent a couple of months in Mexico, Guatemala, and Hondruas and have fallen in love with Latin America.

Alduos Huxley travel quote

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”
-Aldous Huxley

Putting myself in so many new situations has given me the ability to adapt to my surroundings like a chameleon.  Traveling makes me feel larger than life as I traverse the globe with relative ease.  Yet, makes my problems feel small as I’m able to see how others live in their own environments.  Traveling has made me more empathetic to other people’s needs as I learn that we’re all more similar than we are different.  The more people I connect with the more connected I feel with people around me.

Where I end up next is anyone’s guess.  I suspect back in central America or south east Asia.  On my list is also the rest of Asia including the former Soviet Union and the middle east.  India is on the top of the list.

If you like travel, leave a comment and let me know why. We all do it for something different and I’d love to know your reason