5 Reasons Why I Travel
“Why Travel?” That is a question I hear on a fairly regular basis. They follow that up with “Why spend so much money?” My answers have varied over the years, but here are five reasons why I travel.
Reason Why I Travel #1 – Decompress
Those that know me on a personal level know that I tend to keep a very busy schedule. I leave the house at 7:30 in the morning and often don’t return until 10 or 11 at night. Between work, school, my second job, my side job, responsibilities at church, chairing various committees for different organizations, sleep and some semblance of a social life, there isn’t much time to relax. This has been my life for the better part of ten years. While I’ve become accustomed to the grueling schedule and the stress that inevitably comes with along with such a lifestyle, the circumstances aren’t always easy.
I travel so that I can step away from all these things and catch a breath. Sure, my travel schedule can be just as grueling and unforgiving, especially when I have a week or less available to take a trip. What I can tell you first hand is that this sort of busy schedule is vastly different. I may still get up at my usual time, if not earlier, and pack my day with more appointments than the President of the United States. But I don’t have to deal with the crazy at home. There is something immensely freeing about walking onto a plane and jetting off to another part of the world. I can literally feel a release as the wheels of the plane leave the tarmac in Sacramento. These visits leave me energized, I have almost come to rely on them to survive.
Reason Why I Travel #2 – Put on the Mileage
Okay, this one is purely selfish. I want to be one of those people who have lifetime elite status on airlines, log hundreds of thousands of miles each year, and always get upgraded to first class. That’s all well and good if the bulk of my travel miles are in the air, but there are no elite status groups for those who DRIVE thousands upon thousands of miles. In any case, I still keep track of it all. Last year I journeyed some +30,000mi between Jan 1st and December 31st to the following states/countries:
- New York
Things have been a little slower this year to start, but they’ll be picking up VERY soon. I travel so that I can log miles, because in the end it serves as additional proof that I went somewhere. The perks aren’t bed either!
Reason Why I Travel #3 – Spend Time With Loved Ones
The relationships that we form in this life carry with us to the hereafter.
I am a firm believer in that the relationships that we form in this life carry with us to the hereafter. Even if you don’t believe in such a concept, there are no downsides to spending time with those you love. The vast majority of my time spent while traveling is allocated to visiting friends, family, and the random people I meet on Twitter. Heck, the very locations themselves are chosen around visiting these very same individuals. Discovering new cities is fun, but I’d much rather make those discoveries WITH someone. In the case of a recent trip I got to make discoveries with a lot of someones. Some of them are longtime members of my travel family, but I added a few new ones too (see number 5)
Reason Why I Travel #4 – Do The Tourist Thing
Okay, let me start by I know what you’re thinking. “Who doesn’t see historic sites. Any tourist yahoo can do that.” While you are right, I have a genuine love for history. While seeing the buildings and places these people lived, I find myself pondering about who they were. When I walk past the Colosseum in Rome, I imagine what it would have been like to be there during a fight. When I visited the Forbidden City, I wondered what it was like to live in a dynasty ruled by an emperor. There’s a show on NBC called “The Blacklist,” maybe you’ve heard of it. Towards the end of the first season, a man by the name of Raymond Reddington, played by James Spader, breaks into a beautiful soloquy about his life goals as he faces an almost certain death at the hand of a mercenary.
“Have you ever sailed across an ocean, Donald? On a sailboat surrounded by sea with no land in sight, without even the possibility of sighting land for days to come? To stand at the helm of your destiny? I want that one more time. I want to be in the Piazza del Campo in Siena, to feel the surge as ten racehorses go thundering by. I want another meal in Paris at L’Ambroisie in the place des Vosges. I want another bottle of wine and then another. I want the warmth of a woman in the cool set of sheets. One more night of jazz at the Vanguard. I want to stand on summits and smoke Cubans and feel the sun on my face for as long as I can. Walk on the Wall again. Climb the Tower. Ride the River. Stare at the frescos. I want to sit in the garden and read one more good book. Most of all I want to sleep. I want to sleep like I slept when I was a boy. Give me that. Just one time. That’s why I won’t allow that punk out there to get the best of me, let alone the last of me.”
Like Raymond “Red” Reddington, I want to experience the same things. These cities, this history of ours; it is what makes us who we are. If it goes unnoticed and un-experienced, we will lose a part of our identity.
Reason Why I Travel #5 – Meet New People
Similar to number two, I enjoy meeting new people My goal wherever I go is to come away with at least one new person who I consider a friend. Some of my most enjoyable travel memories have come from such exchanges. In October, I made a few friends while waiting outside Alcatraz Milano, for the Lindsey Stirling show. This past April, I met up with some acquaintances from Twitter (@thesamspo, @connorsnyder, & @tgilliland789) in Logan, Utah and we recorded a song together. Two days later, I had dinner with another twitter friend, @kathryn_lindsey, who attends law school in Provo, Utah. Taking these digital relationships and building upon them has some neat results. Usernames and avatars become full names and real faces. 140 character jokes turn into hours-long discussions. When I leave town, the exchanges move back to the digital domain, but we are closer for the time we did spend together.
When all is said and done, I want to look back on this life I’ve lived and have friends all across the world. These people won’t be acquaintances , but rather people who I know about them and their families. I want to share memories with people in every country i traverse, and know that no matter where I go, I have a place to rest my head.
When all is said and done, I want to look back on this life I’ve lived and have memories and friends all over the world. — Christopher Sant (@chmsant) March 31, 2015
Why do you travel?
Enough about me, why do YOU travel? Drop a comment below or tweet me @chmsant and let me know why you enjoy going on adventures.