I love traveling and photography because I fear one day that I will just disappear without any good memories. What is my purpose of travel? I want to leave some evidence of my existence to this world by noting down the roads I have walked and scenery I have seen.
Many years ago, ancient people in China has mentioned that
“Read a million books and travel a million miles”.
The Meaning of Travel
Although at that time, the world is not as integrated as it is now, people are clearly aware that reading and traveling are so essential that can bring oneself a completely new world. Now, with an improved living standard, traveling abroad has become an affordable thing for most families. Looking around the internet, an increasing number of posts spring and encourage people to travel around the world. They say “Giving yourself a long vacation is better than buying an LV”. They say “Either your body or your soul should be a way to a destination”. They also say “Travel brings power and loves back into your life.” It all sounds like traveling is such a sacred and exalted thing. And thus, if you are still struggling with your overloaded work or pursuing a life, you are seen as a loser in some sense.
So we kept asking us what is the meaning of travel? Why are we so enthusiastic about it? I guess the discussion about this is as heated as our discussion of the classical philosophy problem – “Who am I?”,”Where am I from?” and “Where will I go?”. However, why we all bother to impose a meaning on such a trivial thing? After all, setting aside your work, putting on a backpack and going to a place you like, is no more complicated than cooking a dinner.
Why I Love Travelling
For me, I started my journey since junior high school. At the very beginning, traveling for me is just a way to relax, to experience a life besides studying. Afterwards, with my passport getting chopped with more and more countries, I have seen many amazing sceneries while at the same time I met many inspiring people. I have experienced the beautiful summer in Australia when people living in the Northern Hemisphere are still confronting the piercingly cold winter. I have swum in a jelly blue ocean with fishes playing around me in the Maldives. I have also traveled to Mui Ne, a small fish village in Vietnam where people live a slow-paced life with great satisfaction. There are just more and more enlightening moments making me realize that life is manifold. Just as Anna Quindlen said,
“The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.”
No matter if you are a wandering poet or a hardcore developer staying at home, as long as you live with a passionate heart, life is never wasted.
Interestingly, many of you may not have known this, but traveling can too have certain health benefits as well and this is even backed by science! Lowering stress level, keeping mind sharp, improved immunity and so much more… If you are keen, check out 25 science-backed health benefits of traveling.
What does it mean to travel with purpose?
Traveling with purpose means going beyond typical tourism and immersing yourself in a destination with a deliberate intention to make a positive impact, engage with local communities, and seek personal growth.
Why should I consider traveling with purpose?
Traveling with purpose adds depth and meaning to your journeys. It allows you to connect on a deeper level with people and cultures, contribute positively to the places you visit, and foster personal development.
Is purposeful travel only for volunteers or activists?
No, purposeful travel is for everyone. While volunteering is one form of purposeful travel, it can also involve supporting local economies, engaging in sustainable tourism, or simply approaching your travels with an open mind and a willingness to learn and connect.
How can I find opportunities for purposeful travel?
Researching online platforms, reaching out to local organizations, and connecting with travel agencies that specialize in responsible and purposeful travel are great ways to find opportunities aligned with your interests.
Can I still enjoy traditional sightseeing while traveling with purpose?
Absolutely! Purposeful travel doesn’t mean sacrificing enjoyment. You can still explore popular attractions and engage in local experiences, but with a mindful approach that respects the culture and environment.
What are the benefits of traveling with purpose for personal growth?
Traveling with purpose exposes you to new perspectives, challenges your comfort zone, and helps you develop qualities like empathy, adaptability, and resilience, leading to significant personal growth.
How can purposeful travel contribute to local communities?
Purposeful travel can support local economies, empower communities through responsible tourism, create job opportunities, and provide resources for social and environmental initiatives.
Is purposeful travel environmentally friendly?
Yes, purposeful travel often aligns with eco-friendly practices. Engaging in ecotourism activities, participating in conservation efforts, and supporting businesses committed to sustainability contribute to minimizing your environmental footprint.
Do I need to have specific skills to travel with purpose?
While specific skills can enhance your impact, they’re not always necessary. The willingness to learn, share experiences, and contribute positively to the community is what matters most.
How can I integrate purposeful travel into my busy schedule?
Purposeful travel doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment. Even short trips can be meaningful if you plan ahead, choose responsible activities, and make conscious choices that align with your purpose.
I know traveling might have different meanings to different people, either being able to do anything anytime of the day, any day of the week or discover a true self. But now, if you are asking me what is the meaning of travel, I would have nothing to say. However, if I really need to give an answer, I will say “I enjoy it”. This answer is more than enough to do everything in my life. Believe me, most of the time, we don’t need to think too much or find a rhetoric excuse before we do a thing such as traveling to a place on the other side of the world. The only thing we need to do is to follow the direction of our hearts, and of course embark a journey with our parents, beloved or friends.
Saying this, I do not mean to encourage everyone to give up your corporate work and get on a trip immediately.
“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.(Seth Godin)”.
Nevertheless, who wants a life with nothing worth remembering?