Mike over at Vagabondish has tagged me to share 5 reasons why I travel. While on the surface, the question seems easy enough for us in the travelsphere to answer, it did cause me to pause for a little self-reflection. Here's what came to mind:
1. Freedom and Independence – Just the way the States' founding fathers intended, long term travel allows me to fully experience life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I first felt the complete sense of freedom backpacking can entail when my friends decided to leave Europe early after about ten days, and I stayed for another five weeks traveling solo.
2. Mr. Extrovert – I'm an introvert by nature, though when I'm on the road, I'm more naturally outgoing. It's probably a matter of subconscious social survival – either speak up or face a lonely, less fun trip! So I'll approach women on the beach, in a bar, or hostel, and I'll suggest social options with more authority than I might otherwise at home. It's a wonderful feeling to step outside my normal social bounds.
3. New Cultures – I'm proud to be from New York, and the USA, however I'm also proud of my desire to get out of my home country and see it from new perspectives. In addition to looking back at my home from abroad, I love learning about how others live. So far, the majority of my time traveling has been spent in Western Europe, and only more recently have I experienced less industrialized cultures (in Central America).
4. Foreign Food – I grew up a stubbornly picky eater. For example, I hadn't tried Thai food until my last night in Europe when I was 21. It was another few years before I discovered the delicious taste of shrimp. And the first time I ate fish off the bone was in Belize just last year (age 29). Since I started to enjoy cooking for myself (and others), I'm seeking out more exotic foods, such as sushi, and the bone marrow I tasted in NYC last month. The world is my oyster (yes, I've tried them too!). PS – for Anthony Bourdain fans, I fully intend to suck down a beating cobra heart in Vietnam this time next year.
5. Logistics and Planning – Part of my enjoyment of travel comes before I even step out of my apartment door. I relish the time it takes to plan a trip. As you may imagine, I'm getting a BIG kick out of the logistical aspects of planning my 'round the world trip.
There you have it, my 5 reasons for why I travel. Did I blow you away with my profound insights? If not, maybe tagging Bangkok Ali, Jas from Through the Lenses, or Nina from Justwandering.org will give way to such deep thoughts.