Why I Travel the World
Recently, I read Worldwalk, an incredible book by a guy who literally walked around the world for four years. His main goal, of course, was to do it… to actually walk around the world. But he also had another goal - to prove (to himself) that people around the world, no matter what country they were from, were good and kind.
In Love with a Chance of Drowning, another amazing travel book, the main goal of the characters was to sail across the world. Even in Eat, Pray, Love, the character sets out on a year-long journey to find herself after a divorce.
All of these great stories have clear travel goals, clear constraints, and a time limit. Maybe that’s why they make such great stories, each walking away with amazing accomplishments and lessons from their journeys.
But when I think about why I travel the world, why I became a nomad, I honestly can’t tell you the reason. I’ve always wanted to. I grew up learning that traveling and experiences were the best way to spend your money.
Even though I lived in San Francisco for five years before my nomad life, I didn’t have many possessions, living in a way where I could leave at any time if needed. And when the opportunity presented itself, that’s what I did. I got rid of the few things I did own, and left without thinking much about it.
I could tell you that I travel to learn about other cultures, to eat amazing food, to meet new people, to see great sights, etc. All of these are true - I do get to do them in my journeys. But none of these things are my goal, my sole motivation for traveling the world.
For example, in Italy or Japan, I do eat a lot. If I just went to these two countries, I’d tell you that my goal for travel is food. In India, I’m happier spiritually - so if I just traveled around India, I’d tell you that my travel goal is happiness and enlightenment. I go to Thailand for the cheap massages, to New Zealand for the magical nature, to Norway for the midnight sun, to Istanbul for the history and architecture, to Amsterdam for walking, and the list goes on and on… Not to mention, countries I haven’t even been to yet, so I have no idea what my main goal will be there, what type of person I will become when I’m there.
Today, a friend asked me where I plan to go next. The truth is, I don’t really know. Likely India. But after that, who knows? I don’t really have a concrete plan. Sometimes, a country just pops out to me for a specific reason, and I go there. For example, a friend was visiting Vietnam, so I went there to meet her.
I’m just wandering the earth, and I have no purpose. I don’t even care about the number of countries I visit. I don’t have any clear goals for being a nomad, except the same goals that everyone else has such as making it in this world. Being a nomad is my life, so I’m just living it.