What is travel? I mean, really, what is it?
My name’s Alex. Here’s my take.
I believe travel is a physical representation of the human fascination with “the new.” The instinct to move, to explore, to discover, is one that is inborn, perhaps at the core of our genetic makeup as living beings. It’s just a little more embellished nowadays.
You travel every day, whether it’s on a plane to a foreign country, commuting to work or school, walking to a friend’s house, or getting up to refill your bowl of popcorn after watching Netflix all day. Me, I’m obsessed with anything that has to do with “the new,” whether it be new foods, new people, or new experiences. And I think that sometimes “the new” can be right outside my window. Although there’s nothing wrong with going as far away as possible.
In an age of 140-character news reports, 600-channel televisions and 1-second judgements, we’re becoming less aware about what’s happening in the world around us despite the planet becoming figuratively smaller. When you visit new places, learn about unfamiliar cultures & customs, and observe the problems facing societies all over the world, your prejudices shrink and your mind grows. I am 100% positive that if every single person on this planet truly experienced another country for at least two weeks, most of the conflicts we deal with today would vanish into thin air.
To me, travel is all-encompassing, a massive umbrella that dictates everything we as humans do. Thus, don’t just expect the general anecdotes and artsy photos and cheesy-romantic writing that we all associate with travel writing. Also expect the unexpected: first-rate sushi 10 miles from Disney World, sprinting to a ferry through a cobblestoned Norwegian city, a slightly uncomfortable love letter to the entire country of Australia. After all, travel wouldn’t be travel without something unexpected.
My goal for sending 700-word chunks of text out into the chaotic void that is the internet is to inspire you (yes, YOU) to travel. Explore a part of your city that you’ve never been to before. Drive to the nearest airport and watch planes arriving from faraway places. Go online and book a trip to that city you’ve wanted to visit your whole life. Because what’s the point of leaving this world without spending some time getting to know it better?
So I’ve told you about travel at its most basic. Now for the rest of my digital time on this blog, I’m going to talk about travel at its most sarcastic. I’m going to go as far away as possible from the familiar. Come on, let’s get lost…
Above: Terminal walkway, O’Hare Airport, Chicago; Header: Preikestolen, Norway