Why is Travel Special? What is Traveling?
What makes travel so special? Is it the places, the people, the museums, the sights, the foods, the smells, the storms or the swells? I think it is none of this, it is the sense of freedom, the child like sense of adventure that cannot be matched, impersonated and most certainly not duplicated.
The most interesting time of any trip is when you start out somewhere new, the unknown, you know no one, you know not what will happen but you do know this, ANYTHING can happen. As we grow old, limitations are placed on us and doors are closed. We make either or choices instead of entertaining the thought of “both”. Why not have both? Why not have your cake and eat it too? Why not?
Many suggest a vacation or a finite trip is the same as traveling and one should attempt this if they have the urge to go, it is not the same, at all. It is not totally unrestricted freedom. It has an end date, one has responsibilities and obligations. When one travels or drifts, there is none of that, just the possessions chosen for the quest and a pocket packed with plastics giving access to the fuel that feeds the fire and rewires the core of the traveler, down to the deepest desires.
What is important? What do you really know? Do you like certainty? Do you like guaranteed investments? Do you like to know that at exactly this time, you must go to work, at exactly this time, you get to go and at exactly whatever time, you will get paid? Do you like to know that someone is thrilled to see you when you get back? If this is something you lack, would it lead to a heart attack? For some, I am sure.
Every time you leave one destination and set sail for another, it is like starting a new trip, a new adventure. Where did you meet your wife, husband or business partner? Where did you meet a life long friend you actually have stuff in common with? Ever thought that most people you know from your home town, you know based on convenience, what a small pond to fish in, if one is looking for a whale. There is no trick, one must venture far and be committed to find their personal “Moby Dick”.
It’s easy to sit back in your chair, your mind being drained by the television and think you’re better than someone, different in a superior way. Travel kills that myth which has been a menace to the citizens of the globe since the inception of civilization. It’s easy to have a laugh at something you do not understand but it takes an open mind and time to meet people, who live totally different lives, value different things and speak another language to realize you’re all actually the same. The term “same same but different” so popular in Thailand, comes to mind.
Why do you value what you do? Why do you have what you have, watch what you watch or drive what you drive? Simple, it’s been introduced to you and somewhere along the line an individual or group have put value on it and in following their lead, you also equate value to something which may be great or grotesque, in fact it may be both, depending on your perspective.
Travel also rips you from the confines of where you have been placed or told to be. From school career days to guidance counsellors who usually have children that are out of control, everyone is telling you what you are suited for, which worker ant in the colony you should be. What do these people know? It’s like giving your hard earned money to an “investment specialist”. If this specialist was so good, why does he/she need your 50,000-5,000,000 to play with? If he / she knows what is going on, why do they not live on a beach trading while eating something from the sea and having a laugh instead of sitting in a small office attached to a bank with stale coffee breath and an irregular heart beat?
Finally, when you travel it lets you go back to being a bratty child with brash ambitions and expectations. Many youth want to be astronauts, pro athletes, performers, explorers, anything cool. As they get older, like cattle they are herded into labels such as accountant, project manager, engineer, programmer, director.
Once you break free from the old school of thought and completely severe any ties that could pull you back, you’re are free to be who you have always been instead of going through the motions of what you have become, usually in the quest for security or to avoid scrutiny. It’s an old saying but you can’t get to second base without taking your foot off first…
P.S: The ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm is something else, update coming.