Why we love to travel!

Posted by Whole Earth | 05.08.2022

An excursion trains rounds the bend over a railroad bridge in the high mountains



Why we love to travel!


Are you ready to go traveling again? We are. After two summers of sticking close to home, we're making plans and are excited at the thought of getting back on the road again. If you, like Thoreau, have traveled a good deal at home of late, but aren't so sure about traveling farther afield, we want to gently remind you of a few of the benefits of travel.


Whole Earthling Bert visiting City Lights Books in San FranciscoThoreau famously said, "I have traveled a good deal in Concord." His natural curiosity combined with his powers of acute observation and deep insight, made the woodlands and fields around Concord an ever-changing world open to exploration. Most of us do not have the gift of seeing our everyday world so clearly. We grow dull through habit. To sharpen our senses and reawaken our curiosity, we often need to leave home and experience new places. Even Thoreau traveled beyond Concord to Maine, Canada and west to Minnesota.


Traveling gives us an opportunity to restore freshness to our lives. We've had the experience, and we bet you have too, of driving for hours and then stepping out to stretch our legs and discovering the air is very different from that of home. It may be softer and have a spicy or "green" scent. And suddenly, all of our senses come to life as the world becomes vivid with colors, sounds and smells. Our mental habits have fallen aside and we can see the world afresh and experience it deeply.


Many people choose to travel as an escape from burdensome routine. We may be getting away from a stressful job or situation that leaves us feeling tense, drained and less than fully human. Whether it's a daytrip or a long vacation, breaking the grip of pressures that surround us in our workaday lives can be liberating. Leaving the daily grind far behind and immersing ourselves in activities we love can help reset our inner balance and reignite our enthusiasm for life.  


The view of Half Dome in Yosemite National ParkSo how do you like to go exploring? We have two approaches. For one, we plan ahead giving free rein to our curiosity, visiting places we've heard of or read about and would like to see for ourselves. With the second, we have only a vague notion of where we are going and what we will do when we get there. We're going with the flow and checking out anything that looks intriguing along the way. The second approach does require a bit of preparation. We wouldn't want to arrive at a destination overwhelmed by a crush of visitors. Having an idea about the popularity of a place and any considerations about weather and the time of year when we're planning to travel can help to avoid unfortunate events.


Pu?uhonua o H?naunau National Historical Park on the island of HawaiiPerhaps our favorite benefit that comes with travel is how it expands our horizons. It's a chance to meet the world face to face. We can read books, watch documentaries and travel shows about a destination, but nothing compares to actually being there. We can follow in the footsteps of the great men and women of history, visit museums, gardens, great monuments of history, have a chance to meet and enjoy the company of fellow travelers and locals, and tasty new cuisines and drinks. Travel is a way to try something new, to get outside of our comfort zone, and to begin to recognize just how much we don't know about the world.


Everyone likes to have good stories and photos to share, and there's nothing like traveling to add more to our collection. And taking a trip with family and friends can create shared memories of happy times and adventures and strengthen the bonds between us. We can see both ourselves and our loved ones in a new light and get out of the ruts we may have dug for ourselves in our everyday life.


And last of all. When our travels are done and we've returned home, we can see it with a deeper understanding. We're often filled with gratitude for home. We think Terry Pratchett may have said it best:


“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”


The Big Blue Marble - NASA photo 1973


Our Texas Stores are Hiring!  Get Details

My Bag (0)