by Lisa  |  11 May 2017

Why do you love to travel

I spent eleven years on the road backpacking all over the world. Most adventurous Aussies travel for 1 to 2 years. Consequently, I have travelled to over 70 countries now and often wonder why do I love to travel so much?

Then on a recent trip to Queensland in 2016 I read the following quote in the Qantas in-flight magazine called Qspirit.

I’m a wanderer. When you don’t know where you are, you stumble and crash into great things.”

Marta Dusseldorp (Australian Actor)

I instantly recognised myself in this quote. This is exactly why I love to travel. I love waking up each day not knowing what I’m going to do or what I will see. Every day is a surprise.

In today’s society, we work in jobs in a regimented way. We wake up the same time every day. To catch the bus or drive to work at the same time and on the same route. Then start work at the same time, to do the same tasks, to finish at the same time. Only to travel back home the same way so we can eat and relax, to go to bed at the same time. Then wake up the next day to do it all over again. No wonder us humans need some escapism every year. And travelling is one of those ways.

It's in the blood

You could also say that travelling is my blood. Our family escapism every year was to drive to different destinations in our state. Cheap but great fun exploring our own ‘backyard’.

Then my first overseas trip was without my family. It was a high school trip to Singapore organised by our geography teacher. What an eye opener to see how another country lives and breathes differently. That was it, I was hooked on travel. I wanted to see the world, not just Australia.

In year 12 we had to decide what career we were going to pursue and I had no idea. The career councillor asked what do I love doing and I replied that I love travelling and want to do some more. She suggested why don’t I become a travel agent and so I did. Well in a roundabout way.

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The quick transition into travelling

I did go to University first. I was so fortunate that they just introduced a new major for tourism management. Part of the degree was to do six weeks work experience in a travel agency. The ladies there encouraged me to apply for travel agent jobs. Then on my last week I got a job with Australia's largest travel company at that time. I beat other applicants that had way more experience than me!

Every year, the company sent me on two or three educational or familiarisation trips. Basically travel junkets. This means the airline or tour company hosts a group of travel agents to a destination. Our task is to inspect hotels and tours so that we are more informed to sell the destination when you return home. Basically to increase sales!

Over five years I saw most of Asia and Australia but my dream developed to venture further afield. I wanted to see Europe. So to be able to confidently sell European tours, I told my boss that I need to spend one year in Europe to see everything. She told me go ahead and when I come back the desk will be mine again.

The only thing is, that one year turned into eleven years of travelling. I couldn’t stop with just Europe. My inner travel bug contineud the travels around North America for several months. Then I worked on cruise ships in the Caribbean and Alaska. And backpacked throughout South America. Before I knew it, I’d explored 70 countries. I just loved the surprises that every country uniquely offered.

Removed from everyday life 

Travelling is always full of surprises. I found a mainland beach and an island in Brazil that has no paved roads and no vehicles. I discovered that northern Italy has different festivals every week during the summer. Loved the way locals love to celebrate the most simplest of things.  You don’t realise how high the Himalayas really are until you see them with your own eyes. Swimming with the stingrays in the Caribbean is not so scary. However, a brown bear crossing my Appalachian Mountain trail 20m in front of me is SCARY. How can driving through a dense forest suddenly lead you into this oasis {picture of me in natural pool}.

The surprises are not always about what you see. It is also about the people you meet. You find out so much more information when you talk to locals. You can find out about magical places that are off the beaten track or not well known by tourists. Discover their way of life, their customs and traditions. Most importantly you don’t want to end up insulting them unknowingly).

Then there’s the food. I love, love love trying out different foods. Except for eating live bugs – need desperation for that one. Each country has its own unique tastes and flavours. Now I look for any cooking classes on offer, to bring some of that delicious cuisine back home.

What I learnt

What ends up happening is that you start to learn about yourself. I discovered I had the courage and bravery to travel independently (some may say I’m crazy!). I overcame my shyness as I became more confident to approach and speak to other travellers and locals. Then I became more tolerant and then accepting of other customs and traditions. Eventually you start to appreciate what you have at home.

I also discovered that happiness is relative to the person’s mind and not in the accumulation of things. I will never forget living with a Peruvian family high up in the Andes. The weather was freezing but they slept on concrete beds. The main meal was potatoes in water. Shoes were handmade from worn out truck tyres. And their houses were bare. For westerners, its easy jump straight into the thought of ‘oh poor people’.  However, every moment of the day they had beaming smiles on their faces. And every night the family gathered in the kitchen to sing songs and laugh at silly things. This family had nothing compared to our western standards. But they were the happiest people I ever met.

So to sum up why I love to travel

To travel is to learn!

Hence the reason why I’ve created this blog/website. So that I can impart all my travel knowledge, wisdom and expertise to all new and experienced travellers. To help you get the most out of your holiday and enjoy the world hassle free.

Why do you love to travel?

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About the author

Lisa is a travel gypsy by heart, having already been to over 70 countries and still counting. Founder of Travel Groove, to share travel tips, tricks and knowledge with other travellers.

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